Create a pipeline to build application

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    Create a pipeline to build and publish your application image

    In this section, we’ll go over how to design CD pipelines that build and publish an application image. As an example, we’ve used a sample nodejs application called ‘Bulletin Board’.


    We’ll be building our application as a docker image artifact and publishing it to Docker Hub. To do this, make sure you have a Docker Hub account.

    Build an application artifact

    1. Click on the Pipelines link on the top menu to create your first pipeline.

    2. Specify the pipeline name and the group name as build_and_publish_image and kubernetes_app_deployment respectively.

    1. Specify a git material with repository

    1. Create a stage called build_and_publish_image.

    1. Create a job called build_and_publish_image with an initial task argument
        docker build -t $DOCKERHUB_USERNAME/bulletin-board:$GO_PIPELINE_LABEL . -f Dockerfile.application

    The GO_PIPELINE_LABEL is an environment variable provided by GoCD which can be used to differentiate between builds from a repository.

    Here we are using GO_PIPELINE_LABEL to determine the application image tag.

    Note: This is the job that we have to associate with the elastic agent profile that we created earlier.

    Tip: Do not forget the -c option in the arguments section.

    Click on the Finish button when you’re done. This will take you to the pipeline settings page for additional configurations.

    1. Navigate to Environment Variables tab. Configure the DOCKERHUB_USERNAME as an environment variable.

    Publish your application image to Docker Hub

    1. Create an artifact store

      Navigate to Admin > Artifact Stores to add the global artifact store

    2. Navigate to the pipeline settings for build_and_publish_image.

      Tip: Use the tree on the left to navigate to the job build_and_publish_image. Once you’re here, you can associate the profile ID under the Job Settings tab.

      Create an external artifact under the build_and_publish_image job.

      Specify the artifact id as bulletin-board

      Specify the artifact store id as dockerhub

      Specify the image property as ${DOCKERHUB_USERNAME}/bulletin-board

      Specify the tag property as ${GO_PIPELINE_LABEL}

      This will ensure that the image being built by the build_and_publish_image job is the one being published.

    Note: You need to have an artifact store configured for this so that the plugin is aware of the credentials to use when publishing the artifact.

    1. This is what the Tasks under the build_and_publish_image job should look like once you finish this configuration

    Associate job with the elastic profile

    We have created a sample elastic profile demo-app for the helm release by default. Before associating elastic profile to a job, you’ll need to verify that the elastic profile and plugin settings are set up.

    Step 1: Verify elastic profile

    Navigate to Admin > Elastic Agent Profiles

    You should be able to see demo-app in this.

    If the elastic profile does not exist or if you would like to create your own, refer to this section

    Step 2: Verify Kubernetes elastic agent plugin

    Navigate to Admin > Plugins and click on Status Report

    If you’re able to see a screen similar to the screenshot above, then the plugin has been configured.

    If the plugin settings have not been configured, refer to this section

    Step 3: Configure elastic profile ID for the job

    Before you can run the pipeline, you’ll need to associate an elastic profile ID with the job to be executed. To do this, go to the Job Settings tab of the specific job.

    Tip: Use the tree on the left to navigate to the job build_and_publish_image. Once you’re here, you can associate the profile ID under the Job Settings tab.

    Once you’ve associated the job to the profile demo-app, you’re ready to run the pipeline.

    Run your pipeline

    Now that the pipeline has been configured, we can run it and verify that the docker image has been pushed.

    To run the pipeline, unpause the pipeline in the GoCD dashboard. The changes from the source git repository gets picked up automatically when the pipeline is triggered.

    Check the status of agents with Agent Status Report

    When the pipeline is running (signified by a yellow bar), you can take a look at the status of the agents that are assigned to run the jobs in the pipeline. You can find the following information here

    • pod details & configuration

    • pod events

    • logs for the agents

    This can be useful to troubleshoot when an agent is not picking up the job.

    To access the agent status report,

    1. Click on a stage of your choice when the pipeline is being built.

    2. You’ll see the stage detail page with a list of jobs. Click on the job that you wish to see the agents of.

    3. This is the job detail page which has a console log. Click on the button titled ‘Check Agent Status’.

    4. Clicking on this will take you to the Agent Status Report where you can see —

      Note: The Agent Status Report is only visible when that particular job is running. Once the job is run, this status will not be visible.

    Verify your pipeline

    Once the pipeline has run successfully, you can go to your DockerHub account to verify if the image has been published.

    In the next section, we’ll look at how to configure a pipeline to test our sample application’s docker image.