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Service Deployment

The API testbed environment uses a configuration mechanism stored in the GitHub repository. Whenever GitHub detects a commit in the repository, a deployment on the remote server of the changed service is triggered automatically. Such an approach is known as Continuous Deployment or "CD".

The API Testbed uses Ansible and GitHub Workflows to enable CD. Effectively, new or changed Docker Containers and their configuration are deployed on a remote server (VM/VPS) from within GitHub.

While a deployment task is running, you can follow its progress on GitHub.

It is possible to directly commit your changes to GitHub, but a better practice is to work from Pull Requests often called a PR. Some discussion and an approval process can happen around a Pull Request, before it is merged and deployed.

For your case, decide if you want to update an existing service or create a new service. All services in the platform are available as paths on a single domain. Each service contains an orchestration of one or more Docker Containers, which together provide the functionality of the service. Docker containers are based on of-the-shelf product images from DockerHub, combined with a service-specific configuration.

Update a service

Change the required files on an existing service folder. Either directly on GitHub, but preferably by cloning the repository locally and issuing a PR. Make the changes, commit, and push the changes.

Create a new service

Firstly determine if you can instead update a service, for example with a new Collection, somewhat similar to a Layer.

For a new service the best approach is to duplicate the entire folder of an existing service and change the required parameters within that folder. NB be sure to also preserve the executable properties of the .sh (Shell) files! Assumed is that the new service is using one of the existing components, thus services for GeoServer, pygeoapi, ldproxy etc.

Creating a new service is basically the following multi-step process:

Step 1 - Duplicate Folder

Duplicate the entire folder of an existing service and name it to the new service, say xyz. So it will reside in the folder git/services/xyz/.

Step 2 - Adapt Variables

In the best case only a single line in the file git/services/xyz/ needs to be adapted, i.e. the SERVICE_NAME variable. This will then automatically propagate the value for the subpath in the full service-URL plus other settings within the docker-compose.yml file. In the best case docker-compose.yml requires no changes.

Step 3 - Adapt Service Config and Data File(s)

This step is specific to the service-component. For example pygeoapi has a single local.config.yml file. In many cases the full service URL with the subpath needs to be adapted. Others, like GOAF, may need var-settings in the docker-compose.yml file. Usually you will add data files like GeoPackage-files on a /data/ subfolder.

Step 4 - Adapt Ansible Deploy File

Duplicate a service definition in the Ansible Playbook file deploy.yml. This file is under git/ansible/deploy.yml.

Use the service name for the service (folder) like:

    - name: "xyz"
      shell: "cd {{ services_home }}/xyz && ./ && docker ps"
      tags: xyz

Step 5 - Create a GitHub Action File

This is a Action/Workflow File always to be placed under .github/workflows GitHub should execute this file (for our repo) when two conditions are met:

1) a commit (direct or via a PR) to the main repository branch and 2) when the change is made to the new services/xyz folder (or a subfolder).

Also here: easiest is to copy any existing service deploy file like deploy.pygeoapi.yml and make a global change e.g. "pygeoapi" to "xyz".

The file should look like:

name: xyz Deploy ⚙️

# Trigger only when services/xyz subdir changed
      - 'services/xyz/**'

    runs-on: ubuntu-20.04

    - name: Checkout ✅
      uses: actions/checkout@v2

    - name: Run playbook ⚙
      uses: dawidd6/action-ansible-playbook@v2
        playbook: deploy.yml
        directory: ./ansible
        key: ${{secrets.ANSIBLE_SSH_PRIVATE_KEY}}
        inventory: ${{secrets.ANSIBLE_INVENTORY_PROD}}
        vault_password: ${{secrets.ANSIBLE_VAULT_PASSWORD}}
        options: |
          --tags xyz

Basically this file will execute the above Ansible Playbook deploy.yml for the tag xyz whenever a change is committed/pushed to the services/xyz/ folder.

Testing your service

You can either directly commit the service configuration in the sandbox and evaluate if it behaves properly. Alternatively you can clone the full repository locally and run the environment locally (installation of docker desktop is required) before committing. Always test your service in the sandbox environment before duplicating it to the production environment.

Navigate to the git/services/ folder in the project and run ./