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GitHub Actions for Automated Workflows Now Supports CI/CD

Microsoft has boosted the functionality of its GitHub Actions, automated workflows for the sprawling open source code repository and development platform it acquired in 2018.

Now in beta preview status, GitHub Actions was introduced last year, promising to let developers and others orchestrate workflows based on events and then let GitHub take care of the execution and details.

These workflows or pipelines can be just about anything to do with automated software compilation and delivery, including building, testing and deploying applications, triaging and managing issues, collaboration and more.

Last week, Microsoft announced that in response to feedback, support for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) actions has been added.

"GitHub Actions now makes it easier to automate how you build, test, and deploy your projects on any platform, including Linux, macOS, and Windows," Microsoft said. "Run your workflows in a container or in a virtual machine. Actions also supports more languages and frameworks than ever, including Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, .NET, Android, and iOS. Testing multi-container apps? You can now test your Web service and its database together by simply adding some docker-compose to your workflow file."

To help developers get a feel for Actions, when Actions are enabled on a repository, GitHub will provide suggestions for appropriate workflows according to the project.

Using Actions is for public repositories. It's also free for private repositories during the beta period, but after that it will switch to pay-as-you-go pricing.

Shortly after the CI/CD announcement, Microsoft announced the preview of GitHub Actions for Azure.

"You can find our first set of Actions grouped into four repositories on GitHub, each one containing documentation and examples to help you use GitHub for CI/CD and deploy your apps to Azure," Microsoft said, listing the following:

  • azure/actions (login): Authenticate with an Azure subscription.
  • azure/appservice-actions: Deploy apps to Azure App Services using the features Web Apps and Web Apps for Containers.
  • azure/container-actions: Connect to container registries, including Docker Hub and Azure Container Registry, as well as build and push container images.
  • azure/k8s-actions: Connect and deploy to a Kubernetes cluster, including Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Going forward, the company said its plans for Actions include:

  • Self-hosted runners. If you already have your own VMs within your data centers or as instances you manage in the cloud, you can use Actions to automate your workflows with the same simplicity and speed. Install the Actions runner on your VM and register them with Actions. Workloads that execute on self-hosted runners are free.
  • Actions for GitHub Enterprise Server. Next year, we'll make Actions available to our GitHub Enterprise Server customers, including a hybrid option for on-premises deployments that keeps your code and packages in your data center while GitHub orchestrates your workflows.

Interested developers can go here to get more information or sign up for the beta.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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