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A "CI server," also known as a "Continuous Integration server," is a software tool that automates the process of continuous integration in software development. It's a critical component of a CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) pipeline.
The CI server monitors the source code repository for changes and triggers automated build and testing processes whenever new code is pushed. It helps ensure that code changes are integrated smoothly, and it quickly detects integration issues and regressions.
CI servers provide features such as:
- Automated Builds: Compiling the code and creating executable artifacts or packages.
- Automated Testing: Running unit tests, integration tests, and other types of tests to ensure code quality.
- Code Analysis: Checking for coding standards, best practices, and potential issues.
- Reporting: Generating reports and notifications about build and test results.
- Artifact Management: Storing and managing build artifacts and dependencies.
- Integration with Version Control: Connecting to source code repositories to monitor changes.
Popular CI server tools include Jenkins, Travis CI, CircleCI, GitLab CI/CD, and TeamCity. These tools help development teams streamline the integration and testing process, leading to faster feedback, higher code quality, and more efficient software delivery.