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One of the constraints that makes moving towards continuous deployment difficult for some teams is the downtime required with web app deployments.   Managed Chaos just posted an article on how to update web applications without destroying in-progress user sessions.   In this specific example he illustrates how to do this using a Tomcat cluster, but the fundamental principles apply to any tiered web application architecture.

Databases are, of course, a bit trickier since you’ve potentially got lots of dependency problems; luckily, the Exortech blog recently addressed this issue as well.

The more I’ve been thinking about continuous deployment the more I feel like it’s really going to be a game changer for companies that adopt it.  The barrier for entry is relatively low (and can be well understood before embarking on a project to adopt the process) and the reward of being able to reduce batch sizes on merges and (more importantly) give your product owners the ability to quickly get features in front of customers is key for any business.