How to Use infracost CI Template for Gitlab To Forecast Cost

Infracost is an open-source tool used to forecast & estimates your cloud cost on every pull request on terraform.

Multiple scenarios & scripts can be created to forecast cloud costs. It supports AWS, Azure, GCP cloud platforms & over 230 Terraform resources.

It also works with Terraform Cloud & Terragrunt. Infracost can use hosted Cloud Pricing API or self-host.

Infracost can be integrated with any CICD tool which will break down the cost of new terraform resources every time a Pull request or Merge request is created. In this blog, we will see how we can use Gitlab CI templates for the merge request pipeline to estimate & forecast cloud costs.

Prerequisites

  • Gitlab knowledge
  • Gitlab Repo
  • CICD variables

Directory Structure

The directory structure for your application or pipeline repo should look like this. Command to check directory structure is tree -I .git -a

tree -I .git -a

The output will look like this:

.
├── .gitlab
│   └── plan-json.yml
├── .gitlab-ci.yml
├── README.md
└── terraform
    ├── .infracost
    │   └── terraform_modules
    ├── main.tf
    └── README.md

Steps to create job template

1. Create .gitlab-ci.yml file in the main directory. The main Gitlab pipeline is defined in .gitlab-ci.yml file.

This acts as parent job which triggers a downstream pipeline that is called the child pipeline.

stages:
- all_stage

mr-gitlab-terraform:
  stage: all_stage
  rules:
  - if: "$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_TAG"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == $CI_DEFAULT_BRANCH"
  trigger:
    include: ".gitlab/plan-json.yml"
    strategy: depend

2. Create GitLab merge request job template.

Create a file plan-json.yml & copy the below content in it. This will act as downstream pipeline triggered by the parent pipeline.


workflow:
  rules:
  - if: "$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_TAG"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == $CI_DEFAULT_BRANCH"
  

variables:
  # If your terraform files are in a subdirectory, set TF_ROOT accordingly
  TF_ROOT: terraform

stages:
  - plan
  - infracost

cache:
  key: "${TF_ROOT}"
  paths:
    - ${TF_ROOT}/.terraform

plan:
  stage: plan
  image:
    name: hashicorp/terraform:latest
    entrypoint: [""]
  before_script:
    - cd ${TF_ROOT}
    - terraform init
  script: 
    - terraform plan -out tfplan.binary
    - terraform show -json tfplan.binary > tplan.json
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - ${TF_ROOT}/tplan.json

infracost:
  stage: infracost
  image:
    name: infracost/infracost:ci-0.10
    entrypoint: [""] 
  dependencies:
    - plan
  script:
    - git clone $CI_REPOSITORY_URL --branch=$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_TARGET_BRANCH_NAME --single-branch /tmp/base
    - ls /tmp/base
    - infracost configure set api_key $INFRACOST_API_KEY
    - infracost breakdown --path=/tmp/base/${TF_ROOT} --format=json --out-file=infracost-base.json
    - INFRACOST_ENABLE_CLOUD=true infracost diff --path=${TF_ROOT} --compare-to=infracost-base.json --format=json --out-file=infracost.json
    - infracost comment gitlab --path=infracost.json --repo=$CI_PROJECT_PATH --merge-request=$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID --gitlab-server-url=$CI_SERVER_URL --gitlab-token=$GITLAB_TOKEN --behavior=update

  variables:
    INFRACOST_API_KEY: $INFRACOST_API_KEY
    GITLAB_TOKEN: $GITLAB_TOKEN 

Explanation: First this downstream pipeline creates terraform plan in JSON from the current branch. Then it plans out in JSON but from the target branch that is main in this case. Then it compares both terraform plans & breakdowns the cost difference and finally comments on the merge request.

3. Now whenever you create a MR in Gitlab it will forecast terraform infrastructure cost for you

  1. Checkout a branch from Master
  2. Make some changes in terraform file
  3. Push the newly created branch
  4. Create an MR on the base main branch
  5. The pipeline will automatically trigger as soon as MR is created.

When pipeline succeeds It will comment down on your MR with cost estimation & breakdowns

Usage

  • Use extends: keyword to extend this job template.
  • (Optionally) You can keep this stage as it is and apply rules to control the behavior of the job.
  • Put your terraform code into terraform/ dir.
  • Create a MR on your GitLab repo.

Conclusion

Infracost is used to forecast cloud infra costs before it creates any resources. You can integrate this tool with any CICD to forecast cost whenever a pull or merge request is created.

Original article source at: https://blog.knoldus.com/

#gitlab #ci #template 

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How to Use infracost CI Template for Gitlab To Forecast Cost
Chloe  Butler

Chloe Butler

1667425440

Pdf2gerb: Perl Script Converts PDF Files to Gerber format

pdf2gerb

Perl script converts PDF files to Gerber format

Pdf2Gerb generates Gerber 274X photoplotting and Excellon drill files from PDFs of a PCB. Up to three PDFs are used: the top copper layer, the bottom copper layer (for 2-sided PCBs), and an optional silk screen layer. The PDFs can be created directly from any PDF drawing software, or a PDF print driver can be used to capture the Print output if the drawing software does not directly support output to PDF.

The general workflow is as follows:

  1. Design the PCB using your favorite CAD or drawing software.
  2. Print the top and bottom copper and top silk screen layers to a PDF file.
  3. Run Pdf2Gerb on the PDFs to create Gerber and Excellon files.
  4. Use a Gerber viewer to double-check the output against the original PCB design.
  5. Make adjustments as needed.
  6. Submit the files to a PCB manufacturer.

Please note that Pdf2Gerb does NOT perform DRC (Design Rule Checks), as these will vary according to individual PCB manufacturer conventions and capabilities. Also note that Pdf2Gerb is not perfect, so the output files must always be checked before submitting them. As of version 1.6, Pdf2Gerb supports most PCB elements, such as round and square pads, round holes, traces, SMD pads, ground planes, no-fill areas, and panelization. However, because it interprets the graphical output of a Print function, there are limitations in what it can recognize (or there may be bugs).

See docs/Pdf2Gerb.pdf for install/setup, config, usage, and other info.


pdf2gerb_cfg.pm

#Pdf2Gerb config settings:
#Put this file in same folder/directory as pdf2gerb.pl itself (global settings),
#or copy to another folder/directory with PDFs if you want PCB-specific settings.
#There is only one user of this file, so we don't need a custom package or namespace.
#NOTE: all constants defined in here will be added to main namespace.
#package pdf2gerb_cfg;

use strict; #trap undef vars (easier debug)
use warnings; #other useful info (easier debug)


##############################################################################################
#configurable settings:
#change values here instead of in main pfg2gerb.pl file

use constant WANT_COLORS => ($^O !~ m/Win/); #ANSI colors no worky on Windows? this must be set < first DebugPrint() call

#just a little warning; set realistic expectations:
#DebugPrint("${\(CYAN)}Pdf2Gerb.pl ${\(VERSION)}, $^O O/S\n${\(YELLOW)}${\(BOLD)}${\(ITALIC)}This is EXPERIMENTAL software.  \nGerber files MAY CONTAIN ERRORS.  Please CHECK them before fabrication!${\(RESET)}", 0); #if WANT_DEBUG

use constant METRIC => FALSE; #set to TRUE for metric units (only affect final numbers in output files, not internal arithmetic)
use constant APERTURE_LIMIT => 0; #34; #max #apertures to use; generate warnings if too many apertures are used (0 to not check)
use constant DRILL_FMT => '2.4'; #'2.3'; #'2.4' is the default for PCB fab; change to '2.3' for CNC

use constant WANT_DEBUG => 0; #10; #level of debug wanted; higher == more, lower == less, 0 == none
use constant GERBER_DEBUG => 0; #level of debug to include in Gerber file; DON'T USE FOR FABRICATION
use constant WANT_STREAMS => FALSE; #TRUE; #save decompressed streams to files (for debug)
use constant WANT_ALLINPUT => FALSE; #TRUE; #save entire input stream (for debug ONLY)

#DebugPrint(sprintf("${\(CYAN)}DEBUG: stdout %d, gerber %d, want streams? %d, all input? %d, O/S: $^O, Perl: $]${\(RESET)}\n", WANT_DEBUG, GERBER_DEBUG, WANT_STREAMS, WANT_ALLINPUT), 1);
#DebugPrint(sprintf("max int = %d, min int = %d\n", MAXINT, MININT), 1); 

#define standard trace and pad sizes to reduce scaling or PDF rendering errors:
#This avoids weird aperture settings and replaces them with more standardized values.
#(I'm not sure how photoplotters handle strange sizes).
#Fewer choices here gives more accurate mapping in the final Gerber files.
#units are in inches
use constant TOOL_SIZES => #add more as desired
(
#round or square pads (> 0) and drills (< 0):
    .010, -.001,  #tiny pads for SMD; dummy drill size (too small for practical use, but needed so StandardTool will use this entry)
    .031, -.014,  #used for vias
    .041, -.020,  #smallest non-filled plated hole
    .051, -.025,
    .056, -.029,  #useful for IC pins
    .070, -.033,
    .075, -.040,  #heavier leads
#    .090, -.043,  #NOTE: 600 dpi is not high enough resolution to reliably distinguish between .043" and .046", so choose 1 of the 2 here
    .100, -.046,
    .115, -.052,
    .130, -.061,
    .140, -.067,
    .150, -.079,
    .175, -.088,
    .190, -.093,
    .200, -.100,
    .220, -.110,
    .160, -.125,  #useful for mounting holes
#some additional pad sizes without holes (repeat a previous hole size if you just want the pad size):
    .090, -.040,  #want a .090 pad option, but use dummy hole size
    .065, -.040, #.065 x .065 rect pad
    .035, -.040, #.035 x .065 rect pad
#traces:
    .001,  #too thin for real traces; use only for board outlines
    .006,  #minimum real trace width; mainly used for text
    .008,  #mainly used for mid-sized text, not traces
    .010,  #minimum recommended trace width for low-current signals
    .012,
    .015,  #moderate low-voltage current
    .020,  #heavier trace for power, ground (even if a lighter one is adequate)
    .025,
    .030,  #heavy-current traces; be careful with these ones!
    .040,
    .050,
    .060,
    .080,
    .100,
    .120,
);
#Areas larger than the values below will be filled with parallel lines:
#This cuts down on the number of aperture sizes used.
#Set to 0 to always use an aperture or drill, regardless of size.
use constant { MAX_APERTURE => max((TOOL_SIZES)) + .004, MAX_DRILL => -min((TOOL_SIZES)) + .004 }; #max aperture and drill sizes (plus a little tolerance)
#DebugPrint(sprintf("using %d standard tool sizes: %s, max aper %.3f, max drill %.3f\n", scalar((TOOL_SIZES)), join(", ", (TOOL_SIZES)), MAX_APERTURE, MAX_DRILL), 1);

#NOTE: Compare the PDF to the original CAD file to check the accuracy of the PDF rendering and parsing!
#for example, the CAD software I used generated the following circles for holes:
#CAD hole size:   parsed PDF diameter:      error:
#  .014                .016                +.002
#  .020                .02267              +.00267
#  .025                .026                +.001
#  .029                .03167              +.00267
#  .033                .036                +.003
#  .040                .04267              +.00267
#This was usually ~ .002" - .003" too big compared to the hole as displayed in the CAD software.
#To compensate for PDF rendering errors (either during CAD Print function or PDF parsing logic), adjust the values below as needed.
#units are pixels; for example, a value of 2.4 at 600 dpi = .0004 inch, 2 at 600 dpi = .0033"
use constant
{
    HOLE_ADJUST => -0.004 * 600, #-2.6, #holes seemed to be slightly oversized (by .002" - .004"), so shrink them a little
    RNDPAD_ADJUST => -0.003 * 600, #-2, #-2.4, #round pads seemed to be slightly oversized, so shrink them a little
    SQRPAD_ADJUST => +0.001 * 600, #+.5, #square pads are sometimes too small by .00067, so bump them up a little
    RECTPAD_ADJUST => 0, #(pixels) rectangular pads seem to be okay? (not tested much)
    TRACE_ADJUST => 0, #(pixels) traces seemed to be okay?
    REDUCE_TOLERANCE => .001, #(inches) allow this much variation when reducing circles and rects
};

#Also, my CAD's Print function or the PDF print driver I used was a little off for circles, so define some additional adjustment values here:
#Values are added to X/Y coordinates; units are pixels; for example, a value of 1 at 600 dpi would be ~= .002 inch
use constant
{
    CIRCLE_ADJUST_MINX => 0,
    CIRCLE_ADJUST_MINY => -0.001 * 600, #-1, #circles were a little too high, so nudge them a little lower
    CIRCLE_ADJUST_MAXX => +0.001 * 600, #+1, #circles were a little too far to the left, so nudge them a little to the right
    CIRCLE_ADJUST_MAXY => 0,
    SUBST_CIRCLE_CLIPRECT => FALSE, #generate circle and substitute for clip rects (to compensate for the way some CAD software draws circles)
    WANT_CLIPRECT => TRUE, #FALSE, #AI doesn't need clip rect at all? should be on normally?
    RECT_COMPLETION => FALSE, #TRUE, #fill in 4th side of rect when 3 sides found
};

#allow .012 clearance around pads for solder mask:
#This value effectively adjusts pad sizes in the TOOL_SIZES list above (only for solder mask layers).
use constant SOLDER_MARGIN => +.012; #units are inches

#line join/cap styles:
use constant
{
    CAP_NONE => 0, #butt (none); line is exact length
    CAP_ROUND => 1, #round cap/join; line overhangs by a semi-circle at either end
    CAP_SQUARE => 2, #square cap/join; line overhangs by a half square on either end
    CAP_OVERRIDE => FALSE, #cap style overrides drawing logic
};
    
#number of elements in each shape type:
use constant
{
    RECT_SHAPELEN => 6, #x0, y0, x1, y1, count, "rect" (start, end corners)
    LINE_SHAPELEN => 6, #x0, y0, x1, y1, count, "line" (line seg)
    CURVE_SHAPELEN => 10, #xstart, ystart, x0, y0, x1, y1, xend, yend, count, "curve" (bezier 2 points)
    CIRCLE_SHAPELEN => 5, #x, y, 5, count, "circle" (center + radius)
};
#const my %SHAPELEN =
#Readonly my %SHAPELEN =>
our %SHAPELEN =
(
    rect => RECT_SHAPELEN,
    line => LINE_SHAPELEN,
    curve => CURVE_SHAPELEN,
    circle => CIRCLE_SHAPELEN,
);

#panelization:
#This will repeat the entire body the number of times indicated along the X or Y axes (files grow accordingly).
#Display elements that overhang PCB boundary can be squashed or left as-is (typically text or other silk screen markings).
#Set "overhangs" TRUE to allow overhangs, FALSE to truncate them.
#xpad and ypad allow margins to be added around outer edge of panelized PCB.
use constant PANELIZE => {'x' => 1, 'y' => 1, 'xpad' => 0, 'ypad' => 0, 'overhangs' => TRUE}; #number of times to repeat in X and Y directions

# Set this to 1 if you need TurboCAD support.
#$turboCAD = FALSE; #is this still needed as an option?

#CIRCAD pad generation uses an appropriate aperture, then moves it (stroke) "a little" - we use this to find pads and distinguish them from PCB holes. 
use constant PAD_STROKE => 0.3; #0.0005 * 600; #units are pixels
#convert very short traces to pads or holes:
use constant TRACE_MINLEN => .001; #units are inches
#use constant ALWAYS_XY => TRUE; #FALSE; #force XY even if X or Y doesn't change; NOTE: needs to be TRUE for all pads to show in FlatCAM and ViewPlot
use constant REMOVE_POLARITY => FALSE; #TRUE; #set to remove subtractive (negative) polarity; NOTE: must be FALSE for ground planes

#PDF uses "points", each point = 1/72 inch
#combined with a PDF scale factor of .12, this gives 600 dpi resolution (1/72 * .12 = 600 dpi)
use constant INCHES_PER_POINT => 1/72; #0.0138888889; #multiply point-size by this to get inches

# The precision used when computing a bezier curve. Higher numbers are more precise but slower (and generate larger files).
#$bezierPrecision = 100;
use constant BEZIER_PRECISION => 36; #100; #use const; reduced for faster rendering (mainly used for silk screen and thermal pads)

# Ground planes and silk screen or larger copper rectangles or circles are filled line-by-line using this resolution.
use constant FILL_WIDTH => .01; #fill at most 0.01 inch at a time

# The max number of characters to read into memory
use constant MAX_BYTES => 10 * M; #bumped up to 10 MB, use const

use constant DUP_DRILL1 => TRUE; #FALSE; #kludge: ViewPlot doesn't load drill files that are too small so duplicate first tool

my $runtime = time(); #Time::HiRes::gettimeofday(); #measure my execution time

print STDERR "Loaded config settings from '${\(__FILE__)}'.\n";
1; #last value must be truthful to indicate successful load


#############################################################################################
#junk/experiment:

#use Package::Constants;
#use Exporter qw(import); #https://perldoc.perl.org/Exporter.html

#my $caller = "pdf2gerb::";

#sub cfg
#{
#    my $proto = shift;
#    my $class = ref($proto) || $proto;
#    my $settings =
#    {
#        $WANT_DEBUG => 990, #10; #level of debug wanted; higher == more, lower == less, 0 == none
#    };
#    bless($settings, $class);
#    return $settings;
#}

#use constant HELLO => "hi there2"; #"main::HELLO" => "hi there";
#use constant GOODBYE => 14; #"main::GOODBYE" => 12;

#print STDERR "read cfg file\n";

#our @EXPORT_OK = Package::Constants->list(__PACKAGE__); #https://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=1072691; NOTE: "_OK" skips short/common names

#print STDERR scalar(@EXPORT_OK) . " consts exported:\n";
#foreach(@EXPORT_OK) { print STDERR "$_\n"; }
#my $val = main::thing("xyz");
#print STDERR "caller gave me $val\n";
#foreach my $arg (@ARGV) { print STDERR "arg $arg\n"; }

Download Details:

Author: swannman
Source Code: https://github.com/swannman/pdf2gerb

License: GPL-3.0 license

#perl 

How to Use infracost CI Template for Gitlab To Forecast Cost

Infracost is an open-source tool used to forecast & estimates your cloud cost on every pull request on terraform.

Multiple scenarios & scripts can be created to forecast cloud costs. It supports AWS, Azure, GCP cloud platforms & over 230 Terraform resources.

It also works with Terraform Cloud & Terragrunt. Infracost can use hosted Cloud Pricing API or self-host.

Infracost can be integrated with any CICD tool which will break down the cost of new terraform resources every time a Pull request or Merge request is created. In this blog, we will see how we can use Gitlab CI templates for the merge request pipeline to estimate & forecast cloud costs.

Prerequisites

  • Gitlab knowledge
  • Gitlab Repo
  • CICD variables

Directory Structure

The directory structure for your application or pipeline repo should look like this. Command to check directory structure is tree -I .git -a

tree -I .git -a

The output will look like this:

.
├── .gitlab
│   └── plan-json.yml
├── .gitlab-ci.yml
├── README.md
└── terraform
    ├── .infracost
    │   └── terraform_modules
    ├── main.tf
    └── README.md

Steps to create job template

1. Create .gitlab-ci.yml file in the main directory. The main Gitlab pipeline is defined in .gitlab-ci.yml file.

This acts as parent job which triggers a downstream pipeline that is called the child pipeline.

stages:
- all_stage

mr-gitlab-terraform:
  stage: all_stage
  rules:
  - if: "$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_TAG"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == $CI_DEFAULT_BRANCH"
  trigger:
    include: ".gitlab/plan-json.yml"
    strategy: depend

2. Create GitLab merge request job template.

Create a file plan-json.yml & copy the below content in it. This will act as downstream pipeline triggered by the parent pipeline.


workflow:
  rules:
  - if: "$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_TAG"
  - if: "$CI_COMMIT_BRANCH == $CI_DEFAULT_BRANCH"
  

variables:
  # If your terraform files are in a subdirectory, set TF_ROOT accordingly
  TF_ROOT: terraform

stages:
  - plan
  - infracost

cache:
  key: "${TF_ROOT}"
  paths:
    - ${TF_ROOT}/.terraform

plan:
  stage: plan
  image:
    name: hashicorp/terraform:latest
    entrypoint: [""]
  before_script:
    - cd ${TF_ROOT}
    - terraform init
  script: 
    - terraform plan -out tfplan.binary
    - terraform show -json tfplan.binary > tplan.json
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - ${TF_ROOT}/tplan.json

infracost:
  stage: infracost
  image:
    name: infracost/infracost:ci-0.10
    entrypoint: [""] 
  dependencies:
    - plan
  script:
    - git clone $CI_REPOSITORY_URL --branch=$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_TARGET_BRANCH_NAME --single-branch /tmp/base
    - ls /tmp/base
    - infracost configure set api_key $INFRACOST_API_KEY
    - infracost breakdown --path=/tmp/base/${TF_ROOT} --format=json --out-file=infracost-base.json
    - INFRACOST_ENABLE_CLOUD=true infracost diff --path=${TF_ROOT} --compare-to=infracost-base.json --format=json --out-file=infracost.json
    - infracost comment gitlab --path=infracost.json --repo=$CI_PROJECT_PATH --merge-request=$CI_MERGE_REQUEST_IID --gitlab-server-url=$CI_SERVER_URL --gitlab-token=$GITLAB_TOKEN --behavior=update

  variables:
    INFRACOST_API_KEY: $INFRACOST_API_KEY
    GITLAB_TOKEN: $GITLAB_TOKEN 

Explanation: First this downstream pipeline creates terraform plan in JSON from the current branch. Then it plans out in JSON but from the target branch that is main in this case. Then it compares both terraform plans & breakdowns the cost difference and finally comments on the merge request.

3. Now whenever you create a MR in Gitlab it will forecast terraform infrastructure cost for you

  1. Checkout a branch from Master
  2. Make some changes in terraform file
  3. Push the newly created branch
  4. Create an MR on the base main branch
  5. The pipeline will automatically trigger as soon as MR is created.

When pipeline succeeds It will comment down on your MR with cost estimation & breakdowns

Usage

  • Use extends: keyword to extend this job template.
  • (Optionally) You can keep this stage as it is and apply rules to control the behavior of the job.
  • Put your terraform code into terraform/ dir.
  • Create a MR on your GitLab repo.

Conclusion

Infracost is used to forecast cloud infra costs before it creates any resources. You can integrate this tool with any CICD to forecast cost whenever a pull or merge request is created.

Original article source at: https://blog.knoldus.com/

#gitlab #ci #template 

Ron  Cartwright

Ron Cartwright

1600596000

Improve Your Cost Management with AWS Saving Plans

The adaptability and flexibility of today’s cloud services present a lot of opportunities to cut infrastructure costs. Amazon Web Services and its plethora of services let you set up any kind of cloud environment for any type of application, without forcing you to make long-term commitments. At the very least, you don’t have to make a big initial investment to set up your cloud environments.

AWS resources are designed to make deploying cloud-native applications easy and affordable. Affordability is always important for businesses because cost-efficient applications guarantee higher returns on cloud investment. The way AWS services are set up allows for easy scaling of apps and cloud resource usage, but keeping your cloud environment efficient is not without its challenges.

#aws #amazon web services #cost #cost optimization #cost analysis #cost management #cost analytics #aws costs

Why Use WordPress? What Can You Do With WordPress?

Can you use WordPress for anything other than blogging? To your surprise, yes. WordPress is more than just a blogging tool, and it has helped thousands of websites and web applications to thrive. The use of WordPress powers around 40% of online projects, and today in our blog, we would visit some amazing uses of WordPress other than blogging.
What Is The Use Of WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world. It is the first choice of businesses that want to set a feature-rich and dynamic Content Management System. So, if you ask what WordPress is used for, the answer is – everything. It is a super-flexible, feature-rich and secure platform that offers everything to build unique websites and applications. Let’s start knowing them:

1. Multiple Websites Under A Single Installation
WordPress Multisite allows you to develop multiple sites from a single WordPress installation. You can download WordPress and start building websites you want to launch under a single server. Literally speaking, you can handle hundreds of sites from one single dashboard, which now needs applause.
It is a highly efficient platform that allows you to easily run several websites under the same login credentials. One of the best things about WordPress is the themes it has to offer. You can simply download them and plugin for various sites and save space on sites without losing their speed.

2. WordPress Social Network
WordPress can be used for high-end projects such as Social Media Network. If you don’t have the money and patience to hire a coder and invest months in building a feature-rich social media site, go for WordPress. It is one of the most amazing uses of WordPress. Its stunning CMS is unbeatable. And you can build sites as good as Facebook or Reddit etc. It can just make the process a lot easier.
To set up a social media network, you would have to download a WordPress Plugin called BuddyPress. It would allow you to connect a community page with ease and would provide all the necessary features of a community or social media. It has direct messaging, activity stream, user groups, extended profiles, and so much more. You just have to download and configure it.
If BuddyPress doesn’t meet all your needs, don’t give up on your dreams. You can try out WP Symposium or PeepSo. There are also several themes you can use to build a social network.

3. Create A Forum For Your Brand’s Community
Communities are very important for your business. They help you stay in constant connection with your users and consumers. And allow you to turn them into a loyal customer base. Meanwhile, there are many good technologies that can be used for building a community page – the good old WordPress is still the best.
It is the best community development technology. If you want to build your online community, you need to consider all the amazing features you get with WordPress. Plugins such as BB Press is an open-source, template-driven PHP/ MySQL forum software. It is very simple and doesn’t hamper the experience of the website.
Other tools such as wpFoRo and Asgaros Forum are equally good for creating a community blog. They are lightweight tools that are easy to manage and integrate with your WordPress site easily. However, there is only one tiny problem; you need to have some technical knowledge to build a WordPress Community blog page.

4. Shortcodes
Since we gave you a problem in the previous section, we would also give you a perfect solution for it. You might not know to code, but you have shortcodes. Shortcodes help you execute functions without having to code. It is an easy way to build an amazing website, add new features, customize plugins easily. They are short lines of code, and rather than memorizing multiple lines; you can have zero technical knowledge and start building a feature-rich website or application.
There are also plugins like Shortcoder, Shortcodes Ultimate, and the Basics available on WordPress that can be used, and you would not even have to remember the shortcodes.

5. Build Online Stores
If you still think about why to use WordPress, use it to build an online store. You can start selling your goods online and start selling. It is an affordable technology that helps you build a feature-rich eCommerce store with WordPress.
WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress and is one of the most used eCommerce solutions. WooCommerce holds a 28% share of the global market and is one of the best ways to set up an online store. It allows you to build user-friendly and professional online stores and has thousands of free and paid extensions. Moreover as an open-source platform, and you don’t have to pay for the license.
Apart from WooCommerce, there are Easy Digital Downloads, iThemes Exchange, Shopify eCommerce plugin, and so much more available.

6. Security Features
WordPress takes security very seriously. It offers tons of external solutions that help you in safeguarding your WordPress site. While there is no way to ensure 100% security, it provides regular updates with security patches and provides several plugins to help with backups, two-factor authorization, and more.
By choosing hosting providers like WP Engine, you can improve the security of the website. It helps in threat detection, manage patching and updates, and internal security audits for the customers, and so much more.

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Microtica vs. GitLab CI | What Are the Differences?

Microtica and GitLab CI both have the goal to efficiently and reliably deliver software in the cloud. Although both tools have similar features, the differences between the core concepts are significant. That’s why it’s difficult to make a Microtica vs. GitLab CI comparison. However, we’ll try to do it.

GitLab CI is GitLab’s tool for software development that uses continuous methodologies like Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), and Continuous Deployment (CD).

Microticais a low-code DevOps automation platform that enables companies and individuals to adopt cloud much faster. Microtica does that by standardizing the way we develop and release infrastructure and applications in the cloud.

Microtica vs. GitLab CI – Overview

The most significant difference in the Microtica vs. GitLab CI comparison is that Microtica is focused on abstracting complex cloud and Kubernetes integrations supported natively in the platform. At the same time, it provides all core features for optimal CI and CD.

On the other hand, GitLab CI/CD requires the use of additional provisioning tools, and you need to write most of the scripts manually to achieve the same you can do with Microtica.

Another disadvantage with GitLab CI is that it has native support only for its own repos. If your source code is located somewhere else you need to import it into GitLab or build a custom integration.

It also doesn’t offer native integration with cloud providers and Kubernetes. For example, if you want to deploy infrastructure and applications on AWS or Azure, you need to know the specifics of how those cloud providers work. Moreover, you need to have a great understanding of their APIs and what are the limitations.

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