An illustration of a software delivery pipeline.
December 19, 2019

How to Optimize Your Software Delivery Pipeline

Version Control

Your software delivery pipeline needs to be as efficient as possible. This is true whether it's a Continuous Delivery pipeline or not.

That’s because you need to release more, faster. At the same time, your product is getting more complex. There’s more code, files, and assets to manage than ever before. And you have different teams contributing across your software assembly line.

This can create some significant challenges. You can overcome these challenges by optimizing your software delivery pipeline.

What Is a Delivery Pipeline?

A delivery pipeline — or Continuous Delivery pipeline — is a set of processes that can be automated to compile, build, and deploy code to production as efficiently as possible. It's also known as a software delivery pipeline. Some are Continuous Delivery pipelines. 

This pipeline needs to be optimized from end-to-end. This allows for high velocity, without sacrificing control or the needs of the business. You can optimize your pipeline with the right version control.

Delivery Pipeline vs. Continuous Delivery Pipeline: What's the Difference?

A delivery pipeline refers to any pipeline for compiling, building, and deploying code.

A Continuous Delivery pipeline is one in which automated builds, tests, and deployments are orchestrated as part of one release workflow. It consists of Continuous Exploration (CE), Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Deployment (CD), and Release on Demand.

So, a Continuous Delivery pipeline is a form of delivery pipeline, important to the CI/CD process. Learn more about CI/CD pipelines >>

Why You Need to Optimize Your Delivery Pipeline

Optimizing your delivery pipeline is important — whether it’s a Continuous Delivery pipeline or not. And it’s absolutely critical for teams striving to ensure world-class development at enterprise scale.

You can optimize your pipeline by using the right version control. You’ll achieve:

  • Increased innovation.
  • Improved security and control.
  • Higher quality.
  • Faster time to market.
  • Lower costs.

How to Improve Your Software Delivery Pipeline

To improve your software delivery pipeline, you’ll need to move from manual to automated processes.

Here are 4 key areas you’ll need to consider to improve your pipeline.

1. Maximize Developer/Designer Efficiency

You need your developers and designers to be as efficient as possible. But when they have to go searching for files or get stuck waiting for feedback, they can’t be efficient.

To maximize efficiency, you’ll need to remove their bottlenecks and give them as much automation as possible.

One way to do this is by using a version control that’s integrated with their toolset (for instance, IDEs like Microsoft Visual Studio, editors like Unreal engine, design tools like PhotoShop). This gives them the flexibility to work in the way that’s most efficient for them.

Integrating version control with build runners — like Jenkins — helps your developers achieve faster builds. And it gives them faster feedback on their code, files, and assets — so they can move onto the next task sooner.

Developers and designers will no longer need to waste time switching between tools. Instead, they’ll be able to spend more time delivering value to your team.

2. Improve Workflows

You also need your workflows to be as smooth and efficient as possible. But that doesn’t work if your workflows are manual. You’ll have to write down what the steps are and memorize them. That leaves too much room for error.

Automation is key to making your workflows efficient and your pipeline optimized. That means you need to define a workflow and automate it. You also need a way to enforce it so developers can’t bypass an important stage.

For instance, you want to find defects earlier in the process. That’s when they’re most cost-effective to fix. Shift left testing is one way to address this.

If you have a Continuous Integration (CI) workflow, you can automate defect detection. Make it part of your CI build to test for defects before deploying to production.

Your workflows should also be customizable by team, product, and stage in the product lifecycle. An efficient workflow for one project might not be an efficient workflow for another.

[Related Blog: Trunk Based Development or Feature Driven Development]

 

3. Enable High Performance at Scale

It’s easy to go fast if you’re on a small team. But if you have large teams or large projects, you can’t be slowed down by size. Your process needs to incorporate scale.

Building an efficient pipeline for a large team on a large project requires careful design, infrastructure, and coordination. Your pipeline needs to be able to handle everything you throw at it.

That means you need a version control system that can handle:

  • 10s of 1,000s of users.
  • Unlimited numbers of files.
  • Petabytes of data.
  • Teams spread around the globe.
  • Massive monoliths.
  • Complicated projects.
  • Massive parallel development.
  • Large numbers of variants (space and time).

Once you’re able to handle all of the above, you can enable high performance at scale — and optimize your pipeline. 

4. Get Auditability / Traceability

You need to be able to manage your change history and tie what changed to why it changed. But, this can be difficult to do if you don’t have a single source of truth for your team.

Using the right version control can give you a single source of truth by tying changes in code to issues, stories, and tasks. It also secures access, ensuring that your developers access only the files they need. And the best version control will maintain a change history for you, giving you the auditability you need.

This keeps your delivery pipeline running smoothly, while giving you the documentation you need for compliance (including ISO 26262, PCI/DSS, and 21 CFR Part 11).

Use Helix Core to Optimize Your Software Delivery Pipeline

Helix Core is the best version control software to truly optimize your delivery pipeline.

Helix Core:

  1. Integrates your toolsets to maximize developer/designer efficiency.
  2. Automates and enforces your workflows.
  3. Helps you scale users/files, even across complex projects and massive monoliths.
  4. Creates a single source of truth across teams/assets, with traceability and auditability.

Get started with Helix Core for free for up to 5 users >>

Here’s what makes Helix Core different from other version control options — and therefore the best tool to optimize software delivery.

Unrivaled Scalable Architecture

Helix Core’s architecture can scale like no other. This helps you support globally distributed teams — and makes your developers as efficient as possible, no matter where they’re located.

Customizable, Automated Workflows

Helix Core’s branching feature — called Perforce Streams — makes it easy to define, customize, and automate workflows. And Helix Core’s code review feature — called Helix Swarm — allows you to automate reviews and submission flows. This helps you optimize and accelerate your delivery pipeline from end-to-end.

Compliance and Audit Capable

Helix Core provides full traceability on every change — including who, why, and what changed. Its ability to track and manage change supports compliance standards (including ISO 26262, PCI/DSS, and 21 CFR Part 11).

Enterprise-Grade Security

Helix Core provides the most securable version control. This includes multi-factor authentication, encryption, and granular access control.

Single Source of Truth

Helix Core brings your teams and components together. This means code and binary assets are stored in one central repository. All teams can access the files they need — including hardware and software assets — no matter where they’re located. You can even bring Git repos into the project (via Helix4Git).

This helps your team move faster and accelerates your delivery pipelines.

Get Started

See for yourself how Helix Core will help you optimize your software delivery pipeline. Get started today for free for up to 5 users.

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