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What are the Best Software deployment practices? Advantages and best practices.

Software deployment can have different variations depending on the specifics of a particular development life cycle. Since nowadays one of the most frequently used methodologies is Agile, we decided to get you acquainted with the best Agile software deployment practices, meant to provide a performant, error-free product with good UX:

Deployment checklist usage.

A clearly set process makes any task, that seems complicated, much easier to do. Nothing can be better for making the process transparent than a checklist, that reminds developers about critical tasks.

Right deployment tools application.

Fast agile deployment is impossible without a set of tools, designed to automate the main stages of the software development life cycle. The best tools are those that work natively with the app infrastructure. Some of the most widely used deployment tools the team could start with are Bamboo, TeamCity, AWS CodeDeploy, Codeship, AppVeyor and others.

Continuous integration (CI) server usage.

The importance of the CI server or so-called “build server” is based on the ability to collect the source code from all developers, pull it in and test its pieces simultaneously in real time. This allows developers to make sure the parts of the code each of them creates will work smoothly together. The CI server usage should be accompanied by continuous testing, designed to catch any issues before they manage to cause a lot of damage.

Continuous delivery (CD) adoption.

CD is the process of thorough code preparations for deployment (including extensive testing) that has deployment-ready software as its main goal. Thus the higher-quality software can be produced in a short time. 

Deployment process automation.

The best way not to leave room for human error is to automate the deployment process. Not only is it speeded up and made easier, but the number of errors is tending to a minimum too. The simplest forms of the deployment automation include but are not limited to scripts, dictating specific actions in certain circumstances.

Confidence in the need of continuous deployment.

Continuous deployment means new software versions are presented to customers literally every time a change is made, passing through all the CI and CD tests. This means you need to have advanced testing automation and accept bugs in the final version. As we see, continuous deployment requires serious time and money investments to be able to speed up your release rate significantly. So make sure you really need this particular type of deployment before implementing it.

KPIs monitoring.

KPIs monitoring allows you to detect the source of the appearing issues, no matter whether they are related to server malfunction, logs, database or anything else. And the last, but not least thing – KPIs provide you with a complete understanding of the real stage your deployment process is currently on.

Rollback strategy existence.

Confident deployment always has to be backed up by a rollback strategy, providing for action in situations when something goes wrong. The tools supporting rollback allow you to keep a backup of the last known working version until you’re sure the new version works properly.

Findings:

Though deployment might seem the last stage of the software development life cycle, being the one preparing the final product version, it’s wrong. The end of the story lies behind one more development stage, which is maintenance. The reason is simple: it’s impossible to determine all the bugs and errors during testing, which is a part of the deployment process. So all the additional fixes, as well as features and software updates, are delivered at the maintenance stage. 



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