Implementing git-flow Releasing Model in Continuous Integration Process

Published Mar 03, 2016Last updated Aug 26, 2017
Implementing git-flow Releasing Model in Continuous Integration Process

Introduction

Perhaps most developers are familiar with the git-flow model that makes the release process controlled. In this article, I will demonstrate one of approaches to introduce git-flow releasing into your project, and this git-flow can be integrated with the continuous integration tool of your choice. In this article, I will be using Atlassian Bamboo as an example.

Background

If you never heard about git-flow previously, I suggest you study the classic post (http://nvie.com/posts/a-successful-git-branching-model/) & how Atlassian interprets the same idea (https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/comparing-workflows/gitflow-workflow).

For those who already know git-flow, let me remind you of this well-known diagram:

diagram

Implementation - tools

Usually I introduce an approach with a set of file-helpers that migrate & evolve with each subsequent project. I support the idea that code infrastructure should be stored alongside the project code. Thus, I usually have a deployment folder where devops scenarios live (usually I use an Ansible tool, although I had experience with CHEF deployments too), and suppose that developers will provide me with build logic that outputs target artifact files under buiild/folder. As a result, typical devops magic structure looks like:

|-- build
|-- deployment
|   |-- release_finish.sh
|   |-- release_finish_bamboo.sh
|   |-- release_start.sh
|   `-- release_start_bamboo.sh
|-- bump-version-drynext.sh
|-- bump-version.sh
|-- package.sh
|-- unpackage.sh
`-- version.txt

Let's take a look at the files' contents & purposes.

version.txt

Simple text file, containing current project version. I like idea with git tags in git-flow, but really would prefer to have the possibility to control versioning on my own. Typical version example is x.y.z:

0.0.1

bump-version-drynext.sh

In most scenarios of continuous integration, subsequent releases changes only the minor version. Thanks to the handy bash script credited in source, we can get the value of the next minor version via

āžœ  releasing  ./bump-version-drynext.sh
0.0.2

The logic is simple enough - we read the current version from version.txt & apply shell magic to get next value.

#!/bin/bash

# credits: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8653126/how-to-increment-version-number-in-a-shell-script

increment_version ()
{
  declare -a part=( ${1//\./ } )
  declare    new
  declare -i carry=1

  for (( CNTR=${#part[@]}-1; CNTR>=0; CNTR-=1 )); do
    len=${#part[CNTR]}
    new=$((part[CNTR]+carry))
    [ ${#new} -gt $len ] && carry=1 || carry=0
    [ $CNTR -gt 0 ] && part[CNTR]=${new: -len} || part[CNTR]=${new}
  done
  new="${part[*]}"
  echo -e "${new// /.}"
}


VERSION=`cat version.txt`

increment_version $VERSION

bump-version.sh

This is a very important file. Usually I prefer an app version in my project files (like bower.json,package.json) to match the current project version. This is the place where patching could be implemented.

What the code does - it applies a version parameter to files, and writes a new one into version.txt

#!/bin/bash

set -e

CURRENT_DIR=`pwd`
VERSION=$1

echo $VERSION > version.txt

#Optionally - Update your app version in app files, like package.json, bower.json , etc
# Example for nodejs package.json:

#sed -i.bak "s/[[:space:]]*\"version\"[[:space:]]*:[[:space:]]*\".*\",/  \"version\":\"$VERSION\",/g" $CURRENT_DIR/package.json
#rm $CURRENT_DIR/package.json.bak || true

package.sh

This logic allows to create tgz-ipped artifact file either in the form project-name-version.tgz or in the form project-name-version-buildnumber.tgz; The latter case could be important if you need to store artifacts history for every build.

Your file can be adjusted by changing the PROJECT variable to match your project name. In addition, if you ever wanted to know more information about artifact, it packs version.txt file, which contains all information about the major_version, minor_version, git_hash, and built date. With this info, you can identify the commit that was used to produce the build.

In addition, such files can be easily read by build servers like bamboo or Jenkins & transformed into internal variables.

The resulting files will be placed in build/ and packed.

#!/bin/sh
if [ -z "$1" ]
then
  SUFFIX=""
else
  SUFFIX="-$1"
fi

PROJECT=project-name

rm -rf ./build || true
rm ${PROJECT}-*.tgz || true
mkdir -p ./build || true

VERSION=`cat version.txt`
GITCOMMIT=`git rev-parse --short HEAD`
DATE=`date +%Y-%m-%d:%H:%M:%S`

# do build here, that produces necessary files for artifact under build/ folder

echo "major_version=$VERSION" > build/version.txt
echo "minor_version=$1" >> build/version.txt
echo "git_hash=$GITCOMMIT" >> build/version.txt
echo "built=$DATE" >> build/version.txt

echo PRODUCING ARTIFACT $PROJECT-$VERSION$SUFFIX.tgz  in build/
tar cfz  $PROJECT-$VERSION$SUFFIX.tgz build

Unpackage.sh

This file is usually executed in the next step during your build process, where an artifact was previously packed by the build step, and now you need to do something with the content, for example initiate deployment. In 100% scenarios I would expect only one artifact file, but if there are several versions, I pick only the most recent one.

In a result, you will get unpacked artifact in build folder.

#!/bin/sh
PROJECT=project-name
rm -rf ./build || true
current_artefact=$(find ./${PROJECT}*.tgz -type f -exec stat -c "%n" {} + | sort -r | head -n1)
echo Working with artefact: $current_artefact
tar xvzf $current_artefact
echo artefact unpacked: $current_artefact

deployment/release_start.sh

This creates the release, and pushes the release branch to server so the continious integration tool can pick it up and build it.

I have to say that some portion of holy war is present here: when to bump a version.

I had two types of the customers: customer-BEGIN insists that version.txt contains the version he is going to release, thus once I start release process, I should immediate bump the version up in develop, as all new features there will belong to the next release.

From other hand, customer-END usually does not care about version.txt, and per his understanding, bumping the version is the final step in the release - i.e., after that push, everything that was commited previously was 0.0.1 ongoing development and now we have released 0.0.2.

I would prefer to bump version at the end. As you see both approaches are supported with litle commenting.

This batch implements release start by either providing new release version as a parameter, or getting the one from version.txt

#!/bin/sh

cd ${PWD}/../
VERSION=$1
if [ -z $1 ]
then
  VERSION=`cat version.txt`
fi

#Initialize gitflow
git flow init -f -d

# ensure you are on latest develop  & master
git checkout develop
git pull origin develop
git checkout -

git checkout master
git pull origin master
git checkout develop

git flow release start $VERSION

# bump released version to server
git push

git checkout develop

# COMMENT LINES BELOW IF YOU BUMP VERSION AT THE END
NEXTVERSION=`./bump-version-drynext.sh`
./bump-version.sh $NEXTVERSION
git commit -am "Bumps version to $NEXTVERSION"
git push origin develop

deployment/release_finish.sh

Fortunately, this step does not require any external parameters. The current release version is detected from the branch name (release/0.0.2) and rest of the steps are clear. Again here, if you follow the classic bump-the-version approach - you would need to uncomment ./bump-version.sh $RELEASETAG

#!/bin/sh

cd ${PWD}/../

# PREVENT INTERACTIVE MERGE MESSAGE PROMPT AT A FINAL STEP
GIT_MERGE_AUTOEDIT=no
export GIT_MERGE_AUTOEDIT

GITBRANCHFULL=`git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD`
GITBRANCH=`echo "$GITBRANCHFULL" | cut -d "/" -f 1`
RELEASETAG=`echo "$GITBRANCHFULL" | cut -d "/" -f 2`

echo $GITBRANCH
echo $RELEASETAG

if [ $GITBRANCH != "release" ] ; then
   echo "Release can be finished only on release branch!"
   return 1
fi

if [ -z $RELEASETAG ]
then
  echo We expect gitflow to be followed, make sure release branch called release/x.x.x
  exit 1
fi

#Initialize gitflow
git flow init -f -d

# ensure you are on latest develop  & master and return back
git checkout develop
git pull origin develop
git checkout -

git checkout master
git pull origin master
git checkout -

# UNCOMMENT THESE TWO LINES IF YOU BUMP VERSION AT THE END
#./bump-version.sh $RELEASETAG
#git commit -am "Bumps version to $RELEASETAG"

git flow release finish -m "release $RELEASETAG" $RELEASETAG

git push origin develop && git push origin master --tags

Linking to the Build Server

All popular build servers support branch detecting and building. For example, Atlassian Bamboo has this easily configurable via the UI, while, for example, in Jenkins you will need to play more.

Process on a build server could be implemented in a way that allows you to initiate a release from the develop branch using the optional build step:

And introduce the possiblility to finalize a release as an optional step on a release branch:

If you try to use recipes without adjustments, you will get into trouble. Almost any build server for speed and size advantages does not checkout complete repository history, thus steps will fail.

For bamboo, the following "hack" might be introduced: We are manually setting the new remote, with the command git remote add central "$GIT_REMOTE", and all subsequent operations implement with custom remote.

deployment/release_start_bamboo.sh

Please find below a slightly modified release_start for bamboo:

#!/bin/sh

cd ${PWD}/../

VERSION=$1
if [ -z $1 ]
then
  VERSION=`cat version.txt`
fi

# PREVENT INTERACTIVE MERGE MESSAGE PROMPT
GIT_MERGE_AUTOEDIT=no
export GIT_MERGE_AUTOEDIT
GIT_REMOTE=git@github.com:Voronenko/gitflow-release.git

# add remote due to bamboo git cache shit
git remote add central "$GIT_REMOTE"

#Initialize gitflow
git flow init -f -d

# ensure you are on latest develop  & master
git checkout develop
git pull central develop
git checkout -

git checkout master
git pull central master
git checkout develop

git flow release start $VERSION

# bump released version to server
git push central release/$VERSION

git checkout develop

# COMMENT LINES BELOW IF YOU BUMP VERSION AT THE END
NEXTVERSION=`./bump-version-drynext.sh`
./bump-version.sh $NEXTVERSION
git commit -am "Bumps version to $NEXTVERSION"
git push central develop

deployment/release_finish_bamboo.sh

#!/bin/sh

# IMPORTANT - THIS FILE IS INTENDED TO BE EXECUTED ONLY IN BAMBOO ENVIRONMENT

cd ${PWD}/../

# PREVENT INTERACTIVE MERGE MESSAGE PROMPT AT A FINAL STEP
GIT_MERGE_AUTOEDIT=no
export GIT_MERGE_AUTOEDIT

GITBRANCHFULL=`git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD`
GITBRANCH=`echo "$GITBRANCHFULL" | cut -d "/" -f 1`
RELEASETAG=`echo "$GITBRANCHFULL" | cut -d "/" -f 2`
GIT_REMOTE=git@github.com:Voronenko/gitflow-release.git

echo $GITBRANCH
echo $RELEASETAG

if [ $GITBRANCH != "release" ] ; then
   echo "Release can be finished only on release branch!"
   return 1
fi

if [ -z $RELEASETAG ]
then
  echo We expect gitflow to be followed, make sure release branch called release/x.x.x.x
  exit 1
fi

# add remote due to bamboo git cache shit
git remote add central "$GIT_REMOTE"

#Initialize gitflow
git flow init -f -d

# ensure you are on latest develop  & master and return back
git checkout develop
git pull central develop
git checkout -

git checkout master
git pull central master
git checkout -

# UNCOMMENT THESE TWO LINES IF YOU BUMP VERSION AT THE END
#./bump-version.sh $RELEASETAG
#git commit -am "Bumps version to $RELEASETAG"

git flow release finish -m "release $RELEASETAG" $RELEASETAG

git push central develop && git push central master --tags

Points of Interest

Potentially, you can reuse this approach in your own projects with minimal adaptation. If you've used that approach with a different build server, I would be grateful if you shared your experience. If you need to implement continious integration on your project - you are welcome.

Mentioned samples could be seen or forked from https://github.com/Voronenko/gitflow-release

Discover and read more posts from Vyacheslav
get started
Enjoy this post?

Leave a like and comment for Vyacheslav

1