Introducing Frontend Robot's official Github integration

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Mario Casciaro@mariocasciaro
July 03, 2019

Frontend Robot can now hook into your Github repository and - among other things - automatically run a test suite after a successful deployment. Works great with Zeit Now and Heroku.

It’s all about automation

For many development teams, Github is the centerpiece of their daily work. It’s not a mystery why. Github is not just a code repository in the cloud, it’s a complete platform to support the creation of software from inception to maturity. This is also thanks to all the third-party applications that integrate with the platform. There’s an integration for every need. You can build your code on every commit, get a new ticket when there’s an error in your product, keep your dependencies up-to-date, and many many more scenarios. In short, it’s all about improving a team’s workflow, to increase its productivity and happiness. And the secret sauce it’s automation. The more a process is automated, the more it’s efficient and less error prone.

Frontend Robot fits perfectly in this philosophy and that’s why we’ve been working on an official integration with Github, with the aim to automate and simplify even more your end-to-end testing workflow.

Automatic Deployments…

Github provides to third-party users a set of API to create deployments associated with a specific commit or pull request. Using the words from the Github documentation:

Deployments are requests to deploy a specific ref (branch, SHA, tag). GitHub dispatches a deployment event that external services can listen for and act on when new deployments are created. Deployments enable developers and organizations to build loosely coupled tooling around deployments, without having to worry about the implementation details of delivering different types of applications (e.g., web, native).

In more practical terms, it means that Github integrations can trigger automated deployments for each new commit or pull request and display the new deployment’s details directly on Github, side-by-side the commit or pull request that triggered it.

A deployment on Github powered by Zeit Now
A deployment on Github powered by Zeit Now

But it doesn’t end here. Github will also dispatch an event to notify other integrations when a deployment completes, allowing to perform various post-checks on a deployment.

You can use the Deployments API from a custom build script, but of course the most useful scenario is having a proper integration doing all the automation and heavy lifting. The most notable examples of products that integrate with the Github Deployments API are Zeit Now and Heroku.

…and Automatic Testing

One of the most useful things you can do on a freshly deployed application is testing it, and the new Frontend Robot Github integration will help you do exactly that.

Frontend Robot will listen for the deployment completed events and it will run the test suite associated with the repository/environment. The results of the tests will then be attached to the commit or the PR that triggered the deployment 🙌.

Frontend Robot checks for a Github commit
Frontend Robot checks for a Github commit

Connecting a Github repository with a test suite on Frontend Robot is really easy. Just navigate to a test suite’s Settings tab, connect your Github account and then select the repository you want to integrate with.

Connecting a Github repository on Frontend Robot
Connecting a Github repository on Frontend Robot

After you’ve connected your repository, each automated deployment will trigger a new test suite run.

You can know more about our GitHub integration on our documentation.

Conclusions

Tools like Zeit Now and Heroku can greatly simplify the deployment process. In most instances they require a very minimal setup (or none at all!) and their Github integration will automatically deploy the code at each commit or pull request. Frontend Robot wants to complement this dream workflow with automated end-to-end tests, requiring minimal setup, automatically triggered from Github when a deployment completes. With Github, Zeit, Heroku and Frontend Robot, you can now get up and running with deployments and end-to-end testing in minutes.

This is just the beginning, in the near future our Github integration will also work with other tools not using the Deployment API.

If you have any questions or feedback you can send me an email at mario@frontendrobot.com or chat to us on our website.

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