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Application pipeline


Audience: Architects, Application developers, Administrators

Timing: 30 minutes

In this topic, we're going to:

  • Create an MQ application pipeline
  • Examine the pipeline tasks
  • Run the pipeline
  • Review the resultant GitOps application folders
  • Explore how ArgoCD automatically deploys the application
  • Test the application using curl

The following diagram illustrates how CICD is achieved using Tekton pipelines and ArgoCD applications. In this topic, we are going to focus on the highlighted application CICD.

Application pipeline

The application pipeline executes a set of tasks designed to ensure that the application builds successfully, including passing a set of functional and security tests. If every step is successful, the pipeline creates a new application image and GitOps configuration. Subsequently, a dedicated ArgoCD application watches for new MQ application images and configurations, which it deploys to the cluster.

Notice the separation of concerns between Tekton and ArgoCD. Tekton's role is to perform continuous integration, ensuring that the best current version of the application is available for deployment. ArgoCD's role is to perform continuous deployment, ensuring that the cluster is always kept up-to-date with the latest built application that has passed all required tests.


In order to deploy the pipelines for the application we require the following prerequisites to be configured and installed:

  • Create the cluster on the cloud platform of your choice.
  • Configure the cluster for GitOps, and install the cluster infrastructure and cloud native services.
  • Complete the steps in the previous topic to clone the application source.
  • Ensure you are logged into your cluster from the command line.

Build and test the application

Let's now review the application pipeline to build, smoke test and configure the application.

The production reference guide includes a number of pre-configured application pipelines for different programming languages and frameworks. These pipelines illustrate best practices for continuous integration. They are not meant to be exhaustive; you can modify them for your own projects.

For this section, we return to the terminal window we used in previous chapters for interacting with the GitOps repository rather than the one we’ve just used to clone the mq-spring-app client application source repository. Open a new terminal window for the multi-tenancy-gitops-apps repository if necessary.

  1. Review the pre-configured pipeline

    Open the OpenShift console and navigate to Pipelines > Pipelines.

    You will want to select the ci Project from the drop-down at the top of the page.

    Click the mq-spring-app-dev Pipeline to view the client application build and deployment pipeline.

    MQ Spring App Pipeline

    You can see the different stages of the pipeline, from building the Java application, unit testing, through to updating the image registry and GitOps repo.

    You can also view the pipeline from the command line:

    oc describe Pipeline mq-spring-app-dev -n ci
  2. Kickoff a pipeline run

    From the Actions dropdown menu in the upper-right corner, select Start.

    MQ Spring App Pipeline Start Dialog

    Configure the run as follows:

    • Set git-url to your fork of the mq-spring-app repository
    • Set git-revision to master. (Later in the tutorial, we will use a new branch.)
    • Set scan-image: false (temporary fix while issues with UBI are resolved)

    Click Start and wait! It may take a little while for the pipeline to run. Keep checking until all steps have completed.

  3. Re-merging local clone to view updated app resources in GitOps repository

    The mq-spring-app-dev pipeline run updated the GitOps repository with the application kubernetes resources. This means that our local clone of the GitOps repository is one commit behind GitHub. Before we can push any more changes to the GitOps repository, we must re-merge our local clone with GitHub.

    Return to the terminal window you're using for the multi-tenancy-gitops-apps GitOps apps repository. (Rather than the terminal window you're using for the mq-spring-app-dev source repository.)

    git fetch origin
    git merge origin/$GIT_BRANCH

    which shows that

    Updating e99438d..3a1f80d
     mq/environments/dev/mq-qm01/queuemanager/queuemanager.yaml      |   2 --
     mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/configmap/configmap-ccdt.yaml |  25 +++++++++++++++
     mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/configmap/configmap.yaml      |  12 +++++++
     mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/deployment/deployment.yaml    | 100 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
     4 files changed, 137 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)
     create mode 100644 mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/configmap/configmap-ccdt.yaml
     create mode 100644 mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/configmap/configmap.yaml
     create mode 100644 mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/deployment/deployment.yaml

    We're now in a consistent state with the GitOps apps repository, so let's construct our next set of changes to push.

  4. The ArgoCD application for MQ sample application

    MQ sample application has its deployment to the cluster managed by a dedicated ArgoCD application called dev-mq-spring-app-instance. This follows the separation of concerns pattern where one ArgoCD application manages a set of related Kubernetes resources deployed to a cluster; in this case, all those resources associated with MQ sample application in the dev namespace.

    Issue the following command to show the ArgoCD application details:

    cat mq/config/argocd/dev/dev-mq-spring-app-instance.yaml

    which shows a YAML file typical of those we've seen before:

    kind: Application
      name: dev-mq-spring-app-instance
      annotations: "300"
        namespace: dev
        server: https://kubernetes.default.svc
      project: applications
        path: mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app/
        targetRevision: master
          prune: true
          selfHeal: true

    See how the application resources are referenced by path: mq/environments/dev/mq-spring-app:

    ├── certificates
    │   ├──
    │   ├── dev-mq-client-certificate.yaml_template
    │   ├──
    │   └── dev-mq-server-certificate.yaml_template
    ├── configmap
    │   ├── configmap-ccdt.yaml
    │   └── configmap.yaml
    ├── deployment
    │   ├── deployment.yaml
    │   └── hooks
    │       ├──
    │       └── post-sync-job.yaml_template
    ├── kustomization.yaml
    └── secrets
        └── mq-client-jks-password-secret.yaml

    The ArgoCD application applies these resources to the cluster to instantiate MQ sample application as a set of cluster resources.

  5. Look at active MQ sample application ArgoCD application

    Let's examine MQ sample application and its Kubernetes resources using the ArgoCD UI.

    In the ArgoCD UI search the Applications view with the keyword mq-spring-app:

    (You may need to launch the ArgoCD UI again. Refer to these instructions.)


    We can now see the below ArgoCD Application:

    • A new dev-mq-spring-app-instance ArgoCD application that is managing QM1 resources deployed to the cluster.
  6. View the new MQ sample application Kubernetes resources

    We can look at the deployed instance of mq-spring-app and its dependent kubernetes resources.

    Click on the dev-mq-spring-app-instance ArgoCD application:


Verify application deployment

  1. Review the deployed application

    The application is deployed within the cluster using a deployment manifest. The deployment creates a replica set to manage the application's pod.

    A service is also created to manage the port, and a route allows external connectivity to the application via the service.

    This is the deployment for the application, where we can see 1 pod has been created for development and testing purposes:

    MQ Spring App Deployment

    You can also view the deployment from the command line:

    oc project dev
    oc describe deployment mq-spring-app

    The application writes logs to stdout. These can be viewed from the command line. First of all find the name of the running mq-spring-app pod:

    oc get pods -l

    Using the name of the running mq-spring-app pod, the following commands displays its log for the last 60 seconds and will stream any further messages:

    oc logs mq-spring-app-d9474564c-85mf6 -f --since=60s
  2. Review the application's service

    This shows the corresponding service, where we can see the application's port 80 inside the application pod is being mapped to port 8080 at the cluster level:

    MQ Spring App Service

    You can also view the service from the command line:

    oc describe service mq-spring-app
  3. Review the application's route

    Finally the route shows the external url (location) we use to interact with the application:

    MQ Spring App Route

    You can also view the route from the command line:

    oc describe route mq-spring-app
  4. Check the application is running

    Using the location value from the route we can call the application to check its health by appending /health, for example:

    export APP_URL=$(oc get route -n dev mq-spring-app -o jsonpath="{}")
    curl -X GET https://$APP_URL/actuator/health

    MQ Spring App Health

    The function should return something similar to the JSON-formatted response below:

        "status": "UP",
        "components": {
        "HeathEndPointMain": {
            "status": "UP"
        "diskSpace": {
            "status": "UP",
            "details": {
        "jms": {
            "status": "UP",
            "details": {
            "provider": "IBM MQ JMS Provider"
        "livenessState": {
            "status": "UP"
        "ping": {
            "status": "UP"
        "readinessState": {
            "status": "UP"
        "groups": [
  5. Call the application to put a message to a queue

    Using the same location value we can call the application to to put a message to a queue on the queue manager, for example:

    curl -X GET https://$APP_URL/api/send-hello-world
  6. Call the application to get a message from a queue

    Using the same location value we can call the application to to get a message from a queue on the queue manager, for example:

    curl -X GET https://$APP_URL/api/recv
  7. Call the application to put a JSON message to a queue

    Using the same location value we can call the application to to put a message with a JSON payload to a queue on the queue manager, for example:

    curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" https://$APP_URL/api/send-json --data "{\"data\":\"Hola Munda\"}"

    Note the use of the POST verb in the above command. This can be followed with a call to get the message from the queue.


You've now created and run the pipeline for the application. In the next section we're going to make a change to the application that will trigger the pipeline to build a new version of the application image.