Continuous delivery

Continuous delivery automates the application release process so that deployments are predictable and repeatable.

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Continuous delivery

Continuous delivery (CD) is a software development practice that works in conjunction with continuous integration to automate the application release process. Once continuous integration builds and tests code in a shared repository, continuous delivery takes over during the final stages to ensure software releases are low-risk, consistent, and repeatable. With continuous delivery, software is built so that it can be deployed to production at any time.

Continuous delivery is often used interchangeably with continuous deployment, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Continuous deployment means that all CI-validated code deploys to production automatically, whereas continuous delivery means that this code can be deployed. The flexibility for code to be deployed at any time is what differentiates delivery from deployment, and practicing continuous deployment is possible when continuous delivery is already in place.

Continuous integration is the practice of integrating code into a shared repository and building/testing each change automatically, as early as possible; usually several times a day.

Continuous delivery ensures CI-validated code can be released to production at any time.


What are the benefits of continuous delivery?

Releases are low-risk

The ultimate goal for software deployments are to make them as boring as possible. A low-risk event, by its very nature, will be painless and boring. That sounds like a perfect deployment to us.

Deploy more frequently

If deployments are boring and low-risk, teams will do them more often.

Remove deployment bottlenecks

No more barriers – continuous delivery keeps the pipeline going all the way to end users.

Roll out and rollback on demand

Deploy with confidence


Continuous delivery resources

Use these resources to learn more about continuous delivery. We would love to get your recommendations on books, blogs, videos, podcasts and other resources that tell a great CD story or offer valuable insight on the definition or implementation of the practice.

Please share your favorites with us by tweeting us @gitlab!


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