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How CI/CD helps airports innovate at pace

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By John Etheridge, Service Delivery Manager 

My friend recently treated me to a drive in his Tesla. Upon parking, he showed me some new features that had been downloaded overnight. One, his kids’ favourite, was the ability to customise lock sounds; new options included a goat screaming and a very loud air biscuit. The other, much more appealing to the driver, was a blind spot alert in the rearview camera view.

Now, comedy sounds and electric cars might feel far removed from the mission-critical business of airport operations, but this feature is a great example and tangible demonstration of the principle of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Developing and testing new features, then seamlessly rolling them out into production code to be accepted by the customer when it best suits, could potentially benefit airports even more than it does Tesla drivers and their children.

In the realm of DevOps, navigating the space between the development team’s code-building and the operational team’s deployment can sometimes feel like a tricky dance. Enter CI/CD – not your typical acronym-laden jargon, but a game-changer that brings these two worlds together.

Think of it like this: just as my friend tweaked his Tesla’s features for a fun ride, CI/CD lets developers release changes and new features with newfound frequency and confidence. Many of the world’s tech companies, and Veovo, have already embraced CI/CD at scale. Why? Because it’s a solid foundation for innovation at pace that provides them with a competitive edge and a way of always staying on top of security threats.

So, what exactly is CI/CD?

Continuous Integration:

In this exciting new software development world, continuous integration is the hero that allows developers to build and test code before officially committing it to the version control repository. Picture it as a safety net – changes are made, and the source code seamlessly integrates into a build. If the build passes muster, automated unit tests and system tests follow in a dedicated test environment. Developers can breathe easy knowing that feedback is rapid, problems are spotted as they arise, and changes don’t go live until they’ve been built and tested in a reliable, repeatable fashion.

Continuous Delivery:

Meet CI’s twin, continuous delivery. It picks up where continuous integration leaves off. While CI is all about the automatic build and test process, CD takes things a step further, deploying all code changes in a build to the customer’s User Acceptance Testing (UAT) environment.

For our customers, this means the ability to release directly to a test or production environment once the latest version clears all automated tests. And that only happens when they’re good and ready for the update.

Upgrade and innovate at pace

For us at Veovo, CI/CD is  second nature. It’s been a seamless extension of our robust DevOps collaboration heritage. This approach allows us to swiftly build, test, and deploy software. As more and more customers hop on board with the new-generation Veovo airport management platform, our CI/CD processes ensure immediate access to fresh releases, new features and security updates. And the best part? It comes with minimal resource overhead and zero impact on their operation. For example, we recently did a smooth overnight CI/CD update of a Tier 1 airport AODB in just a few hours. The ops director said it was like changing the engine on a F1 car while it was still moving.

So, back to cars again! Maybe software deployment isn’t yet as seamless as customising a Tesla’s lock sounds, but it’s not too far off!

If you are interested in learning more about our CI/CD approach and the benefits of an Airport Operations platform that can be seamlessly and regularly updated, please get in touch.

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