Handling Continuous Integration And Delivery With GitHub Actions


Before the invention of CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment & Delivery), software was generally developed by writing the code using a computer whenever it was time to move the software to production. The RedHat website defines CI/CD to be “a method to frequently deliver apps to customers by introducing automation into the stages of app development. The main concepts attributed to CI/CD are continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment.”

In other words, CI/CD is a process that replaces the traditional/manual ways of building and deploying software applications. The CI/CD process is automated and executed once a trigger is met. The trigger is mostly attached to a new git commit to ensure that the latest version of a repository’s code is built and deployed with minimal effort to the developer

Handling Continuous Integration & Delivery With GitHub Actions
To further understand how continuous integration and delivery work, we will focus on deploying a URL shortener application API server on Heroku using Github Actions. The application is a NodeJS server and supports:

Shortening a URL by making a POST request to /shorten with a request body containing the code to identify the URL and a url as the URL to redirect to. If no code is sent, it simply generates a random code and returns it as part of the response.
Visiting a shortened link by making a GET request to /:code; the code is the unique code identifier used when shortening the URL.
Monitoring analysis by making a GET request to /analysis/:code; the :code is the unique code identifier used when shortening the URL.
We don’t necessarily have to create a new application since we can deploy a private repository that our Github account has access to, but we can also deploy a public repository. The workflow will check out the code from the application repository, add Heroku git remote URL, and finally deploy the application to Heroku.

Github Actions is one of the services offered by Github Inc. According to the release note:

“GitHub Actions is an API for cause and effect on GitHub: orchestrate any workflow, based on any event, while GitHub manages the execution, provides rich feedback, and secures every step along the way. With GitHub Actions, workflows and steps are just code in a repository, so you can create, share, reuse, and fork your software development practices.”
Github Actions is one of the many options that could be used to implement continuous software deployment and delivery(CI/CD) by ensuring that a new version of a software is shipped to the production or testing area as soon as possible.


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