GitHub Workflow is a feature of GitHub, a popular platform for version control and collaboration on software projects. It allows you to define and automate a series of steps that need to be executed whenever changes are made to a repository. This is particularly useful in software development for tasks like building, testing, and deploying code. GitHub Workflow is based on the concept of “Actions,” which are individual tasks or scripts that can be triggered by various events, such as pushing code changes, creating pull requests, or manually invoking an action.
Here’s how GitHub Workflow works:
- Workflow Configuration: A GitHub Workflow is defined using YAML files stored within a special
.github/workflowsdirectory in your repository. These YAML files contain instructions for what actions should be performed when certain events occur. this file is not in your repository you should have to create this file.
- Events: Workflows are triggered by events. An event can be any activity that occurs in your repository, such as a push to a specific branch, the creation of a pull request, or the addition of a new issue. You can configure workflows to run on specific events.
- Jobs: Within a workflow, you define one or more jobs. A job is a logical unit of work that you want to perform. Each job can consist of one or more steps.
- Steps: Steps are individual actions or tasks within a job. These can include actions like checking out the code from the repository, building the code, running tests, deploying to a server, and more. Each step can be a command, script, or an existing GitHub Action provided by the community or your organization.
- Actions: Actions are reusable units of code that can be used in your workflows. GitHub provides a marketplace where you can find pre-built actions created by GitHub or the community. These actions encapsulate common tasks, and you can also create your own custom actions.
- Running and Executing: When the event that triggers the workflow occurs (e.g., a new push or pull request), GitHub starts the workflow and begins executing the defined jobs and steps. Each job runs on a separate virtual machine or container.
- Artifacts and Outputs: Workflows can produce artifacts, which are files generated during the workflow execution. These artifacts can be stored and made available for later use.
- Notifications and Feedback: As the workflow progresses, GitHub provides feedback on the execution status of each job and step. You can see this information in the GitHub web interface or receive notifications via email or other communication channels.
- Parallel and Sequential Execution: Jobs within a workflow can run in parallel or sequentially, depending on your configuration. This allows you to optimize the execution time and resource utilization of your workflow.
- Workflow Results: At the end of a workflow run, you can see whether the workflow succeeded or failed. You can also examine the logs and outputs of each step to diagnose any issues.
By using GitHub Workflow, you can automate the repetitive tasks in your software development process, ensure consistent quality through automated testing, and streamline the deployment of your applications.