Monday, December 11, 2023

How to Implement CICD Pipeline using GitHub Actions | GitHub Actions Tutorials | GitHub Actions CICD Pipeline | Build Java WAR file using GitHub Actions CICD Workflow

What is GitHub Actions?

  • GitHub Actions is a CICD platform to help you to automate tasks in software development lifecycle
  • It allows you to automate various tasks in your software development workflow by defining workflows using YAML files.
  • GitHub Actions are event-driven. i.e., when some event happens, you can trigger series of commands.
  • GitHub Actions goes beyond just DevOps and lets you run workflows when other events happen in your repository.
  • GitHub provides Linux, Windows, and macOS virtual machines to run your workflows, or you can host your own self-hosted runners in your own data center or cloud infrastructure.

GitHub Actions Workflow:

A workflow is a series of actions initiated once a triggering event occurs. For example, the triggering event can be some commit pushed to a GitHub repository, the creation of a pull request, or another workflow completed successfully. Event is the one which triggers the workflow.

Your workflow contains one or more jobs which can run in sequential order or in parallel. Each job will run inside its own virtual machine runner, or inside a container, and has one or more steps that either run a script that you define or run an action, which is a reusable extension that can simplify your workflow.

Workflows are defined by a YAML file checked in to your repository and will run when triggered by an event in your repository, or they can be triggered manually, or at a defined schedule.

Advantages of using GitHub Actions:

GitHub Actions offers several advantages for automating workflows in your software development process:

Integration with GitHub:

GitHub Actions is tightly integrated into the GitHub platform. This integration makes it easy to define, manage, and execute workflows directly within your repositories.

YAML-based Configuration:

Workflows are defined using YAML files, providing a simple and human-readable syntax. This makes it easy to understand, version, and share your workflow configurations.

Diverse Triggers:

GitHub Actions supports a variety of triggers for workflow execution, such as pushes, pull requests, issue comments, and scheduled events. This flexibility allows you to tailor workflows to your specific needs.

Parallel and Sequential Jobs:

Workflows can include multiple jobs that run in parallel or sequentially. This enables you to optimize build and test times by parallelizing tasks or organizing them in a specific order.

Reusable Actions:

GitHub Actions promotes code reuse through reusable actions. Actions are modular units of code that encapsulate a specific task and can be shared across different workflows and repositories

Supports a wide range of platforms and languages:

GitHub Actions supports a wide range of platforms and languages. This means that users can use the same automation tool for different projects and languages, which can simplify their workflows and reduce the need for multiple tools.

GitHub-hosted Runners:

GitHub provides virtual machines (runners) for executing workflows. These runners are pre-configured with various tools and environments, reducing the need for managing your own infrastructure.

Self-hosted Runners:

While GitHub provides hosted runners, you can also use self-hosted runners on your own infrastructure for greater control over the execution environment.

Community Actions:

GitHub Actions has a marketplace where you can find and share actions created by the community. This makes it easy to leverage existing solutions for common tasks in your workflows.


GitHub Actions allows you to securely store and use secrets (e.g., API keys, access tokens) in your workflows, ensuring sensitive information is protected.

Sample GitHub Actions Workflow YAML for creating a WAR file using Maven

You will create this file .github/workflows/build.yaml inside GitHub Repo where your Java code is.

name: Build a WAR file using Maven
    branches: [ "master" ]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    - uses: actions/checkout@v3
    - name: Set up JDK 11
      uses: actions/setup-java@v2
        distribution: 'adopt'
        java-version: '11'
    - name: Build with Maven
      run: mvn clean install -f MyWebApp/pom.xml

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