Pipelines are the mechanism by which your blueprints are deployed to the cloud. Blueprints are reusable designs which can be used across multiple pipelines - you can read more about blueprints here.
For example, you may have a blueprint that represents your standard design for a web application architecture. This blueprint could be used by different teams building various web applications, each deployed with a different pipeline.
Pipelines can either be deployed directly to Microsoft Azure using the Cloud Maker deployment engine or via the Azure DevOps CI/CD integration using the Cloud Maker ADO extension.
Cloud Maker has a DevOps deployment engine that lets you configure multiple stages for your pipeline, e.g. dev, test and prod. You can then utilise the power of parameters to use different values for your pipeline depending on what stage you are deploying!
The 'Pipelines Library' is the area where all your pipelines created by you and your team are stored. Head over to 'Pipelines' under your selected organisation using the left-hand navigation menu.
Creating a Pipeline
Creating a pipeline is simple. From the pipelines library, hit 'New Pipeline' to begin the configuration process.
The pipeline configuration page has the following settings:
Let's look at each of these in detail.
The blueprint option lets you choose the blueprint you wish to deploy as part of this pipeline. All blueprints in your organisation will appear in this drop-down menu, select the blueprint you wish to deploy in this pipeline.
Once you have selected your blueprint, you then need to select the published version you would like to deploy as part of this pipeline. If you do not have a published version of the selected blueprint, you will need to go to the blueprint and publish it.
If you always want to use the latest version of your blueprint, select 'Latest' from the drop-down menu. The pipeline will automatically pick up any future changes that you make to your blueprint and publish.
Next, choose your deployment mode. We currently support 'Direct' deployment to Azure or 'Azure DevOps' integration that lets you deploy your pipeline through ADO.
Deletions On/Off - Preview Feature
Deletions are incredibly powerful but can be very destructive if used incorrectly. Please ensure you thoroughly test deletions in a development environment before using in production.
If 'Deletions' are turned on, then any droplets you remove from your blueprint will be deleted from Microsoft Azure when you next deploy your pipeline. This means Cloud Maker allows you to manage the addition of resources to your cloud environment, but also their removal when no longer required.
Deletions cannot be undone. Therefore it is important to test deletions before rolling changes into your production environment.
As this feature is still in preview we are continuing to add functionality. This means in some instances; Cloud Maker may not delete resources. It is advised that you check Azure to ensure resources have been removed.
Cloud Maker has a fully-featured DevOps deployment engine. This allows you to create your desired deployment stages as part of your pipeline configuration.
Simply hit the 'Add Stage' button to add additional deployment stages to your pipeline. You can edit the names of your stage to keep them organised too!
If using the 'Direct' deployments option, it's a requirement that you connect each stage to Microsoft Azure using a service connection. You can read more about service connections and how to configure them here.
If you have used parameters in your blueprint, then you can now enter the parameter values you wish to set against each of the parameters in each of your configured stages.
This is hugely powerful as it lets you set lower priced resources for your Development environments and scale up as your pipeline moves to Production. All with the power of parameters and without needing to create separate blueprints for dev, test and prod!
Deploying a Pipeline Stage
Once you have fully configured your pipeline, you can easily deploy it either directly to Azure using 'Direct' mode, or via the Azure DevOps integration.
If you have configured your pipeline to use 'Direct' deployment mode, you can Deploy your stages as follows:
On the Pipeline dashboard for your chosen pipeline, hit the 'Deploy' button on the stage you wish to deploy.
The deployment icon will change to an orange 'In Progress' icon and if successful, will go green when complete, or red if the deployment has failed.
You can deploy your stages concurrently; however, it is advised that you run these sequentially to test each stage has deployed successfully.
You can view the deployment logs for each stage deployment by clicking the "View Log" link in the stage tile or "View" in the deployment history table.
If you have configured your pipeline to use 'Azure DevOps' deployment mode, you can release your stages as follows:
Configure Azure DevOps to connect to your Cloud Maker pipeline.
Create a new Release in Azure DevOps.
Cloud Maker will update automatically with the release status for each stage.