CI/CD with GitLab CI for a web application – Part 3

Hosting your own GitLab server

Some users might have concerns regarding security using GitLab for a variety of purposes, including commercial and business applications. That is, because GitLab is commonly used as a cloud-based service – on someone else’s computer, so to speak. So setting it up for running it on your own server is the conclusion, whether it be a NAS, real dedicated server or even a Raspberry Pi. So, as a side quest, we decided to set things up on a Raspberry Pi Model 3 for comparison. The following part will cover the installation procedure (mostly according to the official GitLab page) as well as hints to some potential pitfalls.
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CI/CD with GitLab CI for a web application – Part 1

Introduction

When it comes to software development, chances are high that you’re not doing this on your own. The main reason for this is often that implementing components like UI, frontend, backend, servers and more is just too much to handle for a single person leading to a slow development process. So, you have to team up with others. Therefore some collaboration tools (e.g. SVN, Git) have been established so that you don’t accidentally overwrite someone else’s code and vice versa.

The big challenge with such collaborative projects is to ensure a high quality of the software even with a high level of developer activity. One instrument for this is continuous integration, whereby the individual application components are continuously brought together and successful interaction is ensured.

Especially in large projects high software quality and a structured development process are of enormous importance. That is why we decided to carry out the complete development and quality assurance process from the creation of a project, the definition of tests and continuous integration of the components to the automatic deployment of the application using a small sample project.

The following image shows the architecture of the small node application:

Shaky architecture
Shaky architecture

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CI/CD infrastructure: Choosing and setting up a server with Jenkins as Docker image

Related articles: ►Take Me Home – Project Overview  ►Android SDK and emulator in Docker for testing  ►Automated Unit- and GUI-Testing for Android in Jenkins  ►Testing a MongoDB with NodeJS, Mocha and Mongoose


This article will run you through the motivation for a continuous integration and delivery, choosing a corresponding tool and a server to run it on. It will give you a brief overview over IBM Bluemix and kubernetes as server solution and then discuss the application for a virtual machine inside a company. There are some useful instructions (for beginners) on generating key-pairs for the server on Windows. Next there is a motivation why to run Jenkins (the CI tool of choice) as docker container and gives some instructions to get started. Finally, frequent problems are discussed which hopefully save some of your time.
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