πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Every GitLab Page deserves a real CI/CD

In this blog post I will explain how to structure a GitLab Page, but more powerful how to do a review application like with any other web application project. (I used free plan of GitLab.com)

Firstavall, what are GitLab Pages? You can have a look to the GitLab documentation here: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/project/pages/ but the simplest explanation is "With GitLab Pages, you can publish static websites directly from a repository in GitLab."

And GitLab Pages are a very good way to learn GitLab CI/CD πŸ˜ƒ

Create your first GitLab Page

It's very easy:

You should have a project like that:

.
└── website
   └── index.html
  • Add a .gitlab-ci.yml file to the project with this content:
image: node:12.0-slim

stages:
  - πŸ“publish

pages:
  stage: πŸ“publish
  script:
    - mkdir -p public/{js,css}
    - cp ./website/index.html public
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - public
  • πŸ–οΈ the pages job name is mandatory (it will trigger automatically the deployment of the pages)
  • πŸ–οΈ the artifact section is mandatory
  • and your script will just create the public directory and copy all files to the public directory
  • πŸ–οΈ the name public is mandatory
  • it's not mandatory to use image: node:12.0-slim, but the Docker image is smaller
  • emojis are not mandatory

πŸŽ‰ It's very simple, but let's doing more serious thinks πŸ˜‰

Add environment and publish only on the master branch (or whatever the name you gave to your main branch)

Update your .gitlab-ci.yml file like this:

image: node:12.0-slim

stages:
  - πŸ“publish

pages:
  stage: πŸ“publish
  script:
    - mkdir -p public/{js,css}
    - cp ./website/index.html public
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - public
  rules:
    - if: $CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == "master"
  environment:
    name: production/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}/${CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME}
    url: https://${CI_PROJECT_NAMESPACE}.gitlab.io/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}
  • Commit your source code on master, then the page will be deployed again. If you commit on a feature branch, the pipeline will not be triggered thanks to the rule if: $CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == "master"
  • Go to the Environment menu of your project and you'll see that the job has created a new line with a new environment, and there is even a button to reach your webpage.

gl-pages-01.png

But, we can do more πŸ™‚

Review application with GitLab Pages

One of my top five favorite GitLab features is Review Apps: "Review Apps is a collaboration tool that takes the hard work out of providing an environment to showcase product changes.".

So, it means that you can deploy a GitLab Page from a feature branch, without impacting your production page, in a new temporary environment 🀩

It's not documented on how to use this feature with the GitLab Pages. But the trick is easy. Let's me explain:

Change again your .gitlab-ci.yml file like this by adding 2 new jobs:

πŸ€”pages:preview:
  stage: πŸ“publish
  script:
    - mkdir -p public/{js,css}
    - cp ./website/index.html public
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - public
  rules:
    - if: $CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID
  environment:
    name: preview/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}/${CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME}
    url: https://${CI_PROJECT_NAMESPACE}.gitlab.io/-/gl-pages/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}/-/jobs/${CI_JOB_ID}/artifacts/public/index.html
    on_stop: 😒pages:preview:stop

😒pages:preview:stop:
  stage: πŸ“publish
  rules:
    - if: $CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID
      when: manual
  allow_failure: true
  environment:
    name: preview/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}/${CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME}
    action: stop
  script:
    - echo "πŸ‘‹ bye"
  • Commit your source code by creating a Merge Request, then the "preview" page will be deployed "from the new feature branch" thanks to the new rule if: $CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID
  • In the first job you can read: on_stop: 😒pages:preview:stop that means that the review environment will be dropped when you'll merge the MR and delete the feature branch by calling the second job.
  • You can note that the name of the environment is different: name: preview/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}/${CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME}
  • And the trick is about the way of building the url: url: https://${CI_PROJECT_NAMESPACE}.gitlab.io/-/gl-pages/${CI_PROJECT_NAME}/-/jobs/${CI_JOB_ID}/artifacts/public/index.html

Then now, you can discover a new environment that allows you to reach the review page with the new url:

gl-pages-02.png

And the very nice thing is that you can access to the review application from your Merge Request:

gl-pages-03.png

Now if you merge your updates (and delete the feature branch), the review environment will be deleted. (you can do it manually too), and your updates will be deployed to the "production" environment.

It's very simple. Now you have a real workflow and a real CI/CD process for your pages. Next time, I will explain how to run unit tests and linter, and provide feedbacks in the Merge Request, and again with the GitLab Pages.

Happy experiments πŸ‘‹

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Last Updated: 7/23/2020, 1:58:37 PM