Continuous integration (CI) is a software development practice in which developers regularly integrate their code changes into a shared repository, such as a version control system. The goal of CI is to detect and fix integration errors as early as possible in the development process, in order to reduce the cost and time required to fix them.
One of the key benefits of CI is that it allows developers to catch and fix integration errors early, before they become more difficult and expensive to fix. This is because when code changes are integrated frequently, the number of changes that need to be integrated at any given time is small, making it easier to identify and fix integration errors.
Another benefit of CI is that it allows for automated testing of code changes, which can help to ensure that the code is working as expected. This can include unit tests, integration tests, and acceptance tests, which can be run automatically every time code changes are integrated.
In order to implement CI, developers will need to set up a version control system and an automated build system. The version control system is used to track code changes, and the automated build system is used to build and test the code automatically every time changes are made.
There are a variety of tools available for implementing CI, such as Jenkins, Travis CI, CircleCI, and GitLab CI/CD. These tools can be used to automate the process of building, testing, and deploying code changes, and can be integrated with popular version control systems such as Git.
In conclusion, continuous integration is a software development practice that can help to detect and fix integration errors early, and automate the process of building and testing code changes. It can be implemented using a variety of tools and integrated with popular version control systems, and can help to improve the quality and reliability of your software.