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Deployer vs Envoy: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Deployer and Envoy

Introduction: Deployer and Envoy are both tools used in the deployment and management of applications. While they serve similar purposes, there are distinct differences between them.

1. Execution Environment: Deployer is a PHP-based deployment tool that focuses on providing a simple and flexible deployment process. It allows easy integration with various technologies and supports different deployment strategies. On the other hand, Envoy is a Laravel-specific tool that provides a zero-downtime deployment solution using much simpler configuration files.

2. Language and Ecosystem: Deployer is built with PHP, making it suitable for PHP-based applications. It utilizes Composer for dependency management and can be extended using different plugins available in the PHP ecosystem. In contrast, Envoy is part of the Laravel ecosystem and is specifically designed for Laravel applications. It leverages the features and conventions provided by Laravel, including Blade templates and Laravel Mix.

3. Configuration Approach: Deployer uses configuration files written in PHP or YAML to define deployment tasks and environments. It provides a programmatic approach to define the deployment flow and allows greater flexibility in customization. On the other hand, Envoy uses a simple and declarative configuration format written in Blade templates. It focuses on simplicity and ease of use, providing a straightforward way to define tasks using a familiar syntax.

4. Deployment Strategies: Deployer supports various deployment strategies, including rolling deployments, blue-green deployments, and canary releases. It provides customizable hooks to define pre and post-deployment steps, ensuring a smooth deployment process. In contrast, Envoy is primarily focused on zero-downtime deployments. It provides built-in support for tasks like migration, cache clearing, and restarting the application, enabling seamless updates without interrupting the user experience.

5. Community and Documentation: Deployer has a large and active community that contributes to its development and provides support through documentation, forums, and GitHub issues. It offers comprehensive documentation and covers a wide range of scenarios and use cases. On the other hand, Envoy is part of the Laravel ecosystem, which has a dedicated and vibrant community. Its documentation is focused on Laravel-specific use cases and provides extensive guidance for deploying Laravel applications.

6. Integration and Extensibility: Deployer integrates well with various tools and technologies used in the PHP ecosystem, such as Git, Composer, and Symfony components. It also provides a plugin system that allows extending its functionality with custom tasks and workflows. In contrast, Envoy is tightly integrated with Laravel and takes advantage of its features, including the Artisan command-line interface. It provides a straightforward way to run Artisan commands and leverage Laravel-specific functionality during the deployment process.

In Summary, Deployer and Envoy differ in their execution environment, language and ecosystem, configuration approach, deployment strategies, community support, and integration/extensibility.

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Pros of Deployer
Pros of Envoy
  • 8
    Simply to use
  • 7
    Easy to customize
  • 6
    Easy setup
  • 9

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What is Deployer?

A deployment tool written in PHP with support for popular frameworks out of the box

What is Envoy?

Originally built at Lyft, Envoy is a high performance C++ distributed proxy designed for single services and applications, as well as a communication bus and “universal data plane” designed for large microservice “service mesh” architectures.

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Blog Posts

May 6 2020 at 6:34AM


What are some alternatives to Deployer and Envoy?
Octopus Deploy
Octopus Deploy helps teams to manage releases, automate deployments, and operate applications with automated runbooks. It's free for small teams.
Capistrano is a remote server automation tool. It supports the scripting and execution of arbitrary tasks, and includes a set of sane-default deployment workflows.
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
It is not GNU make; it's a PHP project build system or build tool based on Apache Ant. You can do anything with it that you could do with a traditional build system like GNU make, and its use of simple XML build files and extensible PHP 'task' classes make it an easy-to-use and highly flexible build framework.
See all alternatives