Is 'continuous delivery and integration' a developer no-brainer?

March 2013 is already a good month for software application development ‘continuous delivery and integration’ tools and their methodologies — and it’s not every turn of the calendar page that you can say that.

Java Platform as a Service (PaaS) company CloudBees has announced an integration initiative with VMware Cloud Foundry.

Developers will now be able to utilise CloudBees [email protected] development services to deploy web and mobile applications to the CloudFoundry service.

This in action should in turn have an knock on effect…

… programmers will now be provided with choice among their access to cloud-based development tools including Jenkins, the “highly popular” (says the Jenkins team, but actually it also is anyway) continuous integration server.

NOTE: Jenkins is an open-source continuous integration software tool written in the Javaprogramming language for testing and reporting on isolated changes in a larger code base in real time. The software enables developers to find and solve defects in a code base rapidly and to automate testing of their builds.

From continuous integration to continuous delivery

Also this month there is news of ThoughtWorks commissioning a Forrester survey (325 business and IT pros across the US, UK and Australia) to evaluate whether their current software delivery processes were sufficient to meet the relentless demand for innovation.

The March 2013 study, entitled (and the clue is in the name here guys) “Continuous Delivery: A Maturity Assessment Model,” suggested that software development teams and their providers can’t deliver new solutions at the rate business leaders want.

As is by some stroke of magical insight into a parallel universe, ThoughtWorks has also been able to use its (completely independently produced although it did pay the analyst firm to do the survey in the first place) results to also inform of the fact that few IT organisations regularly perform advanced continuous delivery practices

So is ‘continuous delivery and integration’ a developer no-brainer?

NOTE: According to TechTarget’s own definitions: continuous integration has evolved since its conception. Originally, a daily build was the standard. Now, the usual rule is for each team member to submit work on a daily (or more frequent) basis and for a build to be conducted with each significant change.

The aforementioned survey states that specifically, more than half (51%) of business leaders expect new software solutions to go from concept to delivery in less than six months.

“Companies recognise that they need to adopt continuous delivery in order to build valuable, high quality products and services rapidly and reliably, and that this capability provides a powerful competitive advantage,” states ThoughtWorks principal Jez Humble. “However the survey shows that most companies have some way to go to adopt the practices and culture required to succeed with continuous design and continuous delivery.”

To help companies measure their continuous delivery maturity and ultimately identify areas of improvement, the survey proposes an assessment model. For the businesses already practicing continuous delivery, the model will help identify gaps where further improvement can be made.