Continuous delivery and continuous deployment explained

Devops Continuous delivery and continuous deployment explained

DevOps is one of the uncompromising requirements in today’s business world. In a business landscape where changes happen on the fly, having a DevOps strategy helps enterprises to fast track the pace of software application development lifecycle and thereby ensures timely marketing of the applications. By bringing together the development and operations teams on the same page and fostering easy and fast-paced collaboration among the multiple teams, DevOps not only improves efficiency and productivity but also significantly eliminates the cost overheads associated with downtime and product anomalies.

In the world of software engineering and DevOps, continuous delivery and continuous deployment are some of the most often used terms. Even though both of these terms are identified with a common abbreviation ‘CD’, it is important to understand the difference between the two to ensure that it is properly implemented based on the requirements.

Now let us move on to see about continuous delivery and continuous deployment and the difference between the two.

Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery refers to the software development practice in which the code changes are prepared automatically for release into production. It emphasizes minimizing the resistance to delivery and focuses on shortening the overall software development life cycle. Continuous delivery enables organizations to build, test and deploy their software faster. It builds upon the process of continuous integration by deploying the code changes to the production environment.

Continuous delivery enables developers to automate the testing process beyond the preliminary unit tests. This helps developers to verify the updates that are made to the applications before the deployment. Continuous delivery enables teams to release incremental code changes faster.

Continuous Deployment

Continuous deployment is the software process that employees automated testing to validate whether the changes made to the codebase are correct and can be automatically deployed to the production environment where they are readied for release. In this approach, the entire process is automated from the code commitment to production. Here the code changes are pushed live once they are validated and pass all tests thus enabling the customers to receive the updates and improvements whenever they are made available.

It takes the software development process one step ahead as compared to continuous delivery. Automation tools enable developers to get around the need for manually monitoring the process and eliminating errors and bugs. Continuous deployment is often identified as the step that follows continuous delivery. This can be correlated with a courier or shipment service. If you are being delivered an item for which an order was placed, you are happy and done. You can start using it!.

This is known as deployment. But if you are wrongly delivered an item, you reach out to the concerned service provider for reclaiming the ordered product. Seeing this from a DevOps perspective, this is the situation in which the code fails the automated testing and would not be deployed to the clients but sent back to the developers.

In continuous deployment, the release process is completely automated. The better the automated tests, the smoother is the release. In continuous deployment, therefore the releases happen automatically if all the specified criteria for the release are adhered to in the testing process. Continuous delivery is a partly manual process, unlike continuous deployment which emphasizes automating the entire process and a failed verification step can only result in preventing pushing the changes to production.

Difference Between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment

1) Continuous delivery is deployed by organizations that want to stage or deliver features and release them on a frequent schedule. Continuous deployment is used by businesses that focus on releasing new features on an hourly or daily basis.

2) Continuous delivery is the practice in which code changes are prepared to be released to production whereas continuous deployment is the practice wherein the codes are released continuously into the production environment.

3) In continuous deployment releases happen automatically if all the criteria for release are met through testing. Continuous deployment thus represents the complete end-to-end pipeline.

4) Continuous delivery emphasizes the release and release strategy whereas continuous deployment focuses on the deployment. Continuous deployment focuses on the path of least resistance to get software deployed into the production environment.

5) Continuous deployment is an option that might be chosen based on the kind of products that have been delivered. Continuous delivery is an uncompromising requirement that an enterprise must-have.

6) As far as continuous delivery is concerned the deployment to the production stage is a manual process whereas in continuous deployment it is automated.

7) Continuous deployment is being able to deploy continually whereas continuous delivery is the state of readiness to release any versions at any time on any platform.


Continuous delivery and continuous deployment are some of the key engineering practices in the software development life cycle. In continuous delivery, the code changes are prepared automatically to be released into production. Continuous deployment is the practice wherein the codes are released continuously into the production environment. Continuous delivery is not a fully automated process, unlike continuous deployment. Both continuous delivery and continuous deployment require teams to continually learn and improve. It also demands open communication throughout the process and thereby ensuring faster feedback among the teams.

If you are looking to adopt a DevOps strategy for your enterprise, you can avail our DevOps consulting services. We help you implement your application development strategy using our proficiency in DevOps tools like Ansible, Chef, Docker, Jenkins, Puppet, Kubernetes, etc. We follow some of the best DevOps practices like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. We use automation solutions that enable us to ensure the timely delivery of your products.

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