Faster builds with dependency caching

By on June 27, 2017

One of the key principles behind the design of Pipelines was quick developer feedback on changes committed. After all, machines are cheap but your developers’ time isn’t. This principle influenced how we chose to price pipelines to provide unlimited concurrency, so builds aren’t waiting in a queue. Running builds in Docker containers also means your build scripts start executing much sooner than running them on VMs.

With most languages, builds start by downloading dependencies, accounting for a significant time of each build. Between each build, dependencies seldom change and when they do, it is usually incremental. Builds can be faster if dependencies don‘t need to be downloaded each time.

Today, we are excited to announce that Pipelines supports caching between builds. For early adopters in our Alpha group, we have seen builds reduced by up to 50% in build time (and build minutes)!

Adding a cache is simple. Here’s an example for adding a cache for node_modules.

image: node:8
    - step:
          - node
          - npm install
          - npm test

We’ve pre-defined caches for several popular build tools. If your build tool doesn’t have a pre-defined cache, you can still define a custom cache in your bitbucket-pipelines.yml file. Caches are per repository and can be shared between your pipelines.

With this addition, we hope your developers are waiting less and coding more!

Enabled caching already? Tell us on Twitter @Bitbucket how much it has shaved off your build time.