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Our approach to Continuous Delivery (video demo)

Posted on: August 18, 2017
Author:
David

Equipped with a short video, Ricston are proud to demonstrate how our Continuous Delivery framework is helping customers to accelerate test and release cycles using Behaviour Driven Development, automated Integration Testing and Containerised Infrastructure.

 

As the advent of seamless connectivity approaches, organisations are faced with an ever increasing pace of change and ever more disruptive technology choices. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform is uniquely placed to build an application network, but it is how these integration capabilities are delivered from cradle-to-grave that is equally definitive.

Behaviour Driven Development

At Ricston, we combine our MuleSoft delivery expertise with a focus on enabling our customers to adopt a continuous improvement delivery strategy. We advocate that organisations model their business behaviours using Behaviour Driven Development, also known as the Specification by Example approach.  Cucumber provides a framework for making such executable specifications and the given-when-then notations facilitate greater understanding and collaboration between domain experts, testers and developers by identifying testable behaviours.

The Citrus Test Framework enables the creation of executable integration tests aligned to the behaviours identified, even before a single line of development code has been written.  The test suite will initially fail, but the team focus on writing the code to satisfy the tests. Once all the tests pass, the implementation has satisfied the required business behaviours!

The user-stories provide a clear expression of the business value, including who expects it and why.  Our specification of behaviours provide the acceptance criteria. These are further decomposed into product backlog items (development tasks), acceptance and progress is managed as part of the agile sprint lifecycle.  Developers design and implement the APIs using Anypoint Studio.

Containerisation

The ability to treat the deployment infrastructure as code is a significant enabler to increasing organisational agility.  The role of containerisation technology such as Docker provides a repeatable and automated way to provision platform dependencies and services. See how a single command provisions: a Mule runtime instance, the ELK stack and a MongoDB across five separate containers.  Developers and testers can create whole environments in minutes, on-demand as required!

ChatOps

Source code repository integration with a continuous integration service like Bitbucket Pipelines will automatically build any work committed by the developers,  It initiates the execution of automated tests, and assuming all tests pass, the deployment process for the built artifact.  This automated process will also notify a ChatOps tool, such as Slack of the various build, test and deployment statuses.  The build culminates in the application successfully deployed to a Mule runtime instance hosted on a container, its status visible in Anypoint Runtime Manager.

Monitoring

The final prerequisite to fulfilling a continuous delivery approach is the automated execution of the integration tests.  With the application built and deployed to a containerised environment all that remains is for Citrus to execute the end-to-end integration test suite.

Completing the development iteration, end-to-end visibility is provided by additional platform tools, such as ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana), which supports more Ops focused resources by exposing search functionality across the containerised infrastructure and application log-files.

A focus on greater collaboration between DevOps participants combined with aggressive automation defines our approach to continuous improvement.  Ricston helps build a continuous delivery framework that accelerates an organization’s ability to successfully deliver digital transformation using MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform. This short video demonstrates Ricston’s capability to deliver continuous improvement across your organisation.

By Kevin Jervis & David Leather

 

Architectural Maturity Assessment

Author:
David

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Ryan Delia
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