CI/CD Pipeline Configuration with YAML

Edwin Siby
4 min readJun 22, 2023

Let’s dive into CI/CD pipeline configuration using YAML. YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) is a popular choice for configuring CI/CD pipelines due to its simplicity and readability. Here are the key aspects you should understand:

1.Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD):

  • CI is the practice of frequently merging code changes into a shared repository and automatically building and testing the application.
  • CD extends CI by automating the deployment process, ensuring that tested and validated code is delivered to production environments.

2. CI/CD Pipeline:

  • A CI/CD pipeline is a set of automated steps that transform code changes into a deployed application.
  • It typically includes stages like building, testing, and deploying the application, often triggered by changes in the code repository.

3. YAML Configuration:

  • YAML is a human-readable data serialization format that uses indentation and key-value pairs.
  • CI/CD tools provide YAML-based configuration files to define pipeline workflows and tasks.
  • The YAML file outlines the steps, dependencies, and conditions for executing various stages of the pipeline.

4. Sample Pipeline Configuration:

  • Define stages: Start by outlining the different stages of your pipeline, such as build, test, and deploy.
  • Specify tasks: Within each stage, define the tasks or commands to be executed. For example, running tests, building artifacts, or deploying to a server.
  • Set dependencies: Configure dependencies between stages and tasks. For instance, the deploy stage should depend on the successful completion of the test stage.
  • Configure triggers: Specify the conditions that trigger pipeline execution, such as a new commit pushed to the repository or a manual trigger.
  • Define environment variables: If required, define environment-specific variables like API keys or database connections.

5. CI/CD Tools:

  • Several popular CI/CD tools support YAML-based pipeline configuration, including:
  • Jenkins: A widely used open-source automation server.
  • GitLab CI/CD: An integrated DevOps platform with built-in CI/CD capabilities.
  • GitHub Actions: Native CI/CD workflows integrated with GitHub repositories.

Sample YAML Configuration:

Here’s a simplified example of a YAML configuration for a basic CI/CD pipeline:

- build
- test
- deploy
stage: build
- echo "Building the application..."
stage: test
- echo "Running unit tests..."
stage: deploy
- echo "Deploying the application..."

In this example, we have three stages: build, test, and deploy. Each stage has a script specifying the commands to be executed. You can expand this configuration to include actual build commands, testing frameworks, deployment scripts, and more.

Remember to consult the documentation of your chosen CI/CD tool for specific YAML syntax and configuration options. It’s also important to adapt the YAML configuration to your project’s specific requirements, such as the programming language, environment, and deployment targets.

By understanding YAML-based configuration and CI/CD principles, you’ll be able to automate your build, test, and deployment processes, ensuring efficient and reliable software delivery.

Certainly! Let’s discuss setting up a sample project and configuring a CI/CD pipeline for it. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Set up a Sample Project:

  • Choose a sample project that you want to work with, such as your e-commerce website or a smaller component of it.
  • Initialize a version control repository (e.g., Git) for your project to track changes and collaborate with others.
  • Ensure that your project has a well-defined directory structure and includes all the necessary dependencies and configuration files.

2. Choose a CI/CD Tool:

  • Select a CI/CD tool that fits your project’s requirements and integrates well with your version control system.
  • Popular CI/CD tools include Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, and GitHub Actions. Research and choose one that aligns with your needs and preferences.

3. Configure the CI/CD Pipeline:

  • Create a configuration file in the root directory of your project, typically named .gitlab-ci.yml, Jenkinsfile, or .github/workflows/main.yml, depending on the CI/CD tool you are using.
  • Define the stages and steps in the pipeline using YAML syntax.
  • Specify the tasks to be executed in each stage, such as building, testing, and deploying the project.
  • Set up triggers for pipeline execution, such as changes pushed to the repository or scheduled intervals.
  • Configure environment variables, if required, for storing sensitive information or custom configurations.

4. Define Pipeline Stages and Steps:

  • Determine the stages that suit your project’s needs. Common stages include build, test, and deploy, but you can customize them based on your project’s requirements.
  • Specify the commands or scripts to be executed in each stage. For example:
  • In the build stage, you may run commands to compile the code, bundle assets, or generate artifacts.
  • In the test stage, execute unit tests, integration tests, or other types of tests based on your project’s testing strategy.
  • In the deploy stage, deploy the project to a development, staging, or production environment.

5. Testing and Code Quality Checks:

  • Integrate testing and code quality checks into the pipeline to ensure the reliability and maintainability of your codebase.
  • Include unit tests, integration tests, and any other relevant tests to validate the behavior of your application.
  • Utilize code quality tools like linters, static analyzers, or code formatters to enforce coding standards and catch potential issues.

6. Triggering the Pipeline:

  • Set up triggers for the pipeline to automatically execute upon specific events, such as pushing changes to the repository, creating a pull request, or manually triggering the pipeline.
  • Configure the pipeline to run on specific branches or tags, depending on your project’s branching strategy and release process.

7. Monitor and Analyze:

  • Once your CI/CD pipeline is set up, monitor its execution and review the logs and reports generated by the CI/CD tool.
  • Utilize the feedback and insights provided by the pipeline to identify any issues, test failures, or performance bottlenecks.

Remember, the specific steps and configurations may vary depending on the CI/CD tool you choose. It’s important to consult the documentation and resources provided by the CI/CD tool to ensure you follow the recommended practices.

By setting up a sample project and configuring a CI/CD pipeline, you can automate key processes like building, testing, and deploying your code, which can significantly streamline your development workflow and enhance the reliability of your software.