Cloud Manager CI/CD Pipelines

Learn about Cloud Manager’s CI/CD pipelines and how they can be used to efficiently deploy your code.

Introduction

A CI/CD pipeline in Cloud Manager is a mechanism to build code from a source repository and deploy it to an environment. A pipeline can be triggered by an event, such as a pull request from a source code repository (i.e. a code change), or on a regular schedule to match a release cadence.

To configure a pipeline, you must:

  • Define the trigger that will start the pipeline.
  • Define the parameters controlling the production deployment.
  • Configure the performance test parameters.

Cloud Manager offers two types of pipelines:

Types of pipelines

Video Overview

For a quick overview of pipeline types, view this short video.

Production Pipelines

A production pipeline is a purpose-built pipeline that includes a series of orchestrated steps to deploy source code for production use. The steps include first building, packaging, testing, validating, and deploying into all staging environments. Therefore a production pipeline can only be added once a set of production and staging environments is created.

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Refer to the document Configuring a Production Pipeline for more details.

Non-Production Pipeline

A non-production pipeline mainly serves to run code quality scans or to deploy source code to a development environment.

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Refer to the document Configuring a Non-Production Pipeline for more details.

Code Sources

In addition to production and non-production, pipelines can be differentiated by the type of code they deploy.

  • Full Stack Pipelines - Simultaneously deploy back-end and front-end code builds containing one or more AEM server applications along with HTTPD/Dispatcher configurations
  • Front-End Pipelines - Deploy front-end code builds containing one or more client-side UI applications
  • Web Tier Config Pipelines - Deploys HTTPD/Dispatcher configurations

These are described in detail later in this document.

Understanding CI-CD Pipelines in Cloud Manager

The following table summarizes all of the pipelines available in Cloud Manager and their usages.

Pipeline Type Deployment or Code Quality Source Code Purpose Notes
Production or Non-Production Deployment Full-Stack Simultaneously deploys back-end and front-end code builds along with HTTPD/Dispatcher configurations When front-end code must be deployed simultaneously with AEM server code.
When front-end pipelines or web tier config pipelines have not yet been adopted.
Production or Non-Production Deployment Front-End Deploys front-end code build containing one or more client-side UI application Supports multiple, concurrent front-end pipelines
Much faster than full-stack deployments
Production or Non-Production Deployment Web Tier Config Deploys HTTPD/Dispatcher configurations Deploys in minutes
Non-Production Code Quality Full-Stack Runs code quality scans on full-stack code without a deployment Supports multiple pipelines
Non-Production Code Quality Front-End Runs code quality scans on front-end code without a deployment Supports multiple pipelines
Non-Production Code Quality Web Tier Config Runs code quality scans on dispatcher configurations without a deployment Supports multiple pipelines

The following diagram illustrates Cloud Manager’s pipeline configurations with traditional, single front-end repository, or independent front-end repository setups.

Cloud Manager pipeline configurations

Full-Stack Pipelines

Full-stack pipelines deploy back-end code, front-end code, and web tier configurations to AEM runtime all at the same time.

  • Back-End Code - Immutable content such as Java code, OSGi configurations, repoinit, as well as mutable content
  • Front-End Code - Application UI resources such as JavaScript, CSS, fonts
  • Web Tier Config - HTTPD/Dispatcher configurations

The full-stack pipeline represents an ‘uber’ pipeline, doing everything at once, while giving users the options to exclusively deploy their front-end code or Dispatcher configurations via the front-end pipeline and the web tier config pipelines respectively.

Full-stack pipelines package front-end code (JavaScript/CSS) as AEM client libraries.

Full-stack pipelines may deploy web tier configurations if a web tier config pipeline is not configured.

The following restrictions apply.

  • A user must be logged with the Deployment Manager role in order to configure or run pipelines.
  • At any time, there can only be one full-stack pipeline per environment.

In addition, be aware of how the full-stack pipeline will behave if you choose to introduce a web tier config pipeline.

  • The full-stack pipeline for an environment will ignore the Dispatcher configuration if the corresponding web tier config pipeline exists.
  • If the corresponding web tier config pipeline for the environment does not exist, the user can configure the full-stack pipeline include or ignore the Dispatcher configuration.

Full-stack pipelines can be code quality pipelines or deployment.

Front-End Pipelines

Front-end code is any code that is served as a static files. It is separate from UI code served by AEM and may include site themes, customer-defined SPAs, Firefly SPAs, and other solutions.

Front-end pipelines help your teams streamline your design and development process by enabling accelerated deployment of front-end code asynchronous of back-end development. This dedicated pipeline deploys JavaScript and CSS to the AEM distribution layer as a theme, resulting in a new theme version which may be referenced from pages delivered by AEM.

IMPORTANT

You must be on AEM version 2021.10.5933.20211012T154732Z or higher with AEM Sites enabled to leverage front-end pipelines.

NOTE

A user with the Deployment Manager role can create and run multiple front-end pipelines concurrently.

There is, however, a maximum limit of 300 pipelines per program (across all types). These can be front-end code quality or front-end deployment pipelines.

Front-end pipelines can be code quality pipelines or deployment.

Before you Configure Front-End Pipelines

Before you configure front-end pipelines, please review the AEM Quick Site Creation Journey for an end-to-end guide through the easy-to-use AEM Quick Site Creation tool. This journey will help you streamline your front-end development and allow you to quickly customize your site with no back-end AEM knowledge.

Configure a Front-End Pipeline

To learn how to configure front-end pipelines, please refer to the following documents.

Developing Sites with the Front-End Pipeline

With front-end pipelines, more independence is given to front-end developers and the development process can be accelerated.

Please refer to the document Developing Sites with the Front-End Pipeline for how this process works along with some considerations to be aware of in order to get the full potential out of this process.

Configuring Full-Stack Pipelines

To learn how to configure full-stack pipelines, please refer to the following documents.

Web Tier Config Pipelines

Web tier config pipelines enable exclusive deployment of HTTPD/Dispatcher configuration to the AEM runtime by decoupling it from other code changes. It a streamlined pipeline that provides users who wish to only deploy dispatcher configuration changes, an accelerated means to do so in only a few minutes.

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With web tier config pipelines, you can choose between storing your web config in the same source location as for the full stack pipeline or in a different location, depending which structure better suits your project.

The following restrictions apply.

  • You must be on AEM version 2021.12.6151.20211217T120950Z or newer to leverage web-tier config pipelines.
  • You must opt in to the flexible mode of the dispatcher tools to leverage web-tier config pipelines.
  • A user must be logged with the Deployment Manager role in order to configure or run pipelines.
  • At any time, there can only be one web tier config pipeline per environment.
  • The user can not configure a web tier config pipeline when its corresponding full-stack pipeline is running.
  • The web tier structure must adhere to the flexible mode structure, as defined in the document Dispatcher in the Cloud.

In addition, be aware of how the full stack pipeline will behave when introducing a web tier pipeline.

  • If a web tier config pipeline has not been configured for an environment, the user can make a selection while configuring its corresponding full-stack pipeline to include or ignore the Dispatcher configuration during execution and deployment.
  • Once a web tier config pipeline has been configured for an environment, its corresponding full-stack pipeline (if one exists) will ignore the dispatcher configuration during execution and deployment.
  • Once a web tier config pipeline is deleted, its corresponding full-stack pipeline will be reset to deploy Dispatcher configurations during its execution.

Web tier config pipelines can be of the type code quality or deployment.

Configuring Web Tier Config Pipelines

To learn how to configure web tier config pipelines, please refer to the following documents.

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