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Continuous Integration and Deployment of PHP applications from GitHub to Heroku with Semaphore

In this post we will show you how to set up continuous integration and deployment for a simple Laravel web application through Semaphore. You can find the application's source code on GitHub.

# Creating the application on Heroku

You can create a new application on Heroku either on their web interface or from the command line. If you need custom software in the Heroku instance, go with the latter.

For deploying a Laravel project to Heroku, we prefer creating the Heroku app from the command line with a custom build pack.

heroku create php-cogs --buildpack https://github.com/winglian/heroku-buildpack-php

This installs all dependecies which are needed to properly run a Laravel application. Either way, the new application will appear in your "Apps" screen on Heroku.

While you're here, copy your Heroku API key from the Account settings. Semaphore will need this key to deploy your application.

# Setting up continuous integration from GitHub to Semaphore

Sign up for a Semaphore account and connect with GitHub.

If you are working on an open source project, select "Build Public Project". After receiving access to public information on GitHub, Semaphore will present you a list of available projects to choose from.

After you select a project, Semaphore will analyze it and suggest some common build commands.

At this point, you are ready to launch the first build.

Every time you or other people push new code to GitHub, Semaphore will run a build to test it.

# Setting up continuous deployment to Heroku

Visiting the project page allows you to add a server to which Semaphore is going to deploy the application.

Choose Heroku from supported deployment methods.

The deployment can be automatic or manual. In the spirit of continuous delivery, we'll go with automatic deployment.

Next, we need to choose the branch which we want to automatically deploy after a successful build.

After that, we will paste our Heroku API key.

Select the Heroku application which we want to deploy.

Finaly, we need to enter a name for our deployment server. Semaphore will provide a generic name, but it's preferable to replace it with a meaningful one.

Clicking the Create Server button will finish the deployment setup. Semaphore now has all the information it needs to automatically deploy your application.

After we have completed the steps above, we're ready to deploy our Heroku application.

Now every time you push a new commit to Github and all tests pass, Semaphore will deploy the new version of your application to Heroku. Of course, you or any of your collaborators can always trigger the deployment manually on the build page of a branch. This is especially useful when you need to deploy a feature branch to a staging server.

One thing to note is that by default many projects include the composer.lock file in .gitignore but that way deploying to Heroku will not work, so it's a good idea to remove it from there.

That's it. Make something awesome and rest assured that your application will automagically reach its audience. Happy building!

Semaphore Docs are open source — Edit on GitHub

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