Continuous delivery is a software development process in which developers commit code and merge it into the main branch with consistency to make the product software-ready at any given moment in time.
Now, you do a lot of planning and strategy before approaching any project. Likewise, a CD pipeline is one end-to-end strategy that defines how the software development should take place going through various stages.
Usually, the CD pipeline consists of these following stages.
Test Automation and CI
This is the stage where the new features and prototypes are prepared and the code is integrated with the base. This is the most effective feedback system that will notify the health status of the code. With the use of a CI tool and platform, the unit tests and packaging occur.
This is the stage where developers push artifacts (i.e., a Docker image) to the registry (i.e., Docker hub or Amazon ECR).
This is the stage where the developer checks his or her changes. It's a place for developers to play around and see the changes they've made and how they interact with each other. Also, developers can see if they broke anything in the main branch.
This is the place where testers do manual testing. Manual testing is required to see the perfection apart from CI tools. This gives more surety that the application is in good condition and will work properly when deployed.
This is the final stage in which the app goes live.
For your understanding, a simple example of a CD pipeline is shown here:
Why Is a CD Pipeline So Important?
A pipeline will give you a fair idea about the bottlenecks that have occurred or are likely going to occur so that you can remove them as and when required. CD pipelines give you confidence when it comes to avoiding these bottlenecks and smoothly delivering software with different features to your audience.