Continuous integration

Here you can learn how to get FlexMeasures onto a server.


It would be great to enable Dockerization of FlexMeasures, let us know if this matters to you.

WSGI configuration

Here is an example how to serve FlexMeasures as WSGI app:

# This file contains the WSGI configuration required to serve up your
# web application.
# It works by setting the variable 'application' to a WSGI handler of some description.

import os
from dotenv import load_dotenv

project_home = u'/path/to/your/code/flexmeasures'
load_dotenv(os.path.join(project_home, '.env'))

# create flask app - need to call it "application" for WSGI to work
from import create as create_app
application = create_app()

Install the linear solver on the server

To compute schedules, FlexMeasures uses the Cbc mixed integer linear optimization solver. It is used through Pyomo, so in principle supporting a different solver would be possible.

Cbc needs to be present on the server where FlexMeasures runs, under the cbc command.

You can install it on Debian like this:

apt-get install coinor-cbc

If you can’t use the package manager on your host, the solver has to be installed from source. We provide an example script to do that, where you can also pass a directory for the installation.

In case you want to install a later version, adapt the version in the script.

Automate deployment via Github actions and Git

At FlexMeasures headquarters, we implemented a specific workflow to automate our deployment. It uses the Github action workflow (see the .github/workflows directory), which pushes to a remote upstream repository. We use this workflow to build and deploy the project to our staging server.

Documenting this might be useful for self-hosters, as well. The GitHub Actions workflows are triggered by commits being pushed to the repository, but it can also inspire your custom deployment script.

We’ll refer to Github Actions as our “CI environment” and our staging server as the “deployment server”.

  • In lint-and-test.yml, we set up the app, then run the tests and linters. If testing succeeds and if the commit was on the main branch, deploy.yml deploys the code from the CI environment to the deployment server.

  • Of course, the CI environment needs to properly authenticate at the deployment server.

  • With the hooks functionality of Git, a post-receive script can then (re-)start the FlexMeasures app on the deployment server.

Let’s review these three steps in detail:

Using git to deploy code (remote upstream)

We support deployment of the FlexMeasures project on a staging server via Git checkout.

The deployment uses git’s ability to push code to a remote upstream repository. This repository needs to be installed on your staging server.

We trigger this deployment in deploy.yml and it’s being done in There, we add the remote and then push the current branch to it.

We thus need to tell the deployment environment two things:

  • Add the setting STAGING_REMOTE_REPO as an environment variable on the deployment environment (e.g. deploy.yml expects it in the Github repository secrets). An example value is

  • Make sure the env variable BRANCH_NAME is set, e.g. to “main”, so that the deployment environment knows what exact code to push to your deployment server.

Authenticate at the deployment server (with an ssh key)

The CI environment needs to authenticate at the deployment server using an SSH key pair (use ssh-keygen to create one, using no password).

To make this work, we need to configure the following:

  • Add the deployment server to ~/.ssh/known_hosts of the deployment environment, so that the deployment environment knows it’s okay to talk to the deployment server (e.g. deploy.yml expects it in the Github repository secrets as KNOWN_DEPLOYMENT_HOSTS). You can create this entry with ssh-keyscan -t rsa <your host>.

  • Add the private part of the ssh key pair as key in the deployment environment, so that the deployment server can accept the pushed code. (e.g. as ~/.ssh/id_rsa). In deploy.yml, we expect it as the secret SSH_DEPLOYMENT_KEY, which adds the key for us.

  • Finally, the public part of the key pair should be in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on your deployment server.

(Re-)start FlexMeasures on the deployment server (install Post-Receive Hook)

Only pushing the code will not actually deploy the updated FlexMeasures into a usable web app on the deployment server. For this, we need to trigger a script.

Log on to the server (via SSH) and install a script to (re-)start FlexMeasures as a Git Post Receive Hook in the remote repo where we deployed the code (see above). This hook will be triggered when a push is received from the deployment environment.

The example script below can be a Post Receive Hook (save as hooks/post-receive in your remote origin repo and update paths). It will force checkout the main branch, update dependencies, upgrade the database structure, update the documentation and finally touch the file. This last step is often a way to soft restart the running application, but here you need to adapt to your circumstances.





make install-deps

echo "INSTALLING FlexMeasures ..."
make install-flexmeasures

make upgrade-db

make update-docs