In the world of eCommerce, you might have heard about the success stories of Alibaba, Amazon, etc. These people wanted to do something out of the box and they did it.
But now the eCommerce Industry seems to be saturated in terms of growth. Hence, there is a deep requirement of software/procedures that can enhance the optimization of the already existing procedures.
And here comes the role of the latest trending DevOps method. Let’s first discuss what DevOps is?
Introduction to DevOps
DevOps is known as the process of optimizing the software development process with the help of modern automation tools and fresh methods. This results in enhancing the tried and tested formula just by ensuring business to become faster than their competitors with the help of a quick iteration process while keeping into consideration exceptional flexibility.
Challenges that eCommerce Industries face to meet the customer’s requirement
Customers usually prefer shopping online. They use their laptops, mobile phones, and tablets to book orders. But in all of these devices, customers want the best shopping experience. The same customer can either use a tablet, either a mobile phone or a laptop.
All such devices have different sizes, pixel resolutions, etc.
Moreover, customers wish to be able to check the items left in the stock and to compare different prices, and want to read reviews of other customers. Hence, this backend process is quite tricky to handle because of the high volume of the data.
Also, customers want to try clothes using augmented technology. This technology can easily give a preview of how clothes will look on the customer’s body. With the help of this technology, they can have features like mixing and matching, preview placement of furniture or other items, etc.
And here challenges for developers start coming into existence! As they have to create software with the least number of bugs. The expectation of customers cannot slow down. Hence, all the eCommerce businesses have only one option and that is to keep and keep adding new features to their online business.
Embracing DevOps culture has resulted in the revenue increment for big eCommerce giants like Alibaba, Amazon, etc. Hence, DevOps can transform small eCommerce businesses also.
Before we get to continuous deployment, let’s take a quick look at how a project is structured so that we can see where the continuous deployment methodology fits within the overall project. It breaks down the development cycle into a series of easily digestible phases and explains some of the activities that take happen in each phase. Not every phase is always required, but it provides us and our clients with a path to follow with each project, big or small.
Mixing in DevOps
From development through to launch we take a DevOps approach to automate and monitor as much of the development cycle as we can. DevOps provides us with a lot of fantastic tools that make our lives easier and ensures a quality result. When a developer working on a sprint pushes some code, our DevOps setup puts that code through a series of code quality tests and checks automatically.
If a test fails, the pipeline stops, and the developer is provided with useful information for correcting the issues. Breaking changes are likely found well before they ever make it to a critical point. Coding standards are checked to ensure that the code being produced is of high quality.
When all tests pass successfully, the full site code including the change is built and sent through to one or more staging environments that mimic the live site exactly. This is where further automated testing can happen as well as other quality assurance (QA) activities such as any manual testing and user/client acceptance reviews. When all of the boxes are checked, the new code is merged and the code can be taken live with the click of a button.
Bringing it together
All of the approaches shown above make up the concept of continuous deployment. You may have heard of similar terminology out there such as “continuous integration” and “continuous deployment”. These terms explain a very similar methodology but with some slight variances.
Continuous integration is a term that does most of what I’ve outlined in the DevOps section above. It’s basically a method of using DevOps tooling to continually automate the testing of code when a developer pushes a change.
Continuous delivery takes continuous integration a step further by adding automation to the delivery of code to staging or production servers. So after all tests are passed, the deployment process to a server can be triggered with the click of a button.
Continuous deployment is the same as continuous delivery except that the deployment process is fully automated and any manual process or testing is removed. Deployments to the live environment are triggered automatically when all automated testing has passed. This is great for documentation and internal software tools but doesn’t really work well for web development where often there are frontend elements that need to be manually tested or signed off on by QA and creative teams.
Right now, continuous delivery is the
creme of the crop in web development. It’s sophisticated and allows for a very
high degree of quality because of the level of automated testing achieved. It
finds potential flaws and supports the developers in writing good code. This
also serves as training in a way. It saves time which allows for Agile sprints
to progress more quickly with greater success. It allows the client to spend
their money more effectively and to react quickly to a changing market.
Frankly, it’s just a great way to get things done.
Continuous deployment is best for ongoing development
Another benefit to Agile and continuous deployments is that you are constantly making small improvements to your website and commerce architecture on an ongoing basis instead of pushing infrequent large changes. Small improvements are easier to test, easier for your regular site visitors to adapt to (if the change is visual or involves modifying the user interface), and easier to roll-back or apply hot-fixes should a breaking change somehow make it through.
Because improvements are made in smaller increments, continuous deployment is ideal for organizations that require a dynamic and flexible website with constant changes being made. A change could be anything from modifying layouts, adding new call to actions, changing product types, performing framework or platform updates, fixing bugs, enhancing security, adding features, building integrations and automation, increasing performance, refining the customer experience, etc. Continuous deployment gives organizations the means of plotting their development path in an adaptive and flexible way that has a rapid timeline to completion.
Hence, the DevOps approach of continuous innovation with the help of smart automation practices and cultural shift empowers companies to achieve these aims and make the most out of the volatile online business landscape.
Moreover, this is quite clear that DevOps can play a major role in the eCommerce industries because eCommerce industries are one of the fastest-growing industries that are required to keep their customers up to date.