7 CI/CD Challenges & their Must-Know Solutions
By Sanghita Ganguly, Community Contributor - July 19, 2022
Continuous Integration and delivery pipeline has become a popular approach to the software development sphere across the Information Technology sector. However, CI/CD is not new, but the ways it is implemented are evolving. This evolution is in line with DevOps, cloud-native architecture, and other latest technologies.
Although there have been many advancements in the CI/CD pipeline tools, developers are facing roadblocks in adopting these tools efficiently. These CICD challenges result from different software development requirements and their delivery, team collaboration, or risk compliance.
Here’s a curated list of CI/CD challenges and potential solutions to each problem. So, before getting to it, let us start with a few basics.
What Is CI/CD Pipeline?
Earlier, software release was broken into linear and sequential phases where each phase depended on the deliveries of the previous page. This was known as the Waterfall methodology. However, with the presence of Agile and Lean methods, CI/CD pipeline tools have become the foundation of DevOps.
Follow-Up Read: Difference between CI/CD, Agile and DevOps
These tools and the technologies need to manually integrate the different dependencies and check them for security and design loopholes. Moreover, the CI/CD pipeline automates the operation process, from testing to delivery.
The key steps involved in the CI/CD pipeline are:
- Continuous Integration: This is the first step of the CI/CD pipeline. CI is a practice where developers make a change, commit it and check their code regularly, which is automated with the help of open-source software.
- Continuous Delivery: The Continuous Delivery phase automates the release cycle by automating the testing, building, and staging code as soon as they pass through the CI phase.
- Continuous Deployment: With Continuous Deployment, your application is checked through several parameters and automatically rolled out. If any issue arises, the system returns to the previous deployment version.
- Continuous Testing: Continuous Testing automates the testing process. Moreover, overcoming many CI/CD challenges, it consists of integration, acceptance, functional, and code testing.
Common CI/CD Challenges and their Solutions
If CI/CD implementation is not done correctly, performance issues such as slow page loading, sluggish server responses, and memory optimization can affect your software speed, responsiveness, stability, and overall scalability.
- Many developers and product designers implement an automated testing system to check if there are any performance issues in the software.
- Perform load simulation and performance testing to compare build performance. You can avoid performance issues in the CI/CD pipeline with the help of reliable tools such as Selenium for better test coverage, faster debugging, and uncompromised user experience.
When you are working within a team, if something fails during the deployment, then you need to communicate with your team to resolve it quickly. Moreover, problems may arise if an automated build test finds an error and does not communicate it.
- Most CI/CD pipeline aspects depend on automation. Only some parts are not automated and rely on human communication and cooperation.
- Transparency and cooperation in your team smoothen the CI/CD pipeline workflow.
This challenge can be easily resolved by using BrowserStack Live for Teams, allowing teams to collaborate and communicate efficiently and effectively. Connect the tools you already use to track bugs, and file issues and notify the right team members without leaving your dashboard.
Version control is necessary because all your components and processes work on a stable version. However, if any process is updated unexpectedly, the entire CI/CD pipeline is broken because of compatibility issues. The biggest problem you can face is an automated system update which will force some processes to update to newer versions, ruining the whole CI/CD cycle.
- You can counter this problem by forcefully stopping all the auto-updates to ensure that no software is updated without your permission. Multiple times, the new version is unstable, and updating it is not intelligent.
- Ensure that the new version is stable. Only then should you update it.
Flawed Automated Testing
Flawed automated testing systems give nightmares to developers. Many checks are performed in the CI/CD pipeline to ensure high-quality builds and that the code is deployed quickly. But what if the pipeline has a flawed testing mechanism? This will lead to deploying faulty codes and disrupting the performance.
- The foremost thing that is expected from a developer is working sincerely while using tools and tests. So, ensure that you are using the right tools and implementing them correctly.
- Knowing model-based testing also helps. Moreover, don’t ignore potential red flags and ignore warnings only when they are genuinely not affecting your build performance.
Some security vulnerabilities in the CI/CD pipeline make it prone to cyberattacks. Any sensitive information in the pipeline can be stolen by the attacker, which can be disastrous.
- Many developers have started to lock in parts of the pipeline whenever an irregularity is detected.
- With an effective monitoring system, threats can be detected quickly, and you can defend the pipeline effectively.
- Limit the amount of sensitive information in the pipeline. Apart from this, you can also remove vulnerable code sections by using a code analysis tool.
Must-Read: 5 DevOps Tools Every Team Must Have
Scaling Up The Testing Infrastructure
Sometimes when you scale up your operations, problems in the testing system start to arise due to the increase in data volume, devices, and infrastructure growth.
- Choose a testing infrastructure that is flexible enough to handle updating versions, adding devices, and manage data capacity while maintaining stability.
This can be solved by using a Selenium testing infrastructure that handles all the CI pipeline testing.
Complex Debugging Reports
There are many instances when the reports generated are too complex to be comprehended by developers and this affects the product release velocity.
- Opt for a better presentation of reports.
- Data visualization with clear stats and reports can help you debug faster and better
- By capturing and visualizing the logs at various checkpoints in the CI/CD process, you can ensure that all dependencies are installed correctly and the build is completed.
Pro-Tip: BrowserStack’s Test Insights is an interactive dashboard that provides actionable insights to help organizations identify high-impact issues or bottlenecks so they can quickly release quality software.
All these challengesand processes can be eliminiated using App Automate by BrowserStack. Don’t forget to check out the latest software updates and start testing for accuracy.
- Integrate using Appium, Espresso, XCUITest, and EarlGrey.
- Access real device cloud for accurate testing results.
- Test your apps on internal development and staging environments or behind firewalls, with zero setups or configuration
- Use REST API to query your most recent builds or upload a new build.
- Debug your Apps instantly using text logs, video recordings, and screenshots of the test run.
Wrapping It Up
No matter which phase of CI/CD challenge you’re facing, comprehensive testing in the CI/CD pipeline that provides accurate results every time requires real browsers and devices. BrowserStack provides 3000+ real browsers and devices on a cloud Selenium grid with 99% uptime.
With BrowserStack, your product management team can:
- Allow QAs to start testing on real devices instantly.
- Accelerate QA efforts with parallel testing.
- Switch to uncompromising security with GDPR and SOC2 compliance, HTTPS implementation, Privacy Shield Certification, and the automatic deletion of all data after each test on any device.
BrowserStack is the only infrastructure that provides the latest devices, browsers, and OS versions and integrates with popular CI/CD tools, tailoring all tests for a streamlined flow.