There is a simplified deployment type without Kubernetes. This type is recommended for most new applications because it allows you to set up infrastructure faster and doesn’t require additional DevOps knowledge from the development team. You can switch to a more complex Kubernetes solution when your application will be at scale.
It’s a step-by-step Ship deployment guide. We will use the Digital Ocean Apps and GitHub Actions for automated deployment. Mongo Atlas and Redis Cloud for databases deployment, and Cloudflare for DNS and SSL configuration.
First, initialize your project. Type
npx create-ship-app init in the terminal then choose desired build type and Digital Ocean Apps as a cloud service provider.
You will have next project structure.
/my-app /apps /web /api /.github ...
Create GitHub private repository and upload source code.
cd my-app git remote add origin https://github.com/Oigen43/my-app.git git branch -M main git push -u origin main
Navigate to MongoDB Atlas, sign in to your account and create a new database.
- Select the appropriate type. Dedicated for a production environment, shared for staging/demo.
- Select provider and region. We recommend selecting the same or closest region to the DO application.
- Select cluster tier. Free M0 Sandbox should be enough for staging/demo environments. For production environment we recommended selecting the option that supports cloud backups, M10 or higher.
- Enter cluster name
Security and connection
After cluster creation, you’ll need to set up security. Select the authentication type (username and password) and create a user.
Add IP addresses list, which should have access to your cluster. Add 0.0.0.0/0 IP address to allow anyone with credentials to connect.
After database creation, go to the dashboard page and get the URI connection string by pressing the
Connect your application option. Choose driver and mongo version, and copy connection string. Don’t forget to replace
<password> with your credentials.
Save this value. It will be needed later when creating the app in Digital Ocean.
Navigate to Redis Cloud and create an account. Select cloud provider and region, then press
Let's start free to finish database creation.
Open database settings and get the database public endpoint and password.
Form Redis connection string using public endpoint and password
redis://:<password@<public-endpoint>. Save this value. It will be needed later when creating the app in Digital Ocean.
- Select GitHub as a service provider. You might need to grant Digital Ocean access to your GitHub account.
- Select the repository with the application.
- Select a branch for deployment.
- Select the source directory if the code is in a subfolder.It should
apps/webfor web application and
- Turn off the Autodeploy option. The Ship uses GitHub Actions for CI due to the poor support of monorepos in the Digital Ocean Apps
- Delete duplicated resources without dockerfile if you have one.
- Select desired plan. For staging/demo environments, sufficiently selecting a basic plan for 5$. For production, you might consider selecting a more expensive plan.
APP_ENV environment variable is typically set based on the environment in which the application is running.
Its value corresponds to the specific environment, such as “development”, “staging” or “production”.
This variable helps the application identify its current environment and load the corresponding configuration.
For the web application, by setting the environment variable
the application can determine the environment in which it is running and download the appropriate configuration file:
These files should contain specific configuration variables required for each environment.
In contrast, the API utilizes a single
.env file that houses its environment-specific configuration.
This file typically contains variables like API keys, secrets, or other sensitive information.
To ensure security, it’s crucial to add the
.env file to the
preventing it from being tracked and committed to the repository.
So just specify the environment variables that will contain the values of your secrets.
For example, if you have a secret named
create an environment variable named
API_KEY and set the value of the corresponding secret for it
Variables, added in the
Global section will be available to all resources within the application, while ones added in the
ship section will be available only for that resource. Adding
MONGO_CONNECTION in the global section allows you to use it later if you decide to set up migrator/scheduler resources
Application name and hosted region
- [Optional] Select desired application name and/or region for your application
Verify everything is correct and create a new resource.
After the application creation, you’ll land on the application dashboard page. On dashboard, you can see application status, check runtime logs, track deployment status, and manage application settings.
Digital Ocean sets the path to Dockerfiles to the root by default. You will need to change it manually.
Navigate to Settings, expand the App spec tab and change
dockerfile_path in the editor.
To deploy your application in a monorepo, it’s essential to modify the
source_dir parameter to the root directory.
This adjustment is necessary to ensure the correct configuration and operation of the applications within the monorepo.
Navigate to your Digital ocean application and open
Settings tab. Select
Domains row to open domain settings and click
Add domain button
Type your desired domain and select option
You manage your domain
In the bottom section you’ll be asked to copy CNAME alias of your digital ocean application name to record in your dns provider. Copy that alias and leave the form (do no close it or submit).
Navigate to CloudFlare and sign into account.
- Go to
DNStab and create a new record.
Add record. Select type
CNAME, enter domain name (must be the same you entered in digital ocean settings) and paste alias into
targetfield. Make sure
Proxy statustoggle enabled.
- Save changes
Now go back to digital ocean and submit form. It usually takes about 5 minutes for digital ocean to confirm and start using your new domain. Once domain is confirmed, application can be accessed by new address.
You can find two github actions in the
.github/workflows folder, responsible for triggering deployment when you push changes in your repository. If you chose frontend or backend on the initialization step, you’ll have one github workflow for the selected application type.
These actions require a Digital Ocean access token and application ID. Respectively these are
Navigate to digital ocean and open the API tab on the left sidebar. Click Generate new token and choose name and expiration period, and leave checkboxes as they are.
You’ll see generated token in the list. Do not forget to copy the value and store it in a safe place. You won’t be able to copy value after leaving the page.
Next, navigate to the Apps tab in the left sidebar and open your Digital Ocean application. You can find the id of your application id in the browser address bar.
Now you can add theese keys to your github repository’s secrets.
Navigate to the GitHub repository page, and open the Settings tab and these values. You have to be repository admin or owner to open this tab.
Done! Application deployed and can be accessed by provided domain.
Set up migrator and scheduler (Optional)
Digital Ocean Apps allows configuring additional resources within one application, which can serve as background workers and jobs, and a scheduler to run before/after the deployment process.
Navigate to your Digital Ocean application. Make sure to select the application with API server, open a
Create dropdown menu in the top-right corner, and select the
Create Resources From Source Code option.
- Select a project repository, add a path to the source directory, disable auto-deploy, and press
- Delete a resource without Dockerfile and edit second by clicking on the pencil icon.
- In the edit resource form, select
Before every deploy, and change the name of the resource (not required, but might be useful later). Press save and go back to the resources screen.
Add Additional Resource from Sourceoption below the list of added resources, repeat steps 1-2, and navigate to the edit form for a new resource.
Worker, save changes and go back.
- Proceed with the next steps, add environment variables if needed, verify a new monthly cost of the application and create resources.
You can find created resources in the
- Navigate to Application Spec
(settings tab). Change the
dockerfile_pathvariable to files with migrator and scheduler. Migrator is placed in the
jobssection. You can also find it by name of the resource. The scheduler is placed in the
Digital Ocean has built-in logs in raw format. It will gather all data that your apps will produce. In order to view them, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Digital Ocean account.
- Click on the Apps tab in the left-hand navigation menu.
- Click on the name of the app you want to view the logs for.
- Click on the Runtime Logs tab in the app dashboard.
- You will see a list of logs for different components of your app. Click on the component you want to view the logs for.
- You can filter the logs by time, severity, and component. Use the drop-down menus provided to select your filter criteria.
- You can also search for specific keywords in the logs by using the search bar at the top of the page.
Example Integration Logtail
To configure Logtail follow these steps:
- Create account on Logtail
- Open Sources on the left sidebar.
- Create new source by clicking “Connect source” button
- Select HTTP source and specify name for this connection
- Copy source token
- Open Digital Ocean Apps
- Select Settings tab for your application
- Select Log Forwarding and then press “Add Destination”
- Fill information with token that we retrieved from Logtail
- That’s it! In couple minutes your app will send the latest logs to Logtail