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Saving the (Production) Environment

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Saving the (Production) Environment

Using Bazel to create different environments, and then ensure that targets only build with the correct environment.

· DevOps Zone ·
Free Resource

You can create different environments (e.g., testing, prod, mobile, rainforest) with Bazel, then use them to make sure that targets only build with the right environment. This is a cool feature that’s undocumented (because it’s still in development, shhhhh, don’t tell anyone I told you about it).

Let’s say you have a prod SSH key that you don’t want used in development or test builds. You could restrict it to only be used in prod builds by defining the following:

environment(name = "dev")
environment(name = "prod")
environment(name = "testing")

environment_group(
    name = "buildenv",
    defaults = ["dev"],
    environments = [
        "dev",
        "prod",
        "testing",
    ],
)

filegroup(
    name = "ssh-key",
    restricted_to = [":prod"],
    srcs = ["key"],
)

Now whenever we use :ssh-key, it has to be in a prod-environment rule.

For example, this works:

cc_binary(
    name = "prod-job",
    srcs = ["job.cc"],
    restricted_to = [":prod"],
    data = ["ssh-key"],
)

This doesn’t:

cc_test(
    name = "job-test",
    srcs = ["job_test.cc"],
    data = [":ssh-key"],
)

Building the second one gives:

$ bazel build :job-test
ERROR: /Users/kchodorow/test/a/BUILD:34:1: in cc_test rule //:job-test: dependency //:ssh-key doesn't support expected environment: //:dev.
ERROR: Analysis of target '//:job-test' failed; build aborted.
INFO: Elapsed time: 0.167s

Hopefully, if someone tried to add restricted_to = [":prod"] to a test, it’d “look wrong” and be easier to catch.

Note that you must set your defaults sanely.   When I first tried this, I made the environment_group‘s defaults = ["prod"] and then was confused that I wasn’t getting any errors. Everything is built for the default environments unless specified otherwise!

This lets us say:

“If a depends on b and b is restricted to a certain environment, then a must be restricted to the environment.”

However, there is another direction to look at this from: if a is restricted to an environment, b must be compatible with that environment. To express this, you can use "compatible_with":

filegroup(
    name = "dev-key",
    srcs = ["key.dev"],
    compatible_with = [
        ":dev",
        ":testing"
    ],
)

Now anything that’s restricted to “:dev” or “:testing” environments can depend on “:dev-key”. For example, these work:

cc_binary(
    name = "dev-job",
    srcs = ["job.cc"],
    data = [":dev-key"],
)

cc_test(
    name = "job-test",
    srcs = ["job_test.cc"],
    restricted_to = [":testing"],
    data = [":dev-key"],
)

This does not:

cc_binary(
    name = "prod-job",
    srcs = ["job.cc"],
    restricted_to = [":prod"],
    data = [":dev-key"],
)

The full matrix (assuming env is an environment) is:

b b

restricted to

env b

compatible with

env a

✓ ✗ ✓

a

restricted to

env

✗ ✓ ✓

a

compatible with

env

✗ ✗ ✓

Remember that environments are targets themselves, so avoid proliferating environments that aren’t global to the global scope (don’t make them publicly visible and keep them as private as possible).

Topics:
bazel ,python ,dev ops

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