June 01, 2019 · 5 min read
Automation is one of the most important aspects in web development. Cause everyone wants to deliver scalable and reliable web application to their users without thinking about building, testing, and deploying their apps.
This is called the Continuous Integeration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). Basically, you want all parts of making and publishing your app go to one place. Because, it's saves you a lot of time as a developer focus on building apps instead of publishing it.
I have published this code on my GitHub. You can check it out right here, or clone it with the command below.
$ git clone https://github.com/rahmanfadhil/learn-cloud-build.git
In order to automate things, you need to use a web/cloud services. It's basically a services to run things on the cloud.
I this tutorial, we're going to use Google Cloud Platform, which is an amazing cloud services offered by Google. Although, there are several alternatives out there which you can use to automate your app. But I found GCP is more simple to use and the interface is very friendly.
Here are some alternatives you may consider:
Cloud Build is a Continuous Integration tool to automate build, test, and deployment using pipelines. On the other hand, App Engine is a serverless platform to run and manage our apps on the cloud. In other words, Cloud Build will build our app and App Engine will run it.
If you have worked with Continuous Integration before, you know the drill. We publish our code to GitHub, or other providers like Bitbucket or Cloud Source Repositories. Then, Cloud Build will be triggered to build and test our app. If the build and test process successful, our code will be deployed to App Engine. Then, the App Engine will handle the rest.
First, we need to add the App Engine configuration file inside our source code. By default, App Engine will looking for
app.yaml file inside the root folder. If you're using NodeJS, the most basic configuration will look something like this:
If you use a specific environment variables inside your app, you can add
env_variables options followed with your variables.
# ... env_variables: DATABASE_URL: YOUR_DATABASE_URL
If want to deploy multiple App Engine services, you can define your
service name (by default is
# ... service: my_service
Our next step is to define our Cloud Build Configuration by adding
steps: - name: "gcr.io/cloud-builders/npm" args: ["install"] - name: "gcr.io/cloud-builders/npm" args: ["run", "test"] - name: "gcr.io/cloud-builders/npm" args: ["run", "build"] - name: "gcr.io/cloud-builders/gcloud" args: ["app", "deploy"]
Google Cloud Build uses somthing called the cloud builders. Which is essentially just a docker image to run our steps that we defined inside our configuration.
Here, we're using the npm builder image to install our dependencies. Then, we run our tests and build from our source code with the same image. Finally, we're using the gcloud builder image to deploy our successfully built code to App Engine.
You have your code and its configurations up and running, now it's time to submit it to Cloud Build by simply running this command below.
gcloud builds submit --config cloudbuild.yaml .
Then, check out your Cloud Build console and you will see your build log. It's very useful for debugging, especially on the first build.
When you build you app for the first time, you should see a weird error at the last step that tells you about permissions denied. It's because Cloud Build uses a service account to deploy your code, and the default permissions for this account don't allow certain actions, such as deploying to App Engine.
To grant App Engine Access to the Cloud Build service account:
To find out more, please check out this official documentation
It's pretty common to get an error in this point. If you do, make sure to check out the build log and it should tell you what went wrong.
In order to run build automatically when pushing your code to your git provider. You need to create a build trigger that instructs the Cloud Build to automatically build your image whenever there are changes pushed to the build source.
First, go to your GCP console. Then, find the Cloud Build section and click the "Triggers" menu.
Click the "Create Trigger" button, then choose the git provider you use. In this case I will go with GitHub.
After selecting the source, you need to authenticate Google Cloud Platform with your GitHub account. Then, select the git repository.
Finally, you need to setup the trigger settings. You can setup the name of your trigger or which branch you want to use. Make sure that your Cloud Build configuration file location is pointing to your
/cloudbuild.yaml file (by default is
Now, everything is set! you can trigger build clicking the "Run Trigger" button inside your triggers list.
Receive quality articles via email every week.