24 October 2023
As a further step in enhancing our Magento support services, we've now integrated automated deployment into our clients' production environments.
We're convinced of the benefits this brings to both our clients and the developers involved in supporting their websites, so we thought we’d explain the features and benefits it delivers.
A tidy and organised codebase simplifies code maintenance, facilitates smooth future upgrades and updates, and expedites the setup of new environments like development or upgrade sites. It also accelerates the identification of deployment failures, pinpointing issues like unsupported modules, access key problems, expired licences, and similar issues faster.
Auto deploy streamlines the deployment process, reducing the time it takes to move code changes from development to production. This means clients can see their updates live more quickly and any downtime is significantly reduced.
If a deployment issue affects the live site, rolling it back swiftly is now possible. Before implementing auto deploy, this process took approximately 5-10 minutes (as mentioned in point 2). However, with auto deploy in place, the rollback now takes just a few seconds.
If a problem arises during build preparation for deployment, we can detect it early, thanks to auto deploy replicating the live deployment process from the ground up for each attempt. This ensures that the code maintains the required level of quality.
In the event of a failed deployment to the live environment, auto deploy seamlessly switches to the previous version at the last moment, ensuring zero impact on the live site. With a manual deployment to the production server, if we encountered a deployment failure, it would typically result in site downtime until we resolved the issue causing the failure.
This speeds up the auto deploy process for developers, significantly reducing the time required to prepare and execute a deploy. It eliminates the need for manual entry of commands each time, making the deployment process more efficient.
The auto deploy that is set up is tailored to the client and the deployment flow their site needs, this may include specific commands to run based on their site and additional functionality/integrations that may need additional commands to be run after a deployment.
As the deployment tool runs remotely, via Github actions, the process is independent from the production servers. This means less additional tools installed on the live site environment. It also means sensitive information such as the auth.json file is now held separately to the production environment, and our developers need less frequent access to the live site itself.
All the above means that deployments to the production environment take less time and so our clients make significant savings when compared to manual deployments.
The integration of automated deployment into our clients' production environments marks a significant advancement in our support services. This enhancement not only ensures a cleaner and more efficient codebase but also facilitates faster, safer, and more flexible deployments. By streamlining the deployment process, we've reduced potential downtimes, enhanced the safety of builds, and provided a more tailored experience for each client. Operating remotely via Github actions, this system also bolsters security and reduces the need for frequent developer access to live sites. Ultimately, our clients benefit from considerable time and cost savings, reinforcing our commitment to delivering high quality, efficient, and client-centric solutions.
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