Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration (CI) is a eXtreme Programming (XP) practice where members of a delivery team frequently integrate their work (e.g. hourly, or at least once daily). Each integration is verified by an automated build, which also performs testing, to detect any integration errors quickly and automatically. The main goal of CI is to avoid what is commonly called integration hell.

The principle benefits of CI are significantly reduced integration problems and better team coordination leading to higher-quality software being released more rapidly than in traditional software development environments.

See also:
Breaking the Build
Integration Hell

Related links:
Continuous Integration (Martin Fowler)
Continuous Integration (Wikipedia)