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Build and Deploy

Concourse is the Analytical Platform service that automatically builds and deploys R Shiny apps and Web apps. This is also known as ‘continuous integration’ and ‘continuous deployment’ (CI/CD).


Concourse automatically scans git repositories in the moj-analytical-services Github organisation to find repos that are ready to build/deploy. It does this by checking whether repositories contains a ‘magic’ file (on the master branch) that controls the build/deploy: deploy.json. The scan happens every 24 hours, or sooner if a repo in moj-analytical-services is tagged with a release on GitHub (or if it is urgent it can be triggered by an admin).

For the format of deploy.json, see the relevant subject:

Changes to deploy.json only take effect when committed to GitHub (master branch), a Release is created and the deploy is successful (see Scan organisation and deploy).

Starting a build/deploy

To trigger a Concourse build/deploy, make sure your code is committed and pushed to GitHub and then create a release on GitHub. It’s good practise to use semantic versioning, for example to call the first release v0.0.1, then v0.0.2 etc. The version should always go up in number: concourse automatically looks for a version higher than the one it last deployed, so if your latest release has a version number lower than the currently deployed version it won’t build. You can check your version order here..

Your task appears in Concourse within 30 seconds. Find it in Concourse to start it as follows:

  1. Open Concourse.
  2. Select team ‘main’.
  3. Click ‘login with ap-main’ followed by your GitHub login and possibly 2FA for GitHub and possibly 2FA for AP.
  4. Click the hamburger icon: Hamburger menu icon (top-left) to see the list of repos that can be built.
  5. Click your repo name to see its diagram with the big ‘Deploy’ box in the middle, inputs and outputs.
  6. Click on the ‘deploy’ box to see details of its builds. You can see previous builds (numbered - e.g. “8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”). The colour of the build number box gives the status:
    • Grey = paused or pending
    • Yellow = in progress
    • Blue = paused
    • Green = built ok
    • Red = build failed
    • Brown = aborted
    • Orange = errored
  7. To start the job (this first time): Click play (on the left, against your repo name) AND the “+”:

    Play and "+" buttons

    It should go grey (pending):

    Pending state

    After 30 seconds it should got yellow (building). If it does not go yellow, check the task is not paused (and possibly the job itself is paused) - press play if is showing.

    In progress state

    It will build/deploy, taking 5 minutes to an hour. You can track progress and see any errors like this:

    Error state

Subsequent build/deploys are started about 5 seconds after doing a GitHub release (unless someone pressed the pause button on the Concourse task). You have to refresh Concourse in your browser to see a fresh build.

Upcoming Changes

This page has been reviewed and updated on 20th June 2022. Please note that the process above will be changing once we migrate all Apps to the new EKS cluster, we will keep you updated but please check back here regularly for any updates.

This page was last reviewed on 20 June 2022. It needs to be reviewed again on 20 September 2022 by the page owner #analytical-platform .
This page was set to be reviewed before 20 September 2022 by the page owner #analytical-platform. This might mean the content is out of date.