Continuous integration workflow - emergency use cases
Let me first describe a simple CI workflow (we use git, Jenkins, maven, nexus): For a project, someone creates a branch from the master branch, makes the changes, verification and code review is done. Now someone puts a request for change.
The following is all automated. The changes are merged to master and queued for release. To deploy, for every item in the queue, the binary is built from master branch (using a tag or commit id), run test suite, and deploy with 1% traffic. Within 12 hours, we have automatic analysis of performance numbers and business numbers, at which point we give 100% traffic. Then pick up next item in the queue.
This separation of one change per 100% release is important because it becomes really difficult to debug something wrong if multiple changes are in one release.
This would work all fine, until something breaks.
- Say we push Feature1 to 1% traffic, find the numbers to be bad, and in the 12 hours it takes to figure that out, Feature2 has been merged to master. In that case, a git revert needs to be done on Feature1, if we want Feature2 to go and revert buggy Feature1 till we fix its bugs.
- In the above case, Feature1 is very important, and we also found what is wrong and know the fix. Then we need to revert Feature2 from master, merge Feature1 fix to master and reset the queue.
- If there is some emergency fix outside of the features, and production is at Feature0 at this point, with Feature1 on pilot. We want the emergency fix on Feature0 to go 100%. This time again we need to revert Feature1 from master.
Is there a workflow, using multiple branches instead of just master or adding some more automation, which avoids git reverts - especially in cases 2 and 3 where the developer who has finished his/her feature has done nothing wrong.
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