New Location

My website has moved to Please visit there for the latest and only remain here for legacy content.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Automated Deployment with Cargo - the Drive-By Example

"Automate Deployments" - this is one of the tenets of Continuous Integration as espoused by Martin Fowler in his seminal definition of what Continuous Integration is. The automation of deployments, in my experience, has tended to be decoupled from the build process - and for good reason. The mere act of building a piece of software doesn't necessarily warrant deploying it to some environment (Continuous Deployment apologists will disagree with me on this one). However, it may be useful to automatically deploy software to a specific environment on each build... let's say to a "developer sandbox" type of environment.

If your target deployment environment is a Java EE container, then you should be using Cargo for this. Cargo can be called directly through Java or can be invoked through build script plugins - there are plugins for ant and maven (1 and 2).

The following example shows how I've setup a maven project that can deploy a .war artifact immediately after building. This isn't ground breaking stuff, but useful to implement in case you aren't doing it already.

Without further ado, here are relevant parts of the pom.xml file:
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
<!-- snip -->

<!-- snip -->

Basically, by including the cargo plugin in the section you can issue several goals in your `mvn` invocation to deploy or undeploy your .war to the specific container listed (you can have multiple containers listed here, i've used only one for simplicities sake). For instance:
mvn clean install cargo:redeploy
which results in:
[INFO] [cargo:redeploy {execution: default-cli}]
[INFO] [mcat6xRemoteDeployer] Redeploying [/Users/whaley/Repositories/Personal/sample_ci/webapp/target/sample-1.0-SNAPSHOT.war]
[INFO] [mcat6xRemoteDeployer] Undeploying [/Users/whaley/Repositories/Personal/sample_ci/webapp/target/sample-1.0-SNAPSHOT.war]
[INFO] [mcat6xRemoteDeployer] Deploying [/Users/whaley/Repositories/Personal/sample_ci/webapp/target/sample-1.0-SNAPSHOT.war]

When it comes to continuous integration, what I prefer to do is setup one build project that builds and tests the .war through `mvn clean install`. Upon completion, I then start another project that does `mvn clean install cargo:redeploy`.

The reason for this separation is that your notification lists for the initial build project should be different than the notification list for deployment project. Developers should be the primary recipient of any notifications from the initial build. After that, any operations member responsible for the target container or development lead probably only need to know about notifications regarding the automated deployment project.

The advantage of orchestrating this through your CI server is that the process is visible to all. If someone notices that the latest commit isn't reflected on the target container (or if the target container doesn't have the build at all), then a quick peek at the CI server can show what step of the process failed simply by looking at the build status and more detail in the build logs.

1 comment:

Srividhya said...

Nice example! Thanks. I am having a problem in that the war is getting deployed to the existing tomcat but without the name as ".war". Very Strange, but I have set the name, finalName for the build etc etc without any success. Any ideas?