🐼Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) are crucial practices in modern software development that help to ensure the quality and reliability of software. In the context of Flutter, CI/CD pipelines can help automate the process of building, testing, and deploying your Flutter applications.

Introduction to CI/CD 🌐

Continuous Integration (CI) involves frequently merging code changes into a shared repository, where automated builds and tests are run. Continuous Deployment (CD) extends CI by automatically deploying the validated code to production.

Setting up a CI/CD Pipeline πŸš€

There are various tools available for setting up CI/CD pipelines for Flutter projects, including:

  • GitHub Actions

  • GitLab CI

  • Bitrise

  • Codemagic

  • CircleCI

Each of these tools has its own set of configurations and setup procedures. For this tutorial, let's focus on setting up a basic CI/CD pipeline using GitHub Actions.

GitHub Actions Setup for Flutter πŸ› οΈ

1. Creating a Workflow File:

A workflow is a configurable automated process made up of one or more jobs. You must create a YAML file to define your workflow configuration.

  • Directory Structure:

    • At the root of your repository, create a directory named .github.

    • Within .github, create another directory named workflows.

    • Inside workflows, create a file named flutter.yml.

└── workflows
    └── flutter.yml

2. Configuring the Workflow:

Open flutter.yml and add the following configuration to define your workflow:

name: Flutter CI/CD

      - main  # Change this to your default branch if it's not 'main'

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

      - name: Checkout Repository
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Set up JDK 1.12
        uses: actions/setup-java@v1
          java-version: '12.x'

      - name: Set up Flutter
        uses: subosito/flutter-action@v2
          flutter-version: '2.x'

      - name: Install dependencies
        run: flutter pub get

      - name: Run Tests
        run: flutter test

      - name: Build APK
        run: flutter build apk --release


  • name: This is the name of your workflow, which will appear on GitHub when the action is run.

  • on: This specifies the event that will trigger the workflow. In this case, any push to the main branch will trigger the workflow.

  • jobs: This section defines the jobs to be run. In this example, there's a single job named build.

  • runs-on: This specifies the type of machine to run the job on. Here, it’s set to the latest version of Ubuntu.

  • steps: This section defines the sequence of tasks to be executed in the job.

    • uses: Specifies actions to be used for certain steps, such as checking out the code, setting up Java, and setting up Flutter.

    • run: Specifies commands to run, such as installing dependencies, running tests, and building the APK.

3. Triggering the Workflow:

Once you have defined your workflow, it will automatically run whenever the specified trigger event occurs (in this case, a push to the main branch). You can see the progress and results of your workflow in the Actions tab of your GitHub repository.

4. Viewing Workflow Results:

  • Go to the Actions tab in your GitHub repository to see a list of workflow runs.

  • Click on a run to see the details, including the jobs and steps that were run, along with their output and whether they succeeded or failed.

5. Debugging Workflows:

If a step in your workflow fails, the output will provide information about what went wrong, which can help you to diagnose and fix the issue.

This setup provides a basic CI/CD pipeline for a Flutter project, automating the process of running tests and building the APK whenever changes are pushed to the main branch.

You can further customize and extend your workflow to meet the specific needs of your project, such as adding steps to deploy your app or to cache dependencies for faster builds.

Deploying Your App 🚒

For CD, you can extend the workflow to deploy your app to various platforms like Google Play, Firebase, or any other platform of your choice. For instance, to deploy to Firebase, you would add a step to your workflow that installs the Firebase CLI and deploys your app.

- run: |
    curl -sL https://firebase.tools | bash
    firebase deploy --only hosting -m "Deploying build ${{ github.run_id }}" --token ${{ secrets.FIREBASE_TOKEN }}

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