Pipeline in DevOps - Overview, Tools, Implementation

DevOps, as the name suggests, is a common application design concept that combines development and operations. But, there are numerous DevOps terminology, and it's useful to look at one of them and investigate it in depth every now and again. We can better comprehend a concept like DevOps by breaking it down and concentrating on one aspect at a time. This allows us to get more out of the process.

In order to better understand DevOps, we're going to look at pipelines in DevOps. This post will explain what a pipeline is in DevOps. We'll also go over the DevOps pipeline's elements, stages, and phases, and even spend some time explaining how the Azure DevOps pipeline works.

What Exactly is a DevOps Pipeline?

A DevOps pipeline is a collection of automated procedures and technologies used by development and operations teams to compile, assemble, test, and release software code more quickly and easily. Yet, the term "pipeline" does not really describe the situation; it is more akin to an assembly line. An automobile, for instance, goes through continuous assembly on the factory assembly line. Workers first create a chassis, install the engine, doors, tyres, seats, and instrument panel, and complete it with exterior paint.

Here is how the DevOps pipeline operates after writing the code, tests are performed to look for flaws, typos, and redundancies. The concerns are subsequently addressed by DevOps teams with fixes and patches, which are then further tested before being released to the target end users.

Everything You Need to Know About (CI/CD)

These two tools represent the heart of the DevOps pipeline, accounting for two of the seven components. CI/CD collaborate to design a process that will help cut down on the time and money needed for an app development project.

The fundamental component of both conceptions is the word "continuous." The continuous integration feature allows the system to merge code changes into the central repository on a regular basis, simplifying the merging procedure and saving time. It also makes it easier for the team to identify errors.

The continuous delivery stage is in charge of the incremental release of software and upgrades into production. This phase increases the frequency with which new updates and additions are released and encourages customer participation by improving the feedback loop.

The Phases of a DevOps Pipeline: What is a DevOps Pipeline?

Now that we have covered the components of the DevOps pipeline, let's look at the pipeline's phases, or stages.

  • Develop  The developers write the software code and then put it into the source control repository, where it is then integrated.

  • Build  At the next stage, the application is constructed with the integrated source code from the previous phase's source code repository.

  • Test  During this step, testers run various tests (functional, system, and unit) on the build developed in the previous stage. If the tests turn up problems, the developer is contacted to fix them.

  • Deploy  The deployment of the final version takes place during this stage once the production environment has been set up and configured.

Components of a DevOps Pipeline

The DevOps pipeline is made up of seven components −

  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery These two components are frequently addressed combined, and are referred to as CI/CD or a CI/CD pipeline. Continuous integration means the system often integrates new code changes into the central repository, usually a few times per day. This method makes it simpler to find errors and combine various code updates.

    Software and updates are incrementally delivered to production as part of continuous delivery. By automating every aspect of software release, CD enables developers to deploy new features more frequently.

  • Continuous Testing (CT)  DevOps staff members utilize continuous testing to run automated tests on any code integrations gathered during the continuous integration (CI) phase. Before delivering the release to delivery, CI assures high-quality app development and assesses the release's risks.

  • Continuous Deployment  This component is frequently confused with continuous delivery, despite the fact that they are fundamentally different elements of the process. Continuous delivery is followed by continuous deployment. All modifications that pass through the automated testing process are automatically deployed into production. Continuous deployment enables for numerous production deployments on a single day in this manner.

  • Continuous Monitoring  Constant monitoring checks the stability of the environment and confirms that the applications are functioning as intended. The operations teams also keep an eye on the performance of the systems and applications they are monitoring.

  • Continuous Feedback  Continuous feedback is sometimes disregarded, which is unfortunate because DevOps teams require continual feedback to guarantee that the app performs what everyone (developers, stakeholders, and users) expects it to do. Continuous input helps everyone stay on the same page, which is something that is necessary.

  • Continuous Operations  This component accomplishes precisely what the name implies: it runs a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation with little to no planned downtime. The ultimate purpose of continuous operations is to ensure that end users are not disrupted by any hardware or software changes. It is a pricey initial investment, but it pays for itself in the long term by preventing costly production losses.

Installation of a DevOps Pipeline

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all plan for DevOps pipeline adoption. Instead, DevOps teams must consider aspects such as the size of their organization, available tool sets, money, and the business's expectations from the implementation.

However, while setting up a DevOps pipeline, DevOps teams should follow these three broad steps −

  • Clearly outline and establish your DevOps approach. Bring everyone from each department engaged together and work together to determine the goals. Integrate Agile principles into your project. Agile stresses iterative software delivery, and it is an excellent addition to DevOps.

  • Make everything seamless.

  • The DevOps methodology is based on continuity, making sure that deliverable dates and code quality are consistently upheld during each stage of the DevOps pipeline.

Building a DevOps Pipeline

Although each firm or organization's approach to DevOps is unique, with its own set of requirements, there are five globally recognized processes to creating a DevOps pipeline.

Build a CI/CD Tool

The initial step for any organization is to get the necessary tools for developing its CI/CD pipeline. Jenkins is an excellent solid choice because it is easily adjustable to meet an organization's condition, even though the decision will depend on the particular needs of the business. Additional options include GitLab, TeamCity, and Bamboo.

Source Your Control Environment

Development teams require a "sandbox" to store and share their code, develop distinct versions of the app, and avoid merging disputes. Git is an excellent control management technique that allows developers to keep their code in a shared repository. GitLab and BitBucket are two further options.

Build Server Setup

The build server, also known as a continuous integration server, is a dependable, stable, and centralized environment dedicated to constructing dispersed development projects. These servers serve as an integration point for developers, retrieving integrated code from source code repositories and providing a clean, uncompromised environment to verify the code functions properly. Jenkins is the obvious choice, although Travis-CI and TeamCity are also viable options.

Configure or Construct Testing Automation Tools

You need something like TestComplete to perform your tests because automated testing is essential to the DevOps process.

Launch in Production

The software developed by the team is pushed into production from here. The simplest approach to accomplish this is to configure the build server to run a script that manually or automatically deploys the application.

There are other pipeline options available, such as the Azure DevOps pipeline, a cloud service that provides a location to automatically generate and test code. The Azure DevOps build pipeline works effectively with services such as Bitbucket Cloud, Azure Repos Git & TFVC, GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, and Subversion.

This DevOps option also enables developers to deploy code to many targets and is compatible with the majority of application kinds and languages. In addition, if they want to modify the configuration parameters for their builds dynamically, developers can leverage Azure pipeline variables to alter their environment.

Deployment Pipeline Automation

DevOps teams should automate everything that can be automated. The time required to complete the deployment is greatly reduced via automation. DevOps teams must select the most appropriate deployment automation technology for the project. Here is a list of possible options. Some of the names may be recognizable to you −

  • Electric Flow

  • Jenkins

  • TeamCity

  • Amazon

  • Code Deploy

  • Deploy Bot

  • Visual Studio

Managing CI/CD Pipelines from the Viewpoint of Application Portfolio Management

Application Portfolio Management (APM) assists enterprises in increasing income through digital transformation. APM is especially helpful for businesses that struggle to sustain their current portfolio while integrating modern technologies and techniques.

When CI/CD and APM are combined, an organization gains the improved accuracy, speed, and agility of the former as well as the improved business value of the latter.

The steps of implementation are as follows −

  • Organize the procedure  Create a roadmap by compiling all the information on the state of the IT infrastructure and making notes on the applications that are available and what they do. By classifying the data into relevant and irrelevant data structures after gathering all of this information, redundancy can be removed.

  • Perform an assessment  Provide a thorough report that details how the organization's available applications are used and function. This procedure includes analyzing each application's features separately and planning for necessary adjustments, such updates.

  • Explain the transformation of IT  Develop, test, and compare a number of strategies that take into account feasibility, quality, and risk. then decide which one fits you the best.


To summarize, DevOps is a fundamental application development approach that connects development and operations teams, and its success is driven by pipelines. DevOps pipelines are a collection of automated procedures and tools that help development and operations teams create, test, and publish software code more quickly and more effectively. The seven elements that make up a DevOps pipeline are continuous operations, constant monitoring, continuous feedback, continuous testing, and continuous deployment. The four stages of the DevOps pipeline are develop, build, test, and deploy. Organizations may ensure efficient and high-quality software development by adhering to the universally recognized five DevOps pipeline-building methods. Ultimately, understanding DevOps pipelines is crucial for any organization that wishes to efficiently develop and deliver software applications efficiently to its users.

Updated on: 27-Apr-2023


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