How to Reduce App Deployment Time
Your app updates need to be ready to function properly every time. If not, errors occur that take users out of the experience. This means thinking small to limit problems at every stage of development. The reputation of your company counts on your ability to reduce deployment time without compromising on quality.
With so much competition being driven higher and higher by technological disrupters, there’s a demand for almost continuous app deployment. New features are always needed if you want to keep your application fresh and in-line with the latest practices. How do you produce continuous updates without interfering with the user experience? Most importantly, how do you reduce the overall development time to produce quality updates that function perfectly every time?
Why Continuous Deployment?
First, let’s establish why continuous deployments are so essential to the world of app development today. With consumer expectations for uptime rising exponentially, there is significantly less room for errors, bugs, and slow load times. Continuous deployment of small batches allows developers to focus on smaller sections of code at a time. These sections can be tested, deployed, and monitored carefully without worrying about large developments that take more effort and pose a larger risk.
Smaller iterations cause fewer problems. Additionally, the problems they do cause are easier to source and troubleshoot. Creating frequent updates helps both the company and the users create a steady momentum of the app innovating and improving. Finally, user feedback is one of the most valuable assets an app has today, and continuous updates leave room for greater feedback.
Testing is no longer something that’s done towards the end of your production pipeline. Because you’re working with smaller batches of code, testing is easier to conduct at a large scale. This testing can be streamlined with deployment tests to ensure new updates are ready for launch before they’re released to users.
Types of testing:
- Functionality testing: Ensure the system works as it was designed by introducing new components one by one in a production environment.
- Sequence testing: Check that all story paths function properly through tasks. This might mean testing the product purchase page or the sign-in process to ensure everything works properly.
- Integration testing: This can include unit testing, mutation testing, or developer-focused tests that look for problems when the app is connected to a database, system, or external component.
Another valuable way to reduce deployment time is through application monitoring. This involves utilizing a system for keeping track of new deployments and logging errors as they occur. While it’s impossible to prevent 100% of errors, you can anticipate them before they happen. Application monitoring software can alert you of potential errors, and track errors after they occur, thus helping you solve them faster.
As a developer, you can create your own system for monitoring, of you can take advantage of the many existing programs that will do it for you. This blog post is an introduction to Amazon ELB monitoring. By monitoring your own deployments, you’ll be in control of the success of your application.
Reducing deployment time is a challenge all developers are faced with today. Increased consumer demands and technological pressures create an equation for optimization and streamlined systems. Luckily, testing and monitoring will go a long way to keep deployment times down so you can deliver your best products to your customers.