Developers August 14, 2020

I am building an easier way to deploy projects

Vlad Calin @vladcalin

Hello indie hackers!

I am building https://amethystplatform.com which is a platform that will help you deploy your projects and all their moving parts (web services, cron jobs) easy using configuration-as-code stored together with the rest of the code.

It is still a work in progress, but the flow will look something like:

  • add amethyst.yaml to your project which will contain versioned "building blocks" such as web services, workers, cron jobs.
  • connect the GIT repository to the platform
  • the project is monitored constantly for changes and if a resource from amethyst.yaml changed version, it will be updated and redeployed.
  • each update process involves building a docker image and deploying it, and old versions are kept, so that rolling back to a previous version is fast and easy.
  • each resource is monitored and all the logging is centralized automatically

What do you think? Is this something you would see yourself using in the future? If not, why? What other features you would need to consider using it?

Thank you in advance!

  1. 3

    Looks like a good service/product! The copy feels like it is a one man shop.. and I think with some subtle changes could improve that first impression.

    I think the header could use some improvements:

    Deploying applications right is hard.
    Could be: Deploying applications hard.

    We make it easy.
    Could be: Amethyst makes it easy.
    Or
    Could be: It doesn't have to be with Amethyst

    We offer a platform that helps you deploy, manage and monitor your services, easy and cost-efficient.

    Could be: Amethyst is a platform that helps you deploy, manage and monitor your services, easy and cost-efficient.

    We are setting things up! Leave us an mail address to be the first to find out when we launch!

    Could be: If you want to be first line for better deploys, leave us an email address and we will be in touch!

    1. 1

      While I agree with you, it's also not my main priority right now to heavily optimize the texts. At the moment I am more interested in collecting feedback about the idea itself and focus on getting the MVP up and running.

      But yeah, I'll have to tweak things on the website at some point in the future.

  2. 3

    Hey @vladcalin

    Good news: You are not the only one with that problem, I recently DIYed a solution for that problem myself, so there was a consumer market of at least one :)

    Now heres the problem I'm currently seeing: There are a two potential customer segments you have:

    1. The pure developers, who write an appilication and then wish that there was a magic button that would just deploy their application without any configuration.
    2. The dev-ops, who actively enjoy setting up servers, manipulating config files, etc.

    Your current value proposition seems to be targeted towards people who are not afraid to write a configuration file while at the same time not wanting to set up a production-ready server, which realistically are developers who were forced to do similiar things in the past or dev-ops who hate their job. While such people exist (I am one of those), I think you might reach a broader audience by adding feature to specifically target a customer segment. For example, you could add a graphical config file generator for people who don't want to write config files. To target the devops, I would add more ways to integrate your solution into existing infrastructure, which also is smooth segway into the next problem :D

    Your product kind of conflicts with CI/CD pipelines, which have seen really widespread adoption in the past few years. Users might want to only deploy once some tests are passed, or a magic voodoo script has run, etc. Luckily, this can be addressed rather easily since you probably have a docker repository running somewhere. By allowing users to directly push new versions to that repository and providing example configurations for common CI pipelines, you would allow the integration into existing infrastructure while being reasonably easy to use for developers given a decent documentation.

    While this comment may seem overly negative, I genuinely think that you might be onto something and that you can probably overcome these problems.

    Best luck :)

    1. 2

      Thank you for your very valuable input! I totally agree with everything you said, especially with the two customer segments. Ultimately I would want to have a very configurable and extensible platform with tons of integrations (for the second segment) but with good-enough sensible defaults (for the first segment).

      Regarding the CI/CD pipelines, I plan to have a "swappable" CI/CD pipeline. At first, running various commands and building a docker image on the platform will be available, but then I plan to integrate with different already existing CI/CD tools such as Gitlab, Github actions, Travis, Jenkins, etc.

      While this comment may seem overly negative

      Don't worry, I didn't feel any negative vibe from it, just pure honesty and constructive criticism at best :)

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