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AWS CodeBuild

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What you'll learn

  • How to run Cypress tests with AWS CodeBuild as part of CI/CD pipeline
  • How to parallelize Cypress test runs within AWS CodeBuild

With AWS CodeBuild Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers developers "...a fully managed build service that compiles your source code, runs unit tests, and produces artifacts that are ready to deploy" allowing teams to "pay only for the build time you use".

Detailed documentation is available in the AWS CodeBuild Documentation.

Basic Setup

The example below is basic CI setup and job using the AWS CodeBuild to run Cypress tests within the Electron browser. This AWS CodeBuild configuration is placed within buildspec.yml.

## buildspec.yml
version: 0.2

phases:
install:
runtime-versions:
nodejs: latest
commands:
# Set COMMIT_INFO variables to send Git specifics to Cypress Cloud when recording
# https://docs.cypress.io/guides/continuous-integration/introduction#Git-information
- export COMMIT_INFO_BRANCH="$(git rev-parse HEAD | xargs git name-rev |
cut -d' ' -f2 | sed 's/remotes\/origin\///g')"
- export COMMIT_INFO_MESSAGE="$(git log -1 --pretty=%B)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_EMAIL="$(git log -1 --pretty=%ae)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_AUTHOR="$(git log -1 --pretty=%an)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_SHA="$(git log -1 --pretty=%H)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_REMOTE="$(git config --get remote.origin.url)"
- npm ci
pre_build:
commands:
- npm run cy:verify
- npm run cy:info
build:
commands:
- npm run start:ci &
- npx cypress run --record
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Try it out

To try out the example above yourself, fork the Cypress Kitchen Sink example project and place the above AWS CodeBuild configuration in buildspec.yml.

How this buildspec works:

  • On push to this repository, this job will provision and start AWS-hosted Amazon Linux instance with Node.js for running the outlined pre_build and build for the declared commands within the commands section of the configuration.
  • AWS CodeBuild will checkout our code from our GitHub repository.
  • Finally, our buildspec.yml configuration will:
    • Install npm dependencies
    • Start the project web server (npm start:ci)
    • Run the Cypress tests within our GitHub repository within Electron.

Testing in Chrome and Firefox with Cypress Docker Images

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As of version 0.2, CodeBuild does not provide a way to specify a custom image for single build configurations. One way to solve this is using an AWS CodeBuild batch build-list strategy.

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Enabling batch builds in the CodeBuild UI for the project

Per the AWS CodeBuild batch build documentation, AWS CodeBuild creates a separate build for each possible configuration combination for a batch build-list strategy. Therefore, AWS CodeBuild projects must be created or updated to run batch configuration.

Follow these steps to enable batch configuration for existing AWS CodeBuild projects:

  • Navigate to the AWS CodeBuild Console
  • Select the project
  • Click "Edit" --> "Batch Configuration"
  • Create "New service Role" and enter the name of the role
  • Leave all other options as optional
  • Click "Update batch configuration"
  • Start the Build

AWS CodeBuild offers a build-list strategy of different job configurations for a single job definition.

The build-list strategy offers a way to specify an image hosted on DockerHub or the Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR).

The Cypress team maintains the official Docker Images for running Cypress locally and in CI, which are built with Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. For example, this allows us to run the tests in Firefox by passing the --browser firefox attribute to cypress run.

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Cypress Amazon Public ECR

The Cypress team has published it's Docker Images for running Cypress locally and in CI in the Amazon ECR Public Gallery.

The images are available in the following Amazon ECR Public Galleries:

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Choosing the right Docker Image

For E2E Testing on a CI provider like AWS CodeBuild, the Cypress 'browsers' Amazon ECR Public Gallery contains the images to use.

What's the difference in the images?

The base Docker images are used by the browsers and included images for the base operating system and set of initial dependencies, but does not install Cypress or additional browsers.

The browsers images extend a base image and installs one or more browsers such as Chrome or Firefox.

The included images extend a browsers image and installs a specific version of Cypress and adds a Docker entrypoint for the cypress run command. These images are for testing a containerized version of Cypress in a project during local development and are not used in CI environments.

## buildspec.yml
version: 0.2

## AWS CodeBuild Batch configuration
## https://docs.aws.amazon.com/codebuild/latest/userguide/batch-build-buildspec.html
## Define build to run using the
## "cypress/browsers:node-20.9.0-chrome-118.0.5993.88-1-ff-118.0.2-edge-118.0.2088.46-1" image
## from the Cypress Amazon ECR Public Gallery
batch:
fast-fail: false
build-list:
- identifier: cypress-e2e-tests
env:
image: public.ecr.aws/cypress-io/cypress/browsers:node-20.9.0-chrome-118.0.5993.88-1-ff-118.0.2-edge-118.0.2088.46-1

phases:
install:
runtime-versions:
nodejs: latest
commands:
# Set COMMIT_INFO variables to send Git specifics to Cypress Cloud when recording
# https://docs.cypress.io/guides/continuous-integration/introduction#Git-information
- export COMMIT_INFO_BRANCH="$(git rev-parse HEAD | xargs git name-rev |
cut -d' ' -f2 | sed 's/remotes\/origin\///g')"
- export COMMIT_INFO_MESSAGE="$(git log -1 --pretty=%B)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_EMAIL="$(git log -1 --pretty=%ae)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_AUTHOR="$(git log -1 --pretty=%an)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_SHA="$(git log -1 --pretty=%H)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_REMOTE="$(git config --get remote.origin.url)"
- npm ci
pre_build:
commands:
- npm run cy:verify
- npm run cy:info
build:
commands:
- npm run start:ci &
- npx cypress run --record --browser firefox

Caching Dependencies and Build Artifacts

Caching with AWS CodeBuild directly can be challenging.

The Build caching in AWS CodeBuild document offers details on local or Amazon S3 caching.

Per the documentation, "Local caching stores a cache locally on a build host that is available to that build host only". This will not be useful during parallel test runs.

The "Amazon S3 caching stores the cache in an Amazon S3 bucket that is available across multiple build hosts". While this may sound useful, in practice the upload of cached dependencies can take some time. Furthermore, each worker will attempt to save it's dependency cache to Amazon S3, which increases build time significantly.

Beyond the scope of this guide, but AWS CodePipeline may be of use to cache the initial source, dependencies and build output for use in AWS CodeBuild jobs using AWS CodePipeline Input and Output Artifacts.

Reference the AWS CodePipeline integration with CodeBuild and multiple input sources and output artifacts sample example for details on how to configure a CodePipeline with an output artifact.

Parallelization

Cypress Cloud offers the ability to parallelize and group test runs along with additional insights and analytics for Cypress tests.

AWS CodeBuild offers a batch build-matrix strategy for declaring different job configurations for a single job definition. The batch build-matrix strategy provides an option to specify a container image for the job. Jobs declared within a build-matrix strategy can run in parallel which enables us run multiples instances of Cypress at same time as we will see later in this section.

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Enabling batch builds in the CodeBuild UI for the project

Per the AWS CodeBuild batch build documentation, AWS CodeBuild creates a separate build for each possible configuration combination for a batch build-matrix strategy. Therefore, AWS CodeBuild projects must be created or updated to run batch configuration.

Follow these steps to enable batch configuration for existing AWS CodeBuild projects:

  • Navigate to the AWS CodeBuild Console
  • Select the project
  • Click "Edit" --> "Batch Configuration"
  • Create "New service Role" and enter the name of the role
  • Leave all other options as optional
  • Click "Update batch configuration"
  • Start the Build

The Cypress team maintains the official Docker Images for running Cypress locally and in CI, which are built with Google Chrome and Firefox. This allows us to run the tests in Firefox by passing the --browser firefox attribute to cypress run.

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The following configuration using the --parallel and --record flags to cypress run requires setting up recording test results to Cypress Cloud.

Parallelizing the build

To setup multiple containers to run in parallel, the build-matrix configuration uses a set of variables (CY_GROUP_SPEC and WORKERS) with a list of items specific to each group for the build.

The fields are delimited by a pipe (|) character as follows:

## Group Name | Browser | Specs | Cypress Configuration options (optional)

'UI-Chrome-Mobile|chrome|cypress/tests/ui/*|viewportWidth=375,viewportHeight=667'

The build-matrix will run all permutations delimited items.

batch:
fast-fail: false
build-matrix:
# ...
dynamic:
env:
# ...
variables:
CY_GROUP_SPEC:
- 'UI-Chrome|chrome|cypress/tests/ui/*'
- 'UI-Chrome-Mobile|chrome|cypress/tests/ui/*|viewportWidth=375,viewportHeight=667'
- 'API|chrome|cypress/tests/api/*'
- 'UI-Firefox|firefox|cypress/tests/ui/*'
- 'UI-Firefox-Mobile|firefox|cypress/tests/ui/*|viewportWidth=375,viewportHeight=667'

During the install phase, we utilize shell scripting with the cut command to assign values from the delimited CY_GROUP_SPEC passed to the worker into shell variables that will be used in the build phase when running cypress run.

batch:
# ...

phases:
install:
commands:
# Set COMMIT_INFO variables to send Git specifics to Cypress Cloud when recording
# https://docs.cypress.io/guides/continuous-integration/introduction#Git-information
- export COMMIT_INFO_BRANCH="$(git rev-parse HEAD | xargs git name-rev |
cut -d' ' -f2 | sed 's/remotes\/origin\///g')"
- export COMMIT_INFO_MESSAGE="$(git log -1 --pretty=%B)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_EMAIL="$(git log -1 --pretty=%ae)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_AUTHOR="$(git log -1 --pretty=%an)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_SHA="$(git log -1 --pretty=%H)"
- export COMMIT_INFO_REMOTE="$(git config --get remote.origin.url)"
- CY_GROUP=$(echo $CY_GROUP_SPEC | cut -d'|' -f1)
- CY_BROWSER=$(echo $CY_GROUP_SPEC | cut -d'|' -f2)
- CY_SPEC=$(echo $CY_GROUP_SPEC | cut -d'|' -f3)
- CY_CONFIG=$(echo $CY_GROUP_SPEC | cut -d'|' -f4)
- npm ci
## ...

To parallelize the runs, we need to add an additional variable to the build-matrix strategy, WORKERS.

batch:
fast-fail: false
build-matrix:
# ...
dynamic:
env:
# ...
variables:
CY_GROUP_SPEC:
# ...
WORKERS:
- 1
- 2
- 3
- 4
- 5
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Note

The WORKERS array is filled with filler (or dummy) items to provision the desired number of CI machine instances within the batch build-matrix strategy and will provide 5 workers to each group defined in the CY_GROUP_SPEC.

Finally, the script variables are passed to the call to cypress run.

phases:
install:
# ...
build:
commands:
- npm start:ci &
- npx cypress run --record --parallel --browser $CY_BROWSER --ci-build-id
$CODEBUILD_INITIATOR --group "$CY_GROUP" --spec "$CY_SPEC" --config
"$CY_CONFIG"

Using Cypress Cloud with AWS CodeBuild

caution

Dashboard analytics are dependent on your CI environment reliably providing commit SHA data (typically via an environment variable) which is not always present by default. This is not a problem for most users, but if you are facing integration issues with your CodeBuild setup, please make sure the git information is being sent properly by following these guidelines, or just see the example codebuild.yml file at the top of this page. If you are still facing issues after this, please contact us.

In the AWS CodeBuild configuration we have defined in the previous section, we are leveraging three useful features of Cypress Cloud:

  1. Recording test results with the --record flag to Cypress Cloud.

  2. Parallelizing test runs and optimizing their execution via intelligent load-balancing of test specs across CI machines with the --parallel flag.

  3. Organizing and consolidating multiple cypress run calls by labeled groups into a single report within Cypress Cloud. In the example above we use the --group UI-Chrome flag to organize all UI tests for the Chrome browser into a group labeled "UI-Chrome" inside the Cypress Cloud report.

Cypress Real World Example with AWS CodeBuild

A complete CI workflow against multiple browsers, viewports and operating systems is available in the Cypress Real World App (RWA).

Clone the Real World App (RWA) and refer to the buildspec.yml file.