Deploy a React App to Heroku with Bitbucket pipelinesby@janszczepanski
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Deploy a React App to Heroku with Bitbucket pipelines

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Jan Szczepanski, Co-founder, Consultant and Atlassian Specialist, writes article about building CI/CD pipeline for deploying a React App to Heroku using Bitbucket and Heroku. The article is based on the React starter app created by Atlassian’s Jan. Szczetanski. We will focus on deploying our React app using the React App. The tutorial will focus mainly on deploying the React app to the Heroku platform using the App Engine Engine Engine.

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Jan Szczepanski

Hamburg - Co-founder, Consultant and Atlassian Specialist @ Jodocus GmbH...

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Hello world!

In preparation of a talk for an Atlassian Community Event in Hamburg I struggled and stumbled upon some documentations and tutorials for using Bitbucket and Heroku together. So I’ve decided to write my own first developer article about

Building a basic CI/CD pipeline for deploying a React App to Heroku using Bitbucket

Getting Started

Step 1 — Create React app

In this tutorial we will focus on deploying a React app to Heroku, so we will just use the React starter app. To run the App in Heroku we’ll add a basic express server setup later on. Prerequisite for creating and running a React app make sure you have:

1. Node.js and npm installed

2. Visual Studio Code installed (optional)

Now with that basic setup we are ready to create our React app:

npx create-react-app name-of-your-app

Depending on your development environment grap yourself a coffee, the next 2–5 minutes are not that interessting, except you like watching how all the project dependencies are downloaded and bundled together.

After you are back, type the following lines into your terminal to start the app

cd name-of-your-app
npm start

You can now view the app in a browser by open the URL http://localhost:3000

Step 2 — Create Bitbucket Repository


Now that we have our app up and running on our local machine we should create our git repository. Therefore we head over to If you don’t have an account yet, get one its for free (important nowadays)!

When creating a new repository you need to at least give it a name and you want to set the access level to private. Most of the settings here can be changed afterwards.


Well done! You’ve created your — maybe first — git repository. Time to
explore the menu which you’ll now see on the lefthand side.


If you want to know more about Bitbucket head over to the official documentation.

Step 3 — Create Heroku App


We are pretty close to deploying our app now. Head over to - again create an account if you don’t have one (IT’S FREE!).

On your dashboard click New and choose Create new app. In the dialog:

1. Set a App Name - this one is unique world-wide, so it might happen that some else already picked test123 or demoapp - be creative!

2. Choose the Region where your app should run


Your app is now created, but before you head back to your code and git repository we need to tell our app which Buildpack we’d like to use.

Go to Settings in your AppUnder Buildpacks click Add buildback and choose heroku/nodejs


For deploying the app later on we also need an API Key.

1. In your Profile go to Account Settings

2. In the Section API Key click Reveal

3. Safe the key for later configuration

Deploy with Bitbucket pipelines

Now comes the fun part… for you actually, I learned the hard way so you don’t have to.

Step 1 — Setup an express Server

Go to Visual Studio Code and add a new folder called server to the root of the repository. Within that folder create a file called server.js and install express by running this command in your terminal:

npm install express --save

Within the server.js file copy & paste these lines of code:

const path = require('path');
const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const publicPath = path.join(__dirname, '..', 'build');const port = process.env.PORT || 3000;app.use(express.static(publicPath));app.get('*', (req, res) => {
    res.sendFile(path.join(publicPath, 'index.html'));
});app.listen(port, () => {
    console.log('Hello World I run on PORT ' + port);

In your package.json file change the script line for start your app to:

"start": "node server/server.js",

Step 2 — Upload everything to your git repository

Open a terminal windows make sure you are in the root directory of your React app and type the following lines:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "initial commit"
git remote add origin https://[email protected]/username/name-of-your-repository.git
git push -u origin master

When you refresh the browser page you should see all the files and
folders of your app we’ve just commited the the git repository.

Step 3 — Setup and configure Bitbucket pipelines

Now that our code is in our repository we need to enable Pipelines for our repository.

Go to Repository SettingsUnder the Section Pipelines click SettingsEnable PipelinesRight above Settings, go to Repository variablesAdd a variable with name HEROKU_API_KEY and your key from aboveAdd a variable with name HEROKU_APP_NAME and the app name as value

Now we can finally create our Pipeline configuration.


In our case we want (not true, the author wants it!) to build a pipeline with following rules and steps:

1. We don’t have branches yet, so everytime someone commits something to the master branch we want to run our pipeline

2. We want to test our app first

3. We need to create a Zip file for the heroku pipline add-on

4. We want to finally push our repository to Heroku

Author’s note: YES, I could push the repository to Heroku using git, but NO that was not my intention for writing this article!

The bitbucket-pipelines.yml file holds all the build configurations for your repository. There is really a lot you can do with this file, so if you want to dig deeper take a look at the official documentation. Here the basics of the YAML file:

pipelines: contains all your pipeline definitions.

default: contains the steps that run on every push if one of the following criteria is not met.

step: each step starts a new Docker container with a clone of your repository, then runs the contents of your script section.

script: a list of commands that are executed in sequence.

pipe: a pipe is more like an add-on or function, it takes some input and does stuff for you — like uploading your repository to Heroku

Our final bitbucket-pipelines.yml file looks like this:

image: node:10.15.3pipelines:
      - step:
          name: Test App
            - node
            - rm -rf package-lock.json
            - rm -rf node_modules
            - npm install
            - npm run test
       - step:
           name: Create artifact
             - git archive --format=tar.gz master -o                   application.tar.gz 
           - application.tar.gz
       - step:
           name: Deploy to heroku
           deployment: production
             - node
             - pipe: atlassian/heroku-deploy:1.1.4
                 HEROKU_API_KEY: $HEROKU_API_KEY
                 ZIP_FILE: "application.tar.gz"
                 WAIT: 'true'


Hope you liked it, even more I hope it helps you! Please let me know via comment or clap :)

About Jodocus

Jodocus is a full-service provider for Atlassian Systems based in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Cologne Germany. Our team combines more than 25 years of experience in building and running the solution you need. We are Atlassian experts and know how to analyze and understand your problems. Innovative and future-proof solutions are our passion and we always meet our customers at eye-level.

About the Author

Jan Szczepanski specializes in project and process management and has been an Atlassian specialist since the beginning of his professional
career. He was in charge of technical as well as non-technical teams in
different companies and was responsible for the optimization of business
processes. Today he uses his specialist knowledge, which he has
acquired over many years, in to improve communication and collaboration


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