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SBT gets CloudBees support (and fast deploys!)

About 18 months ago a company came out of nowhere called Stax Networks who were offering the ability to host JVM-based applications in the cloud, for FREE. This was too awesome not to look into and I subsequently made a plugin for SBT that automatically deployed your WAR files with a simple command.

Stax themselves were recently taken over by "CloudBees": and from what I can see the service has done nothing but become more awesome since that has happened. Now that take over is bedding in, the API has changed somewhat so I thought i'd rewrite my Stax plugin to work with CloudBees instead and take advantage of the ability to delta WAR files and only publish the updates.

Speedy Deploys

The way this works is the build tool creates a WAR file like it would do normally, but as this is usually fairly large it can be exceedingly annoying to have to keep waiting for the deployment to take place. Rather than wait, the build tool calculates the difference between the deployed artefact and the one you just created, and subsequently only deploys the difference (or delta): essentially reducing your deploy time from 15 mins or more to a few seconds.

Gimmeh It

In order to get started with using the SBT plugin, you will of course need a CloudBees account and upon registering you need to grab the key and secret from, which should look something like:

These values represent the API Key and API Secret that CloudBees will use to verify your deployment rights. Once you have these two values, you can do one of two things in order to have them recognised by the SBT:

  • Enter them when the plugin prompts you; this will be on everytime you run a deployment to the cloud so is potentially a little sub-optiomal.
  • Create the properties file $HOME/.bees/bees.config so that you only need to define them once per computer. This properties file needs to be a key-value pair which should look something like this:


Whichever route you choose to specify that information, you then only need to define the plugin information in any given project. Specifically, in the Plugins.scala file define the following:

import sbt._
  class Plugins(info: ProjectInfo) extends PluginDefinition(info) {
    lazy val cloudbees = "eu.getintheloop" % "sbt-cloudbees-plugin" % "0.2.7"
    lazy val sonatypeRepo = "sonatype.repo" 
      at ""

Add the plugin to your SBT project like so:

  import sbt._
  class YourProject(info: ProjectInfo) extends DefaultWebProject(info) 
    with bees.RunCloudPlugin {
    override def beesUsername = Some("youruser")
    override def beesApplicationId = Some("whatever")

Again, if you would prefer to enter these values when you deploy your application then you can of course just enter the appropriate values when prompted. Now your all configured and good to go, there are two commands you can run with this plugin:

  • Get a list of your configured applications: bees-applist
  • Deploy your application bees-deploy

Upon running bees-deploy for the first time there will of course be a wait whilst the first version is deployed, but all your subsequent deployments should be much, much quicker. CloudBees is a rather awesome service and i'd highly recommend checking it out for fast, easy deployment of your JVM web applications.

Find the source code for the CloudBees SBT plugin here

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