Continuous Delivery

Prior to the 2010, most software companies invested in software products with a fixed up-front budget similar to purchasing a car.

The desire was to “set it and forget it”, designing the entire product up front and hoping to only spend small, tactical amounts of money on improving and maintaining it after this initial release.

The expectations of today’s customers, and the speed at which competitors are updating and improving their products, makes this approach to investing in product development dangerous in most markets.

So the software industry has shifted to newer ways of designing, building, and making changes to software products.

These new ways offer a more effective use of the funds available for product development in the face of today’s business challenges.

What is Continuous Delivery?

Most software companies create separate “environments”, or “copies” of web applications that are isolated from their customers where they can make changes without disrupting them.

It’s common to have several of these environments dedicated to different groups of people within an organization who work together to deliver the product.

For example, developers may have their own copy of a product they can make changes to. Quality assurance or “test” personnel may have their own environment. And it’s common to have a “user acceptance testing” environment to inspect changes just prior to releasing them to the live or “production” environment.

Pushing changes to these various environments, and coordinating the staff that use them to approve and use those changes was a custom workflow unique to every software company prior to 2010.

Today a standard method has emerged that allows software teams to orchestrate the entire process of releasing changes across these environments.

This method is known as Continuous Delivery, the term having been coined by Jez Humble who wrote a book of the same name in 2010 after working with many different types of companies to deliver software products.

How Continuous Delivery Changes Product Development

Continuous Delivery coordinates the way staff work together, and uses deployment technologies to roll out changes to products across environments in a consistent, predictable way.

Ultimately it results in more frequent, higher-quality features being released to customers – which in turn improves the efficiency of funding any software product’s development.


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