What you need to remember if you have Configuration Management enabled for your websites

Tuesday 22 November 2022

At GovCMS we are all about enhancing your experience with the platform. To ensure a successful experience when configuration management is enabled, here’s the 5 key points you need to remember.

GovCMS has been busy in the background working on ways we can help website owners better manage their configuration files. Configuration management is the configuration inside the site. It allows developers and website owners to easily adjust values and settings via configuration files. This year we’ve introduced new steps as part of the distribution update to help you ensure your websites are not left with stale configuration files.

GovCMS customers are responsible for ensuring the database configuration of any environment is in sync with the respective branch(es) in your GitLab codebase. Not rebasing your codebase after a distribution update could result in your new database configuration reverting to an older version when you next deploy, potentially causing issues for your website.

To summarise, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Enabling-Configuration Management

You will need to raise a service desk ticket if you would like to enable configuration management for your website. It is a more streamlined process if this request comes from the agency representative not the service provider.

There are a few tasks that will need to be completed by the website’s owner and developer. Firstly, an agency representative needs to accept the responsibility of maintaining the configuration for their website. Then there are some technical tasks a developer / service provider needs to complete and confirm with the service desk.

  1. Deployments during maintenance window

During a scheduled maintenance window, all D9 SaaS deployments will be blocked while we deploy to the D9 Production branches. While the production block is on, you will still be able to develop and deploy to non-production feature branches. PaaS and D7 deployment schedules are not affected.

  1. Automatic configuration export provided post deployment

After GovCMS has completed the distribution upgrades to your website, a copy of the latest configuration from your production database will be created. You will be able to find it in GitLab in a branch called action-required/latest-config-export. You need to review and test the changes in the merge request. Once you are satisfied, please check the “Delete source branch” box and click “Merge”.

If no merge request exists after a release, then there was no change to the database configuration and no further action is required. For more information, see Managing Configuration Import/Export after a SaaS distribution update article in the knowledge base.

  1. Outstanding configuration merge requests will result in Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline, blocking any further production deployments

GovCMS has implemented an additional stop gap to prevent a mismatch between the website’s database configuration and what exists in the codebase. All subsequent commits will be blocked in the CI pipeline until this merge request branch is merged and deleted. This is to ensure that new database configuration changes are not reverted.

  1. Automatic 90 days out-of-date cleanse

GovCMS conducts monthly routine configuration clean up exercises. If the project is identified as having outdated configuration files greater than 90 days, configuration management will be DISABLED. For more information, see Automatic removal of stale environments article in the knowledge base.  If you require configuration management for this project again, you will need to raise a new Service Desk ticket request.