Artifacts

Huh! These folks must really hate branches!

Artifacts

sfpowerscripts operate on the concepts of artifacts. Artifacts are central to the concept of sfpowerscripts and its very existense. Artifacts are traceable, versioned, immutable entities that get generated during the build or promote command. sfpowerscripts artifacts contain source code of the package, metadata information , changelog and much more. Artifacts help sfpowerscripts to orchestrate deployment without being tied to the notion of branches.

Artifact Registries in the context of sfpowerscripts

Artifact registry allows you to split your CI and CD pipelines. We believe that this is essential for a smoother deployment model and allows you to better control what is being deployed to environments if you are using a multi-speed deployment strategy.

Why do you need an artifact registry?

Let's have a look at the below example, here a CI pipeline creates a bunch of artifacts/packages, then the publish command is used to publish these artifacts into an Artifact Registry. This stage often gets repeated multiple times during a day.

An important thing to note here is especially when a CI pipeline is enabled with 'diffcheck' functionality, it only builds packages for the particular build run. Unless you are immediately deploying these packages to production, there is no way to deploy an entire set of packages other than going through each of the build runs and immediately pushing them into production. You will need to aggregate packages before you proceed to the next stage.

One approach to solve is to use branches, where a branch per environment is used to stage changes, and new builds are generated from this branch to deploy to the environment. We belive this practice is incorrect as they break the traceability chain and errors could be introduced, moreover it complicates your version control strategy. Our premise is rather to use the same set of artifacts that were built at one stage all the way to production.

This is where an artifact registry comes into play, it stores all the artifacts produced by the build stage into a repository, which allows you to consolidate all versions of your artifacts and then allowing you to decide which all packages/artifacts should be aggregated and released into production.

The CD pipeline (or called as 'Release' pipelines in some CI/CD systems) can be triggered manually or automatically, with artifacts and it's version number/tag as the input, such as by using a release definition used by the fetch command.

Type of Artifact Registries supported

Rather than lock everyone into a particular registry provider, sfpowerscripts supports artifact registries which support the following

  • NPM compatible private registry (Almost every artifact registries supports NPM )

  • A registry that supports universal packages (JFrog Aritfactory, Azure Artifacts)

Please ensure you are not publishing sfpowerscripts artifacts to npm.js, ( the default public npm registry). It is against the terms of service for npm.js, as it only allows Javascript packages.

Setting up an Artifact Registry

Please refer to your artifact registry provider's documentation on how to set it up. If you are planning to use npm compatible private registry, here are some links to get you started

Publishing/Fetching Packages to or from Artifact Registry

sfpowerscripts provides with functionality to help you fetch or publish artifacts. Some orchestrator commands like prepare also fetches artifacts from the artifact registry.