The last few weeks I’ve been working for the NZ Green Party on an update to their CiviCRM DB. I expect a bit of suffering in any CiviCRM upgrade, and I wasn’t disappointed. (I accept suffering as inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I need to embrace it.)
I wanted to kick off with a recipe which would let me reproducibly bring up upgraded versions of CiviCRM with a fresh copy of the site data. (See @todo Obfuscating CiviCRM test data for more on that.)
(@todo I should write an embargo plugin for Jekyll so I can say
embargo: +3mo in my post’s YAML.)
(@todo I should write a @todo plugin too.)
Ideally, all this would also build towards a more reproducible infrastructure for the NZ Green Party to hand out to developers. The current setup (a dev / staging box) was bottlenecking new developer contributions, and there were no quick answers to the “how do we bring a new team member onboard” available.
I look forward to a situation where a new volunteer can be given instructions to deploy a Drupal/CiviCRM instance, fetch a sample dataset (defanged of sensitive info), and start hacking for world domination.
The tools chosen so far for this round turned out to be -
- Lots of RAM.
- Vagrant and VirtualBox for VMs, chef-solo to deployed instances. (Baby steps.)
- Librarian to manage a set of fairly standard LAMP (& drush) cookbooks.
- Drush make to build the Drupal / CiviCRM “app”.
- A custom DB upgrade script, which output on provision & called on demand.
The interesting elements turned out to be -
- CiviCRM upgrades are fraught. If your DB isn’t in the exact configuration CiviCRM expects, it chokes hard on upgrade. CiviCRM upgrades and DB issues.
- CiviCRM relocation requires a few gentle taps in the right place. Deploying CiviCRM.
- Obfuscating DB content for sharing.
(@todo I plan on writing more.)