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Much has been said lately of continuous delivery. It does sound appealing, but runs against the grain of convention wisdom in big corporations.

Assuming the following:

  • You have a number of remote systems connected via ESB
  • You have an established system with several years of coding changes applied to it
  • This is a website that allows financial transactions
  • There are multiple backend systems responsible for processing different types of transactions
  • Currently production releases assume a multi $10K investment in a manual regression test

Can Continuous Delivery be implemented in such an environment? (ie is the underlying assumption behind Continuous Delivery that you invest a large amount in automated regression testing that is coordinated across systems?)

(Surely automated unit tests can prove a system is not incorrect, but can't prove it is correct).

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Plenty of large enterprises are doing continuos delivery -- I'd think Amazon or Google would qualify.

I think the conventional wisdom it runs into in large places is a wetware issue. There is some group that "owns" delivery and they are not going to like losing seats when you eliminate their manual testing routine and the black magic of a "deployment."

On a technical level you are correct about tests and that applies to human tests as well. Probably the key thing to figure out is how to deal with rollbacks more than how to deliver the product.

  • Thanks @Wyatt. Re "how to deal with rollbacks" - are you referring to the idea that in order to run a test - you have to set up a certain state in the database (or the file system), run the test, and then roll the state change/the database state back? – hawkeye Jul 13 '13 at 23:19
  • More like how to roll back updates that have issues -- there is no perfect solution but having a game plan is key. Note a valid solution is to deploy an updated version ASAP. Specifics really depend on requirements here as it is highly tactical any way you want to carry it. – Wyatt Barnett Jul 14 '13 at 18:36

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