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FTP Deployment: smart file upload

FTP deployment is a tool for automated deployment to an FTP server.

There is nothing worse than uploading web applications to FTP server manually, using tools like Total Commander. (Although, editing files directly on the server and then trying to keep some kind of synchronization is even worse ;-)

Once the process is automated, it costs you a fraction of time and minimizes the risk of error (didn't I forget to upload some files?). There are lots of sophisticated deploying techniques available today, but many people are still using FTP. This tool is designed for them.

FTP Deployment is a script written in PHP (requires PHP 5.4 or newer) and will automate the entire process. Just say which local folder to upload and where. This information is stored in a deployment.ini text file, which you can associate with deployment script, so deployment will become a one click thing.

php deployment deployment.ini

And what does the deployment.ini file contain? Only the remote item is required, all the others are optional:

; log file (defaults to config file with .log extension)
log = ...

; directory for temporary files (defaults to system's temporary directory)
tempDir = /temp/deployment

; enable colored highlights? (defaults to autodetect)
colors = yes

[my site] ; Optional section (there may be more than one section).
; remote FTP server
remote =
; you can use ftps:// or sftp:// protocols (sftp requires SSH2 extension)

; do not like to specify user & password in 'remote'? Use these options:
user = ...
password = ...

; FTP passive mode
passiveMode = yes

; local path (optional)
local = .

; run in test-mode? (can be enabled by option -t or --test)
test = no

; files and directories to ignore
ignore = "
; is allowed to delete remote files? (defaults to yes)
allowDelete = yes

; jobs to run before uploading
before[] = local: lessc assets/combined.less assets/combined.css
before[] =

; jobs to run after uploading and before uploaded files are renamed
afterUpload[] =

; directories to purge after uploading
purge[] = temp/cache

; jobs to run after everything (upload, rename, delete, purge) is done
after[] = remote: unzip
after[] = remote: chmod 0777 temp/cache  ; change permissions
after[] =

; files to preprocess (defaults to *.js *.css)
preprocess = no

; file which contains hashes of all uploaded files (defaults to .htdeployment)
deploymentFile = .deployment

Configuration can also be stored in a PHP file.

In test mode (with -t option) uploading or deleting files is skipped, so you can use it to verify your settings.

Item ignore uses the similar format to .gitignore:

log - ignore all 'log' files or directories in all subfolders
/log - ignore 'log' file or directory in the root
app/log - ignore 'log' file or directory in the 'app' in the root
data/* - ignore everything inside the 'data' folder, but the folder will be created on FTP
!data/db/file.sdb - make an exception for the previous rule and do not ignore file 'file.sdb'
project.pp[jx] - ignore files or folders 'project.ppj' and 'project.ppx'

Before the upload starts, after it finishes and after all jobs, you can execute commands or call your scripts on the server (see before, afterUpload, after), which can, for example, switch the server to a maintenance mode. If you use php-config – you can run lambda function with deployment environment.

Syncing a large number of files attempts to run in (something like) a transaction: all files are uploaded with extension .deploytmp and then quickly renamed.

An .htdeployment file is uploaded to the server, which contains MD5 hashes of all the files and is used for synchronization. So the next time you run deployment, only modified files are uploaded and deleted files are deleted on server (if it is not forbidden by the allowDelete directive).

Uploaded files can be processed by a preprocessor. These rules are predefined: .css files are compressed using the Clean-CSS and .js minified by Google Closure Compiler via online services.

There is also a rule for expanding mod_include Apache directives. For example, you can create a file combined.js:

<!--#include file="jquery.js" -->
<!--#include file="jquery.fancybox.js" -->
<!--#include file="main.js" -->

This tool will combine scripts together and minify them with the Closure Compiler to speed-up your website.

In the deployment.ini, you can create multiple sections, i.e. you may have separate rules for data and for application.

Installing FTP Deployment

FTP Deployment requires PHP 5.4 or later. It also requires openssl extensions for ftps:// and SSH2 extension for sftp:// connections.

The easiest way to obtain FTP Deployment is to download a single PHAR file.

Or you can install it using Composer:

composer create-project dg/ftp-deployment

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