4 min read

How to test all Vercel deployments using Cypress in a GitLab pipeline

Learn how to host to set up a GitLab pipeline that can test every Vercel deployment using Cypress.

@heyshadowsmith

December 20, 2020

In this tutorial, I'm going to be walking you step-by-step through how to set up a simple GitLab pipeline that allows you to run automated tests against every Vercel deployment.

I assume you know what Vercel, Cypress, and GitLab are and how to use them, so I'm going to jump straight into the "How to" details.


1. Add a Vercel Token to GitLab through CI / CD Settings

Create a Vercel Token

First thing's first, we need an auth token for Vercel.

To create a token:

  1. Login to Vercel
  2. Click Setting
  3. Click Tokens
  4. Click Create
  5. And enter a name for your token
  6. Click CREATE TOKEN

Add the Vercel Token to GitLab

To add our Vercel Token to GitLab, so it can be used by our job runners:

  1. Login to GitLab
  2. Click the project you want to set this pipeline up for
  3. In the sidebar to the left, hover over Setting
  4. Click CI / CD
  5. Find Variables and click Expand
  6. Click Add Variable
  7. In the Key field, enter "VERCEL_TOKEN"
  8. In the Value field, add your Vercel Token value
  9. Ensure Protect variable and Mask variable are checked
  10. Click Add variable

2. Write our .gitlab-ci.yml file

Set the "stages"

We're going to set these as:

stages:
  - deploy
  - test

Create the deploy-to-vercel job

Here's the deploy-to-vercel job section of our .gitlab-ci.yml file.

deploy-to-vercel:
  stage: deploy
  image: node:13.10.1-alpine3.10

  script:
    - npm i -g vercel
    - DEPLOYMENT_URL=$(vercel -t $VERCEL_TOKEN --confirm)
    - echo $DEPLOYMENT_URL >vercel_deployment_url.txt

  artifacts:
    when: on_success
    paths:
      - vercel_deployment_url.txt

This is pretty straight forward, but I'm going to breakdown what is going on here section by section.

deploy-to-vercel:
  stage: deploy
  image: node:13.10.1-alpine3.10

This section is where we tie the deploy-to-vercel job to the deploy stage and provide a Docker image to run our NodeJS code.

  script:
    - npm i -g vercel
    - DEPLOYMENT_URL=$(vercel -t $VERCEL_TOKEN --confirm)
    - echo $DEPLOYMENT_URL >vercel_deployment_url.txt

This section:

  1. Installs the vercel CLI
  2. Links our project using our VERCEL_TOKEN
  3. Writes the Vercel deployment URL to a text file called vercel_deployment_url.txt
  artifacts:
    when: on_success
    paths:
      - vercel_deployment_url.txt

And finally, this section is where we keep the vercel_deployment_url.txt file as an artifact when this job succeeds, so we can read it in the next Cypress job.

Create the cypress_test job

Here's the cypress_test job section of our .gitlab-ci.yml file.

cypress_test:
  image: cypress/browsers:node12.16.2-chrome81-ff75
  stage: test

  script:
    - DEPLOYMENT_URL=$(cat vercel_deployment_url.txt)
    - npm ci
    - $(npm bin)/cypress run --env CYPRESS_BASE_URL=$DEPLOYMENT_URL

  artifacts:
    when: on_success
    paths:
      - cypress/screenshots
      - cypress/videos

This one is a tad more complicated than the Vercel job, but again, I'm going to break it down by section.

cypress_test:
  image: cypress/browsers:node12.16.2-chrome81-ff75
  stage: test

This section is where we tie the cypress-test job to the test stage and provide a Docker image to run our tests.

  script:
    - DEPLOYMENT_URL=$(cat vercel_deployment_url.txt)
    - npm ci
    - $(npm bin)/cypress run --env CYPRESS_BASE_URL=$DEPLOYMENT_URL

This section:

  1. Reads the artifact text file vercel_deployment_url.txt and stores the deployment URL in a variable called "DEPLOYMENT_URL"
  2. Installs our node dependencies
  3. Runs our Cypress tests against our Vercel Deployment URL
  artifacts:
    when: on_success
    paths:
      - cypress/screenshots
      - cypress/videos

And finally, this section is where we keep Cypress' test screenshots and videos artifacts when this job succeeds, so we can review them, or share them with other stakeholders.


3. Push the .gitlab-ci.yml file up to your repo

In order for GitLab to run your pipeline, we need to push up the .gitlab-ci.yml file, but before you do that, ensure that yours looks like this.

stages:
  - deploy
  - test

deploy-to-vercel:
  stage: deploy
  image: node:13.10.1-alpine3.10

  script:
    - npm i -g vercel
    - DEPLOYMENT_URL=$(vercel -t $VERCEL_TOKEN --confirm)
    - echo $DEPLOYMENT_URL >vercel_deployment_url.txt

  artifacts:
    when: on_success
    paths:
      - vercel_deployment_url.txt

cypress_test:
  image: cypress/browsers:node12.16.2-chrome81-ff75
  stage: test

  script:
    - DEPLOYMENT_URL=$(cat vercel_deployment_url.txt)
    - npm ci
    - $(npm bin)/cypress run --env CYPRESS_BASE_URL=$DEPLOYMENT_URL

  artifacts:
    when: on_success
    paths:
      - cypress/screenshots
      - cypress/videos

If your file looks like this one, feel free to push it up and watch the pipeline succeed!

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