Dave Farley co-authored “Continuous Delivery”, an excellent book in the Martin Fowler signature series, which goes into great detail about the evolution of Continuous Integration, and how to achieve continuous delivery (or continuous deployment) using “build pipelines”.
If you want to better understand the topic, here you can find some good tips.
In case anyone was wondering, I tend to experience a sort of “heirarchy of needs” in software development. When I meet teams, I usually find out where they are on this ladder and ask them to climb up to the next rung.
Form the paper:
With Continuous Delivery (CD), teams continuously deliver new versions of software to production by decreasing the cycle time between an idea and usable software through the automation of the entire delivery system: build, deployment, test, and release. CD is enabled through the Deployment Pipeline, which encompasses a collection of patterns described in this Refcard.
CD is concerned with “…how all the moving parts fit together: configuration management, automated testing, continuous integration and deployment, data management, environment
management, and release management”.