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From CI Pipelines to Assembly Lines – The Next Wave in DevOps


DevOps Assembly Lines

Continuous Integration (CI) has evolved significantly over the last few years. It started as a simple process of automating build and unit tests for each code change and has now evolved into a pretty complex workflow. As CI became mainstream, the developers wanted to define more complex workflows with decision trees and parallelism. CI pipelines support various complexities, such as defining the CI workflow in stages, so that you can get results faster without having to wait for the entire workflow to finish, running stages in parallel, so that you are able to split tests or test your code against different environments or language versions, and get faster feedback.

The Shift of Focus From CI Pipelines to DevOps Assembly Lines

The ultimate goal of DevOps is to improve collaboration between all stakeholders from planning through delivery and automation of the delivery process. It helps you to improve deployment frequency, achieve faster time to market, maintain lower failure rate of new releases, shorten lead time between fixes and improve mean time to recovery.

DevOps has created an awareness which makes you feel the need to automate and create more efficiency in terms of software delivery. The DevOps movement has created a mindset that encourages better collaboration and automation. As a result, different teams like development, testing and operations teams have started automating their activities. The ultimate goal of DevOps is continuous deployment. Every change moves from source control to production in a fully automated manner and has no human intervention.

There are a number of tools that are being used to automate DevOps activities. The toolchain is generally fragmented and to bring them all together to achieve continuous delivery is one of the biggest challenges that DevOps teams face. This is where DevOps Assembly lines play a pivotal role.

It’s time to take your DevOps game to the next level. DevOps assembly lines enable you to automate and connect activities performed by several groups part of software development phases like continuous integration for the developer, infrastructure and configuration management for an operator, automation script for the testing team, security-related for SecOps and last and enabling CI. 

Assembly lines ensure that the gap between manual and automated tasks is eliminated. When developing a software application, a number of teams work to get the delivery on time. This may involve QAs, developers, operations team, SecOps, release management teams, etc. Bringing together these teams to streamline the delivery is what DevOps Assembly lines help with. 

Benefits of Assembly Lines

  • Accurate Continuous Deployment with interoperability
  • Powerful nested visibility
  • Rapid onboarding and scale with “as-code” philosophy
  • Native integrations
  • Team-based business intelligence and analytics.

Attaching More Importance to DevOps Assembly Lines

CI consists of three phases: build, test, and push. This approach is extremely developer-focused and requires manual integrations many times in a day. While most organizations use tools for automating these tasks, the DevOps tool chain is extremely fragmented and putting it together to achieve continuous delivery starts to get complicated.

This is where DevOps assembly lines come to play. DevOps assembly lines are focused on bridging the gap between both automated and manual tasks, streamlining application production while eliminating redundancies. They automate and connect activities performed by different teams, such as CI for devs, security patching for SecOps, infrastructure provisioning and configuration management for ops, etc.

Assembly lines are one of the major DevOps trends to watch out for in 2020. They will focus on keeping together the various DevOps activities into distinct, event-driven workflows and also, possess the capability to easily share information across both activities and teams.

Shaping the Future of DevOps

The focus has definitely shifted from Continuous Integration (CI) Pipelines to DevOps Assembly Lines. In 2020, there will be a transition from simple CI pipelines to modular DevOps lines. Assembly lines assist you to organize and integrate various activities in consistent, scalable workflow. This is achieved by leveraging CI/CD platforms (like Jenkins or Azure DevOps), implementing generic and reusable frameworks for pipelines and integrating various tools that help in the process. CI Pipelines help organizations to visualize the development process of their application from the beginning until the production. But now, enterprises are looking for techniques to automate their complete software development cycle thereby, speeding up the delivery process. The future trends will focus more on Continuous delivery (CD) rather than Continuous integration (CI) and you are sure to witness a significant shift towards adoption of DevOps assembly lines.


Nairita Goswami, Marcom Specialist, RapidValue

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