CircleCI is a "continuous integration" (CI) cloud service. It is useful for Open SDG in a way that is typical of open-source projects: it "listens" for certain events in your GitHub repository, and then provides temporary virtual machines to perform various server-side tasks. Open SDG needs a CI tool to accomplish these things:
- Run each new proposed change through certain tests, to prevent regression bugs
- Build and deploy the platform to a "staging" environment whenever changes are made
- Build and deploy the platform to a "production" environment whenever a new release is made
- Although there are paid plans, the free tier is sufficient for Open SDG implementations
- Built-in integrations with Github repositories
There are not many downsides to CircleCI, making it a good choice for Open SDG.
CircleCI's tight integration with Github repositories makes it relatively simple to set up. The Quick start page details the process of using CircleCI with Open SDG.