Application Preview

Create an Application Preview to deploy your application changes in an Ephemeral Instance


Application Preview allows you to generate an preview environment from GitHub Pull Request (PR) builds. You can use Application Preview to temporarily deploy your AWS-powered application to a LocalStack Ephemeral Instance and preview your application changes. Currently, the Application Preview are only supported for GitHub repositories using GitHub Actions.

Getting started

This guide is designed for users new to Application Preview and assumes basic knowledge of GitHub Actions. We will configure a CI pipeline that runs on pull requests using GitHub Actions.

To get started with a ready-to-use template, you can fork the bref-localstack-sample repository. The sample application deploys a serverless PHP application using Bref and the Serverless Framework.


Create the Application Preview

To create an Application Preview, you can use the LocalStack/setup-localstack/preview action.

The sample repository has been configured to use the workflow described above. For your custom repository, create a new file named ci-pipeline.yml in the .github/workflows directory. This file will contain the CI pipeline that runs on every pull request. This pipeline deploys the application to a LocalStack Ephemeral Instance.

The workflow file to create the Application Preview looks like this:

name: Create PR Preview

    types: [opened, synchronize, reopened]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    timeout-minutes: 15
      - name: Checkout
        uses: actions/checkout@v4

      - name: Deploy Preview
        uses: LocalStack/setup-localstack/preview@main
          github-token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          localstack-api-key: ${{ secrets.LOCALSTACK_API_KEY }}
          preview-cmd: |
            # Add your custom deployment commands here. 
            # Below is an example for the Bref Serverless application.
            export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=us-east-1
            npm install --include=dev
            npm run build
            composer require bref/bref
            mv .env.example .env
            php artisan key:generate
            npm run serverless -- deploy --stage dev

            pip install awscli-local[ver1]
            apiId=$(awslocal apigatewayv2 get-apis| jq -r '.Items[0].ApiId')
            echo "Open URL: $AWS_ENDPOINT_URL/restapis/$apiId/dev/_user_request_/"            

You will also need to configure the LOCALSTACK_API_KEY as a repository secret. You can find the API key on the LocalStack Web Application. The GITHUB_TOKEN is automatically created by GitHub and you can use it without any additional configuration.

Attach the Preview URL

You can now attach the Preview URL to the pull request by using the LocalStack/setup-localstack/finish action.

The sample repository has been configured to use the workflow described above. For your custom repository, create a new file named ci-finalize.yml in the .github/workflows directory. This file contains the CI pipeline that attaches a comment to the pull request with the Preview URL of the deployed application.

The workflow file to attach the Preview URL looks like this:

name: Finalize PR Preview

    workflows: ["Create PR Preview"]
      - completed

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - name: Finalize PR comment
        uses: LocalStack/setup-localstack/finish@main
          github-token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          include-preview: true

Open a Pull Request

Once your changes are in your repository, open a new pull request. GitHub will receive the request and trigger your workflow. You can track the workflow’s status and logs in the Checks section of the pull request.

After a short delay, the workflow will update the pull request with the URL of your preview environment. Just click on it to see the changes in real-time.

Each time the branch is updated, the same workflow will automatically refresh the preview environment.

Last modified May 17, 2024: Add callout shortcode (#1260) (52d305d4e)