Big News! Split to be acquired by Harness. Read More

Automating Trunk-Based Development With CI/CD


Split - Automating-Trunk-Based-Development-With-CICD

The usage of a single, common codebase by all developers on a team is emphasized by the software development method known as trunk-based development (TBD). Instead of building feature branches, developers use this method to commit changes straight to the trunk, often known as the main branch. With frequent integrations and codebase validations, this strategy ensures that the code is constantly in a usable state.

Trunk-based development has grown in favor in recent years. This is due to its capacity to shorten development cycles, enhance teamwork, and lessen the likelihood of disputes like merge conflicts. Manual testing and validation can be laborious and prone to mistakes. As a result, Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) are becoming a popular way to achieve trunk-based development.

What’s CI/CD? It’s an automation technique that gives developers a consistent and efficient way to integrate code changes, carry out automated tests, and release software to production. With CI/CD, teams can decrease the time and effort needed to remove new features and updates. They can also improve the quality and dependability of the product by automating build, test, and deployment processes.

Advantages of CI/CD

There are many advantages to automating trunk based development with CI/CD.

First, developers can quickly find and fix problems with automated testing and validation, which reduces the impact on the development cycle and saves time. As a result, there is a lower chance of introducing defects into the codebase. Instead, teams can find faults and flaws earlier in the development process.

Second, automation speeds up teams by minimizing human tasks like creating, testing, and deploying features. Therefore, developers are freed from having to spend time on tedious and time-consuming chores. As a result, teams are empowered to concentrate on building new features and enhancing the user experience.

Finally, automation boosts software quality assurance. Teams can guarantee that the codebase is constantly working by implementing automated testing and validation, which lowers the chance of errors and flaws in production.

Trunk-based Development is a methodology that encourages teamwork, flexibility, and effectiveness in software development. Teams can build and deliver software more quickly, confidently, and effectively by utilizing the advantages of CI/CD and trunk based development. Speed up the development cycle, decrease errors, and improve the reliability of applications by automating them with CI/CD.

Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) in the Context of Trunk-Based Development

Software development teams may build, test, and release code fast and reliably thanks to the automation approaches of continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). With frequent integrations and validations, CI/CD is essential for guaranteeing that the codebase is constantly in working condition.

What Are the Differences Between CI and CD?

Constantly integrating updated code into a shared repository, where it is automatically produced and tested, is known as continuous integration. This minimizes the possibility of introducing bugs into software by ensuring that errors or conflicts are found early in the development cycle. Using CI, developers may find problems fast and fix them before they have a chance to affect the rest of their team.

Automating the deployment of code changes to production is known as continuous delivery. Through CD, teams can quickly and reliably release new features and upgrades with little risk and delay. This greatly decreases the time and effort needed to remove software while simultaneously improving the quality and dependability of the product by automating the deployment process.

Teams that practice trunk-based development through CI/CD receive faster feedback. They can detect problems early and save time and effort through constant validation. This frees up developers to concentrate on building new features and enhancing the user experience rather than troubleshooting problems.

What are the appropriate platforms and technologies to help implement CI/CD in trunk-based development? Jenkins, Travis CI, CircleCI, and GitLab CI/CD are some standard CI/CD tools. These solutions allow teams to accelerate the development cycle with capabilities like automated testing, build automation, and deployment automation.

After choosing the right tools and platforms, teams must establish the CI/CD pipeline phases for trunk-based development. Any pipeline should be separated into stages for creating, testing, and deployment. Plus, each stage should be designed to give the development team prompt and accurate input. Set up the appropriate pipeline to ensure that code updates are validated quickly and accurately.

Teams should use code to put the CI/CD pipeline into practice. By specifying the pipeline steps and configuration in code, version control, collaboration, and automation become simpler. As a result, they can grow and optimize their development process with the help of code-based pipelines, guaranteeing uniformity and dependability within the group.

Benefits of Automating Trunk Based Development with CI/CD

Software development teams gain several advantages by automating trunk-based development with Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). Teams can shorten the length of their development cycle and guarantee that the codebase is always functional by automating the build, test, and deployment procedures.

Some advantages of automating trunk-based development with CI/CD include the following:

Increased Collaboration

Trunk based development promotes a single, shared codebase, which fosters cooperation. Teams may collaborate more effectively and spend less time on manual tasks. By automating the testing and deployment process, this lowers the likelihood of mistakes and disagreements.

Faster Feedback

Teams may quickly identify problems and solve them with frequent integrations and validations. This makes moving forward with the development cycle simpler, because finding and repairing errors takes less time and effort.

Reduced Risks

Teams can lower the likelihood of bugs and errors in production by automating the testing and validation process to keep the codebase functional. This can improve the software’s quality and dependability while saving time and resources.

Better Quality

Automated testing produces more detailed and accurate results compared to manual testing. Teams may ensure that the codebase is validated and lower the chance of introducing bugs by automating the testing process.

Faster Deployment

By automating the deployment process with CD, teams can reduce the time and effort needed to release new features and upgrades. Doing this makes it possible to provide new features and upgrades with little risk and downtime.

Increased Efficiency

Automation frees developers to concentrate on developing new features and enhancing the user experience by saving time and effort. This leads to a quicker time to market, a more effective development cycle, and lower expenses.

Software development teams gain several advantages from these strategies. Faster development and deployment, confidence, and high-quality software are just a few benefits.

Setting Up a CI/CD Pipeline for Trunk-Based Development

Choosing the appropriate CI/CD tools and platforms is the first step in establishing a pipeline for CI/CD. As we’ve mentioned previously, GitLab CI/CD, Travis CI, CircleCI, and Jenkins are all great options. When making choices, consider aspects like cost, ease of usage, and compatibility with the technology stack you’re already using. Additionally, consider platforms that might provide more sophisticated automation features.

Setting Up the Pipeline Stages for Trunk-Based Development:

  • After choosing the platforms and tools, the pipeline stages need to be set up.
  • Building, testing, and deployment stages—crucial in trunk-based development—should be included in the pipeline.
  • The development team should receive prompt and accurate feedback from the pipeline phases.
  • Automated testing ought to be incorporated into the pipeline because it offers a more thorough and precise validation of the codebase.

Using Code To Implement the Pipeline

  • Using code is necessary to implement the pipeline.
  • Code-based pipelines provide more straightforward scaling and optimization and a more dependable and consistent implementation.
  • By specifying the pipeline steps and configuration in code, version control, collaboration, and automation are simpler.

The pipeline steps must first be specified in a configuration file to be implemented using code. A configuration language like YAML or JSON can be used for this. The pipeline steps, the tools and platforms utilized, dependencies, and environment variables should all be specified in the configuration file.

The configuration file can be saved in a version control system like Git once it has been defined. This makes it simpler to collaborate and manage versions, roll back, and recover from problems.

Finally, the pipeline can be used using a program like Jenkins or GitLab CI/CD. The tool will automatically execute the pipeline phases after reading the configuration file and provide feedback and validation to the development team at each stage.

Code-based pipelines provide more straightforward scaling, optimization, as well as dependable and consistent implementation. Choosing the appropriate tools and platforms, defining the pipeline stages, and putting the pipeline into practice using code are all necessary steps in setting up a CI/CD Pipeline for trunk-based development. By following these methods, teams can shorten their development cycle and guarantee that the codebase is always usable.

Automating Trunk-Based Development With CI/CD

More than selecting the appropriate tools and platforms are required to automate trunk-based development with continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). Teams should adhere to best practices that ensure efficient and successful implementation to maximize the advantages of CI/CD.

Some best practices for automating trunk-based development with CI/CD include the ones listed below:

Trunk-Based Development Testing Methods and Techniques

Trunk-based development relies heavily on automated testing. However, it’s critical to employ the proper testing methodologies. Trunk-Based Development can use unit, integration, and end-to-end tests. To ensure that the codebase is fully validated, it’s crucial to strike a balance between testing speed and depth.

Processes for Code Review and Collaboration

By regularly examining the code, teams can ensure that the codebase is efficient, maintainable, and consistent. Code reviews also present a chance for learning and knowledge exchange, which can enhance the entire development process.

Ensuring the codebase’s security and quality trunk-based development can be automated with CI/CD to assist in maintaining the codebase’s quality and security. Teams should use automated testing and validation since they can find faults and problems early in the development cycle. Also, it’s critical to ensure that security testing, which can identify vulnerabilities and reduce security risks, is included in the pipeline.

Coding changes must often be merged with the main branch in a project using the trunk-based development methodology. This lowers the possibility of conflicts and merging problems and guarantees that the codebase is always functional. To ensure that the codebase is consistently updated and validated, teams should attempt to merge code changes at least once daily.

Version Control and Release Management Through Automation

Trunk-based development can be complex when managing version control and releases. Teams can handle version control and releases more effectively by employing automation. Automatic release management, tagging, and versioning can save time and labor while lowering the possibility of mistakes and inconsistencies.

Trunk-based development may lead to numerous code changes and integrations, which may put a load on the CI/CD pipeline. Scalability and optimization of the CI/CD pipeline. Teams should ensure the pipeline is flexible and tailored to the project’s size and complexity. This includes providing parallel testing and deployment, employing distributed build systems, and caching dependencies.

Challenges and Considerations for Trunk-Based Development with CI/CD

Although automating trunk-based development with CICD offers software development teams many advantages, some difficulties and factors must be considered. These difficulties include managing releases and version control, handling merge problems and conflicts, and scaling/improving the CI/CD pipeline for big, complicated projects.

Trunk-based development involves numerous developers working on the same codebase, which can lead to disagreements and merge concerns. Teams should have established procedures for handling disputes, such as using pull requests and giving real-time feedback on changes. Also, it’s critical to have plans to deal with significant code alterations and guarantee that the codebase is consistently usable.

Trunk-based development makes it more difficult to maintain version control and release processes. That’s why teams should use automation. They can lean on release branches with automatic versioning, tagging, and release management to ensure that production releases are stable and dependable.

Scaling and Improving the CI/CD Pipeline

As projects get more extensive and complicated, it gets harder to scale and improve the CI/CD pipeline. Teams should ensure the pipeline is flexible and tailored to the project’s size and complexity. This includes providing parallel testing and deployment, employing distributed build systems, and caching dependencies.

Handling Dependencies

Trunk-based Development relies on careful dependency management to keep the codebase operational. This includes, using package managers and other dependency management tools, as well as routinely checking and upgrading dependencies to make sure they are compatible with the codebase.

Security and Compliance Considerations

Trunk-based development with CI/CD can increase the risk of security and compliance concerns. Teams should ensure compliance standards, such as data privacy laws, are satisfied and security testing is included in the pipeline.

Trunk-based development can lead to problems with code quality and maintainability, including technical debt and code complexity. Teams should use automated testing and code review procedures to ensure the codebase is efficient, maintainable, and consistent.

The Future of Trunk-Based Development With CI/CD

With several trends and developments that will influence how software is developed, the future of trunk-based development with CI/CD is bright. What can we expect?

More Automation

Trunk-based development with CI/CD will become more and more common, necessitating a higher demand for automation in the development process. This will improve the software’s quality and dependability while lowering the likelihood of errors and flaws. Thanks to automation, teams will be able to develop, test, and deliver code more rapidly and effectively.

Better Collaboration

Teams will need to find ways to collaborate more successfully as software development grows more dispersed and global. This might involve streamlined code review, collaboration procedures, and tools allowing real-time feedback and communication.

AI & Machine Learning

As these fields continue to grow, they will become more and more crucial to the creation of software. This may involve using AI to code analysis, give developers feedback, or apply machine learning to enhance testing and validation procedures. Thanks to AI and machine learning, teams can automate more complex tasks like locating and resolving conflicts in sizable codebases.

DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

The DevOps movement and SRE will continue to influence software development in the future. SRE will ensure that software is dependable and performant in production environments while DevOps approaches, such as automated testing and deployment, will become widely used.

Containerization and Microservices

As software development becomes more dispersed and modular, containerization and microservices will gain popularity. Microservices allow teams to construct more complicated apps by dissecting larger ones into smaller, more manageable components. Containerization on the other hand will enable teams to bundle and deploy code more effectively.

Cloud Computing

In Trunk-Based Development with CI/CD, cloud computing will continue to be essential. Teams will have access to the infrastructure and resources they need to build and deploy software fast and effectively thanks to cloud services like AWS and Azure. Also, cloud computing will make it easier for teams to grow their infrastructure, which will be crucial for managing big, complex projects.

Get Split Certified

Split Arcade includes product explainer videos, clickable product tutorials, manipulatable code examples, and interactive challenges.

Switch It On With Split

Split gives product development teams the confidence to release features that matter faster. It’s the only feature management and experimentation platform that automatically attributes data-driven insight to every feature that’s released—all while enabling astoundingly easy deployment, profound risk reduction, and better visibility across teams. Split offers more than a platform: It offers partnership. By sticking with customers every step of the way, Split illuminates the path toward continuous improvement and timely innovation. Switch on a free account today, schedule a demo to learn more, or contact us for further questions and support.

Want to Dive Deeper?

We have a lot to explore that can help you understand feature flags. Learn more about benefits, use cases, and real world applications that you can try.

Create Impact With Everything You Build

We’re excited to accompany you on your journey as you build faster, release safer, and launch impactful products.