Deployment

Run-time vs. Build-time

This platform compiles to a static web site, which means that it can be deployed to any host that can serve files (most notably Github's free "Github Pages" offering). At run-time, it requires no server-side technologies.

That said, the platform does require some server-side technologies to build the site. At build-time, this platform requires Python and Ruby.

Automation services

The easiest way to perform these builds is to use a free automation service like TravisCI or CircleCI. Alternatives such as self-hosted Jenkins are possible, but require more maintenance and likely would not be free.

Note that the "starter" repositories are pre-configured for to handle all of the tasks mentioned in this document, using CircleCI for automation.

Hosting providers

Once the platform has been built, it simply needs to be uploaded to a hosting provider. Github's free "Github Pages" offering is the easiest host to use, since it only requires committing the built files to a certain Git branch. This documentation will assume the use of Github Pages as a host.

However, alternatives are easy - after all, it's merely uploading files.

Staging vs Production

It is helpful to have both a "staging" and "production" version of the site, in order to preview changes (staging) before they are presented to the public (production). If using Github Pages as a host, the simplest way to do this to create a second Github account specifically for the purpose of hosting the production site.

Deployment overview for the two repositories

Implementing this platform requires 2 separate repositories, which we call the "site repository" and the "data repository". A deployment workflow will need to be set up for both of these repositories.

Deploying the data repository

To deploy the data repository requires these tasks (which, again, are pre-configured in the starter repositories):

  1. Validate the data and metadata to ensure quality
  2. Convert the data (CSV) and metadata (YAML) into optimized JSON format
  3. Upload the built files to the hosting provider

Deploying the site repository

To deploy the site repository requires these tasks (which, again, are pre-configured in the starter repositories):

  1. Build the Jekyll site
  2. Validate the HTML of the site to ensure quality
  3. Upload the built files to the hosting provider