Configuration-as-Code (CaC) is a concept that refers to managing and deploying configurations in a software system using code and version control systems, similar to how you manage your application code.
Traditionally, configurations in software systems were managed through manual processes or configuration files that were edited directly. This approach often leads to inconsistencies, manual errors, duplications and difficulty in tracking changes over time. CaC aims to address these challenges by treating configurations as part of the application's codebase.
With Configu's configuration-as-code format (.cfgu), configuration declarations are written and stored alongside the application's source code in a version control system such as Git. This allows for the same practices and tools used for code management, such as versioning, branching, code review, and collaboration, to be applied to configurations without storing the values themselves and risking a leak of sensitive values, such as secrets, or requiring the developer to leave the IDE for a 3rd-party tool.
Read more about the Cfgu format
Using the CaC approach achieves several benefits:
Version control: Configurations can be versioned alongside the code, allowing you to always match between them, rollback to previous versions, and have a historical record of all modifications.
Reproducibility: Configurations become part of the deployment pipeline, ensuring that the same configuration is used consistently across different environments or deployments without the need for duplicating and synchronizing every change you made for each environment.
Testing and validation: Configuration code can be tested, validated, and linted like any other code, helping catch errors, inconsistencies, or potential issues before deployment.
Collaboration and documentation: Configuration files can be reviewed, commented on, and updated collaboratively, enabling teams to work together effectively and share knowledge about the system's configuration.
Popular infrastructure tools such as Ansible, Puppet, Chef, and Terraform provide infrastructure-as-code capabilities, allowing you to manage them better in a consistent and automated manner. The success and popularity of these tools are proof that the developers prefer not to switch context or juggle between several tools and can "code" or at least "as-code" any task inside the IDE, especially configurations. Now when developers own application configurations with the shift-left motion, the Configuration-as-Code concept is the next natural step.
In summary, configuration-as-code brings the benefits of version control, automation, consistency, and collaboration to the management and deployment of configurations, making it easier to maintain, track, and apply configurations across different environments and deployments.