Home > Articles > Process Improvement

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

What Is the Value of CI?

At a high level, the value of CI is to:

  • Reduce risks
  • Reduce repetitive manual processes
  • Generate deployable software at any time and at any place
  • Enable better project visibility
  • Establish greater confidence in the software product from the development team

Let's review what these principles mean and what value they offer.

Reduce Risks

By integrating many times a day, you can reduce risks on your project. Doing so facilitates the detection of defects, the measurement of software health, and a reduction of assumptions.

  • Defects are detected and fixed sooner—Because CI integrates and runs tests and inspections several times a day, there is a greater chance that defects are discovered when they are introduced (i.e., when the code is checked into the version control repository) instead of during late-cycle testing.
  • Health of software is measurable—By incorporating continuous testing and inspection into the automated integration process, the software product's health attributes, such as complexity, can be tracked over time.
  • Reduce assumptions—By rebuilding and testing software in a clean environment using the same process and scripts on a continual basis, you can reduce assumptions (e.g., whether you are accounting for third-party libraries or environment variables).

CI provides a safety net to reduce the risk that defects will be introduced into the code base. The following are some of the risks that CI helps to mitigate. We discuss these and other risks in the next chapter.

  • Lack of cohesive, deployable software
  • Late defect discovery
  • Low-quality software
  • Lack of project visibility

Reduce Repetitive Processes

Reducing repetitive processes saves time, costs, and effort. This sounds straightforward, doesn't it? These repetitive processes can occur across all project activities, including code compilation, database integration, testing, inspection, deployment, and feedback. By automating CI, you have a greater ability to ensure all of the following.

  • The process runs the same way every time.
  • An ordered process is followed. For example, you may run inspections (static analysis) before you run tests—in your build scripts.
  • The processes will run every time a commit occurs in the version control repository.

This facilitates

  • The reduction of labor on repetitive processes, freeing people to do more thought-provoking, higher-value work
  • The capability to overcome resistance (from other team members) to implement improvements by using automated mechanisms for important processes such as testing and database integration

Generate Deployable Software

CI can enable you to release deployable software at any point in time. From an outside perspective, this is the most obvious benefit of CI. We could talk endlessly about improved software quality and reduced risks, but deployable software is the most tangible asset to "outsiders" such as clients or users. The importance of this point cannot be overstated. With CI, you make small changes to the source code and integrate these changes with the rest of the code base on a regular basis. If there are any problems, the project members are informed and the fixes are applied to the software immediately. Projects that do not embrace this practice may wait until immediately prior to delivery to integrate and test the software. This can delay a release, delay or prevent fixing certain defects, cause new defects as you rush to complete, and can ultimately spell the end of the project.

Enable Better Project Visibility

CI provides the ability to notice trends and make effective decisions, and it helps provide the courage to innovate new improvements. Projects suffer when there is no real or recent data to support decisions, so everyone offers their best guesses. Typically, project members collect this information manually, making the effort burdensome and untimely. The result is that often the information is never gathered. CI has the following positive effects.

  • Effective decisions—A CI system can provide just-in-time information on the recent build status and quality metrics. Some CI systems can also show defect rates and feature completion statuses.
  • Noticing trends—Since integrations occur frequently with a CI system, the ability to notice trends in build success or failure, overall quality, and other pertinent project information becomes possible.

Establish Greater Product Confidence

Overall, effective application of CI practices can provide greater confidence in producing a software product. With every build, your team knows that tests are run against the software to verify behavior, that project coding and design standards are met, and that the result is a functionally testable product.

Without frequent integrations, some teams may feel stifled because they don't know the impacts of their code changes. Since a CI system can inform you when something goes wrong, developers and other team members have more confidence in making changes. Because CI encourages a single-source point from which all software assets are built, there is greater confidence in its accuracy.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020