Cycloid DevOps Framework - Blog

StackForms: ease of use for users, total control for you

Jul 1, 2020 9:30:00 AM / by Niamh Lynch

Well, our devs keep coming up with new features, meaning my fingers are really going to need a break from typing this summer. This time, they’re really excited so, without further ado, I’d like to present Cycloid StackForms.

TL;DR

Cycloid now offers a new way of creating and configuring environments, StackForms. StackForms are a predefined, easy-to-use, and highly accessible way of provisioning a complete environment without needing to code or even understand the services behind the stack.

Background

When you’re creating an environment, the way you’re going to go about it varies depending on your technical expertise. To create or modify one, you’ll need to mess around with config files and, to do that safely and efficiently, you need to understand them. To create configured stacks that are efficient and scalable, you’ll also be greatly helped by a knowledge of YAML and HCL. If you’re not a tech, or your tech specialty lies elsewhere, that’s hard.

 

Introducing StackForms

To make it easier for people all along the development process to create and provision infrastructures without needing to raise a ticket or ask for help (or risk doing it wrong), we’ve created StackForms. When you log in to Cycloid and navigate to Projects, you’ll see the option to create a new project. Select Create New Project and give it a name, and follow the on-screen instructions.

How the StackForms features appear to you will depend on your company’s specifications. Each form has been pre-defined by your techs so the only options that will appear are the most appropriate for your situation. StackForms is provider-agnostic, so you’ll see it no matter what cloud provider you’re working with, and can be used to configure any structured document you might want for your pipeline, whether that’s Terraform, Ansible, or some other YAML-based tech.

StackForms

Benefits

For DevOps

If you’re the one looking out for your company’s environments, infras, and pipelines, StackForms is about to make your life a whole lot easier. In DevOps, there’s a constant battle between the desire to do everything right and the reality of just that - doing everything.

StackForms takes much of the work out of your hands. End users can easily “self-serve” infrastructure creation and environment maintenance, without your involvement, even when they’re dealing with more complex tech. Even so, they will only ever be able to pick from the variables you’ve chosen and they’ll only ever be able to provision them as you’ve specified, which means that no matter what they do, it will always respect best practice and be as efficient as possible.

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For End-users

The other reason we created StackForms was to make your development process simpler for everyone. Sure, you can give everyone access to the pipeline, but if not everyone understands it or can interact with it, it isn’t really accessible. StackForms is perfect for team members with less specialist knowledge, or even people who do have the knowledge but appreciate the value of being able to sidestep complexity on occasion. It allows you to create and provision environments with flexibility and ease, never having to worry about going wrong or - horror of horrors - having to raise a ticket when you get stuck.

StackForms: the future

Right now, StackForms provides an alternative to Stackcraft for the creation of a project. It also offers something new - StackForms not only creates the infrastructure but also allows you to provision it. Soon, we hope to be able to use StackForms to modify a running service, and we’ll let you know when that’s possible.

How to use StackForms

You’ll have the option to toggle between StackForms and the traditional interface when you’re creating a new stack. Just begin the creation process by going through Cycloid > Projects > Create New Project and you’ll see the StackForms options when you move through the creation wizard.

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Find out more

StackForms - making creation and configuration easy for everyone on your team. If you'd like to know more, check out the tech doc, or get in touch.

Discover StackForms

Tags: Product, update

Niamh Lynch

Written by Niamh Lynch

Content manager @Cycloid