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Defining a Build

Tutorial Goal

Implement continuous integration for a Drupal application on Acquia Cloud.

Lesson Goal

Create a custom Acquia CD pipelines build definition that downloads a third-party package required by your application.

Continuous integration typically requires that some build process occurs each time that a change is introduced (or proposed via Pull Request) to the “master” branch of a git repository. That process performs various operations on the code base.

In this lesson, we have provided a hypothetical scenario and an accompanying hypothetical build process.

Note: Your Drupal application will likely require a different, custom build. After completing this tutorial, customize this lesson to suit your application’s specific needs.


We would like to use the league/csv PHP library in a custom module in our Drupal Application.

Build plan

The following build process will occur each time a change is pushed to our application via git:

  1. Composer will be used to download the league/csv package
    • In keeping with best practices, we will not commit this third party package directly to the repository’s master branch. Instead, CD pipelines will download this package each time a pipelines build is executed (see Production is an artifact of development in Resources for more information).
  2. Acquia CD pipelines will then commit the modified code base, along with the downloaded league/csv package, to a new pipelines-master-build branch (known as the build artifact).
  3. The build artifact will then deployed to an Acquia Cloud Environment, where a user may interact with the website.

In order to complete this lesson you will need:

In this lesson we will:

  1. Add a Composer dependency to our project
  2. Create a pipelines build definition file (acquia-pipelines.yaml)
  3. Execute the Acquia Cloud pipelines build
  4. Deploy the build artifact to an Acquia Cloud environment

1. Add a Composer dependency to your project

Note: If you are not familiar with Composer, please see Using Composer with Drupal.
Please skip the referenced special steps required to manage Drupal-specific dependencies via Composer as they are not applicable in this lesson.
Use Composer to add league/csv as a new site dependency:

cd my/project/directory
composer require league/csv

Once this command is executed, Composer will add league/csv to the require array within the composer.json file and download the latest stable version of league/csv to the vendor directory. Composer will also update the composer.lock file.

Commit the changes to the composer.json and composer.lock files.

Note: Best practices dictate that you should not commit the dependency directly.

Add a new line to the .gitignore file, instructing git to ignore the vendor directory. CD pipelines will be responsible for downloading and committing this directory later during the build process.

echo "/vendor" >> .gitignore
git add .gitignore composer.json composer.lock
git commit -m "Requiring league/csv package."

2. Create a pipelines build definition file

The build definition file, named acquia-pipelines.yaml, will instruct CD pipelines to install the Composer requirements defined in your composer.lock file.

touch acquia-pipelines.yaml
Add the following text to acquia-pipelines.yaml file:

version: 1.0.0
  - mysql
        - setup-project:
            type: script
              - composer install

This build file defines a single “setup-project” step which runs a single command: composer install.

Commit the new build definition file and push all local changes to your Acquia Cloud git remote (we assume this is “origin”).

git add acquia-pipelines.yaml
git commit -m 'Adding acquia-pipelines.yaml file.'
git push origin

3. Execute the pipelines build

Acquia CD pipelines can now start a build using our custom build definition file. What does this mean? In detail, CD pipelines will:

  • Provision a temporary machine
  • Use the temporary machine to clone the repository
  • Check out the git branch for which the job was triggered
  • Use the temporary machine to execute the custom build instructions
  • If successful, commit all files (even .gitignored ones) to a new “build branch”
  • Push the build branch to the Acquia Cloud subscription

Note: If you did not clone your repository from Acquia Cloud, you may need to set the default Application ID for your local repository. Use pipelines list-applications to find the ID for your Acquia Cloud application. Then, execute pipelines set-application-id --application-id=[application-id]

Use the locally installed CD pipelines client to trigger a new build for the current branch.

pipelines start
The robots are working! Check the status of the build using the local CD pipelines client for updates at any time by executing:

pipelines status
pipelines log

4. Deploy the build artifact to an Acquia Cloud environment

When the build is complete (assuming it does not fail), the new build branch will be available in the Acquia Cloud subscription user interface.

Next Lesson(s)

Acquia Cloud CD does not require the use of GitHub or Continuous Delivery Environments. Therefore, please choose your adventure accordingly:

  • 3: Integrating GitHub
    • Learn how to execute your pipelines build automatically whenever a Pull Request or commit is created on GitHub
  • 4: Continuous Delivery Environments
    • Learn how to create a new On Demand Environment in the Acquia Cloud whenever your pipelines build is executed