Fixing Invalid DATABASE_URL Reference on CircleCI

I’ve become a huge fan of CircleCI—it’s the best CI tool for small-medium projects that I’ve found. Recently I ran into an issue setting up a new rails project with Postgres as the database backend with circle:

export RAILS_ENV="test" export RACK_ENV="test" bundle exec rake db:create db:schema:load --trace ** Invoke db:create (first_time) ** Invoke db:load_config (first_time) ** Execute db:load_config rake aborted! NameError: Cannot load `Rails.application.database_configuration`: uninitialized constant DATABASE_URL

However, when I looked at my database.yml the constant DATABASE_URL was clearly not being used. DATABASE_URL was properly being used as the lookup string for an ENV reference:

# config/database.yml test: url: <%= ENV['TEST_DATABASE_URL'] %>

I was stumped for a while until I ssh’d into circle and noticed that somehow the single quotes were stripped from DATABASE_URL:

# cat config/database.yml test: url: <%= ENV[DATABASE_URL] %> adapter: postgresql database: circle_ruby_test username: ubuntu host: localhost

Circle’s build inference process involves generating a database.yml file which uses the original database.yml file to some extent. Some part of the process involves stripping single quotes, which is what was causing the build breakage. Make sure that you use double quotes instead of single quotes in database.yml when using CircleCI.

Automating Staging Deploys to Staging on CI Build Success

Here’s how to automatically push new builds (and run database migrations) to a heroku-hosted app using circle CI:

deployment: staging: branch: master commands: - heroku maintenance:on --app the-app-name - git push $CIRCLE_SHA1:master - heroku run rake db:migrate --app the-app-name - heroku maintenance:off --app the-app-name

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Sending Dokku Container Logs to Papertrail

I’m a huge fan of Heroku. Although it’s expensive compared to a raw DigitalOcean droplet or EC2 instance, it’s so easy and it just works.

However, there are some use-cases that Heroku doesn’t handle well. Business integration systems (eCommerce NetSuite integration, for example) often require handling requests that may take longer than the 30 second request timeout.

Dokku is the next-best alternative to using heroku (if you don’t have enormous scaling needs: dokku apps are restricted to a single host). Here’s how to push your dokku app logs running to PaperTrail, or another syslog-compatible cloud hosting provider (I’m sure this approach would work for Loggly or CloudWatch).

Install dokku-logspout: dokku plugin:install Point logspout to your PaperTrail syslog endpoint: dokku logspout:server syslog+tls:// Make sure your PaperTrail endpoint is configured to accept TLS connections. Install dokku-hostname: dokku plugin:install dokku-hostname. This will ensure that the host in your PaperTrail logs use the heroku-like name of your worker instead of the docker container ID. Run dokku logspout:start and use logspout:stream to ensure that your logs are being aggregated properly.

The resulting log output should look something like:

Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: /app/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.3.0/gems/sidekiq-4.1.1/lib/sidekiq/processor.rb:167:in `stats' Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: /app/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.3.0/gems/sidekiq-4.1.1/lib/sidekiq/processor.rb:127:in `process' Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: /app/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.3.0/gems/sidekiq-4.1.1/lib/sidekiq/processor.rb:79:in `process_one' Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: /app/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.3.0/gems/sidekiq-4.1.1/lib/sidekiq/processor.rb:67:in `run' Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: /app/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.3.0/gems/sidekiq-4.1.1/lib/sidekiq/util.rb:16:in `watchdog' Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: /app/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.3.0/gems/sidekiq-4.1.1/lib/sidekiq/util.rb:24:in `block in safe_thread' Apr 15 14:49:28 pipeline.worker.1: 11 TID-os97lykxo INFO: [Rollbar] Scheduling payload

Here’s a couple issues you may run into:

You may need to rebuild your apps for them to start piping to logspout. dokku ps:rebuildall When you re-deploy your apps, the heroku-like program names will be lost. To fix this run dokku logspout:stop && dokku logspout:start. Hopefully this issue will be fixed soon. docker ps returns a daemon error. Run sudo usermod -aG docker ubuntu && sudo reboot as ubuntu.

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