GitLab Review Apps with Drupal

1 Slot - 45 min

Automatic Drupal instances per Git branch under your control, on your own server.

When working with a (remote) team and/or for your sprint review, it is essential that your colleagues, product owners or stakeholders can easily try out your software, that is, not only see, but also make use of what you have implemented. Preferably, this should be possible for each branch in your repository.

GitLab’s CI/CD comes with a built-in feature that allows for enabling just that: Review Apps!

Basically, Review Apps are dynamic environments that are built when a new branch is pushed to GitLab and removed when the branch is deleted from GitLab.

In this session I will show you how we at Reinblau use Review Apps in our Drupal projects. Our basic setup/workflow is usually as follows:

  • There is one Drupal instance that is tied to the development branch and a corresponding static environment named ‘develop’.
  • When a new feature branch is created from the development branch and pushed to GitLab, a new Drupal instance is automatically created in a dynamic environment, using database and public/private files from the static develop environment.
  • Further commits to the feature branch are automatically deployed to the corresponding dynamic environment. Database and public/private files are not redeployed from the develop environment.
  • In situations where the redeployment of database and public/private files is desired, the dynamic environment can be stopped manually from within the GitLab Web UI. Upon the next commit, the dynamic environment is automatically rebuilt with a current copy of database and public/private files from the develop environment.
  • When the feature branch is merged into the development branch and removed from GitLab, the corresponding dynamic environment is also removed and the static develop environment is updated with the commits from the feature branch.

The session will give an overview of the components involved, show and explain configuration snippets of these components and also – fingers crossed – come with a live demonstration.