Configuration management for store settings

Configuration management, or Pipeline Deployment, provides a new way to deploy across your environments with minimal downtime. The process extracts all configuration settings from your Magento implementation into a single file. With this file, you can add it to your Git commit and push it across all of your environments. to keep consistent settings and reduce downtime.

For extended technical information, see Pipeline Deployment (which is prepared for on-premises). When configuring and using these features, follow this topic specifically. Magento Commerce (Cloud) provides the build server, build and deploy scripts, and deployment environments. You only need to configure settings, generate the file, and deploy it via Git.

It provides the following benefits:

  • Better way to manage and synchronize the configuration across your Integration, Staging, and Production environments.
  • Less time required to build and deploy your project by moving static file deployment from deploy to the build phase. Your site is in maintenance mode until deployment completes. For details, see Deployment Process.
  • Sensitive data is automatically added into and environment variables file (/app/etc/env.php). You can also manually add sensitive environment variables using the Project Web Interface, the CLI, or directly in the Magento Admin. For example, payment processor passwords and API keys.

These new methods are optional but strongly recommended. The process ensures faster deployments and consistent configurations across your environments.

If you used configuration management in 2.1, this process is similar in 2.2. The name of the file has changed to config.php and updating the file changed. You can migrate your config.local.php settings to a new config.php. This file includes a number of changes including:

  • A list of modules and extensions
  • The scope for deployment
  • Should not be deleted to regenerate

Feature availability

Configuration management was released in magento-cloud-configuration 101.4.1 on Magento Commerce (Cloud) 2.1.4 and later. The options and functions differ in Magento Commerce (Cloud) 2.2. We provide recommendations for Magento Commerce (Cloud) deployments in this section.

To complete these configuration management tasks, you must have at a minimum a project reader role with environment administrator privileges.

How it works

Magento’s store configurations are stored in the database. When updating configurations in development/Integration, Staging, and Production environments, you would need to make those changes in the Magento Admin per environment. By using these commands, you generate a file, exporting all Magento configuration settings into a single text file: app/etc/config.php.

After configuring your environment, generate the file using one of the following commands:

  • php vendor/bin/m2-ece-scd-dump: Recommended. Exports only modified configuration settings
  • php bin/magento app:config:dump: Exports every configuration setting, including modified and default settings

For Magento Commerce (Cloud), we do not recommend app:config:dump as this command pulls and locks all values as read-only. This will affect Fastly and other important modules.

Any data that exports to the file becomes locked. The corresponding field in the Magento Admin becomes read-only. This ensures consistent configurations as you push the file across all environments. And every time you run this command, any new configurations are appended to your config.php file. If you need to modify or delete an existing configuration, you must edit the file manually.

By using the scd-dump command, you can configure only the settings you want copied across all environments. After you merge the code, you can configure additional settings in Staging and Production. For sensitive configurations, you can also add those settings to environment variables. For example, you may want to add different PayPal merchant account credentials for Staging (sandbox) and Production (live).

If sensitive data is found in your configurations, it is generated as environment variables to env.php. This file remains in the environment and should not be added to your Git environment.

Switching between commands

Can you switch between using php vendor/bin/m2-ece-scd-dump and php bin/magento app:config:dump? Only in one specific way.

In 2.2 and later, you cannot delete the config.php file to regenerate it. You can only edit the file to change or remove a value. This file includes more information than just configuration values.

If you use php vendor/bin/m2-ece-scd-dump to generate the file, you can switch to php bin/magento app:config:dump. Once switched, you cannot switch back. Using the command will append the file with all configured values (default and modified) not currently captured in the file. Any modified values must be entered by editing the file.

Configuration data

System settings refer to the configurations in the Magento Admin in Stores > Settings > Configuration. Depending on the command used, all or just modified system configurations save to the file.

This file can include all system configuration settings for stores, sites, extensions, and static file optimization settings. System values related to static content deployment (for example, static file optimization) are also stored in app/etc/config.php. Static file optimization means merging and minifying JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets, and minifying HTML templates.

Sensitive values are not stored in app/etc/config.php. Any sensitive configurations should export to app/etc/config.php during the scd-dump process. You can also create environment variables using CLI commands or the Project Web Interface.

You can set any value using environment variables, but we recommend using environment variables for sensitive values.

For a list of configurable settings, see Configuration settings you can change and System settings reference.

Static content deployment performance

Depending on the size of your store, you may have a large amount of static content files to deploy. Normally, static content deploys during the deploy phase, which is in Maintenance mode. To move the deployment of static content to the build phase, generate the configuration file.

If you generate config.php, the build and deploy hooks identify the file and deploy all static files during the build phase. This helps reduce the time spent in Maintenance mode during the deploy phase.

Before deploying static files, the build and deploy phases compress static content using gzip. Compressing static files reduces server loads and increases site performance. Refer to Magento build options to learn about customizing or disabling file compression.

How we set configurations

All system settings are set according to the following override scheme.

How configuration variable values are determined

As the diagram shows, we get configuration values in the following order:

  1. From an environment variable. Environment variables, if they exist, override all other values.
  2. From config.php. Values in config.php override settings in the database.
  3. From the database.

If no value exists in any of those sources, we use either the default value or NULL. For an example of how this works, see Example of managing system-specific settings.

Configuration settings you can change

The following table shows the configuration settings affected by the bin/magento magento-cloud:scd-dump command. These are the configuration settings that you can manage in Git. If you use php bin/magento app:config:dump, all settings are exported including default and modified settings.

The config.php file includes the following settings and configuration values:

  • Configured values for settings entered through the Magento Admin (see the table below)
  • Configured extension settings
  • Scopes value for static content deployment (default is quick)
Description Path in Magento Admin: Stores > Configuration > ...
Store locale General > General, Locale Options > Locale
Static asset signing Advanced > Developer, Static Files Settings > Static Files Signing
Server-side or client-side LESS compilation Advanced > Developer, Frontend Developer Workflow > Workflow type
HTML minification Advanced > Developer, Template Settings > Minify Html
JavaScript minification Advanced > Developer, JavaScript Settings > (several options)
CSS minification Advanced > Developer, CSS Settings > Merge CSS Files and Minify CSS Files
Disable modules output Advanced > Advanced > Disable Modules Output

Recommended procedure to manage your settings

Managing store configuration is a complex task that’s mostly up to you. What locales do you want to use? What custom themes do you need? Only you can determine the answers to those questions. We can help you manage those settings more easily. For example, you may want to change the default locale and a store’s static file optimization settings, with different settings in Staging and Production. Instead of making these changes in every environment, use config.php.

We strongly recommend using scd-dump to generate config.php. This file includes only the settings you configured without locking all default values. It also ensures all extensions used in Staging and Production do not break due to read-only configurations, especially Fastly.

To fully understand the process, please see our extensive example.

The Starter plan environment high-level overview of this process:

Overview of Starter configuration management

The Pro plan environment high-level overview of this process:

Overview of Pro configuration management

Step 1: Configure your store

Complete all configurations for your stores in the Admin console:

  1. Log into the Magento Admin for one of the environments:

    • Starter: An active development branch
    • Pro: The master environment in Integration
  2. Create and configure all store settings. These configurations do not include the actual products unless you plan on dumping the database from this environment to Staging and Production. Typically development databases don’t include your full store data.
  3. Open a terminal on your local and use an SSH command to generate /app/etc/config.php on the environment:

    ssh -k <SSH URL> "<Command>"

For example for Pro, to run the scd-dump on Integration master:

ssh -k "php vendor/bin/m2-ece-scd-dump"

Important: The config.php file includes the following settings and configuration values:

  • Configured values for settings entered through the Magento Admin
  • Configured extension settings
  • Scopes value for static content deployment (default is quick)

Step 2: Transfer and add the file to Git

Push config.php to Git. To push this file to the master Git branch, you need to complete a few extra steps because this environment is read-only.

  1. Transfer config.php to your local system using rsync or scp. You can only add this file to the Git branch through your local.

    rsync <SSH URL>:app/etc/config.php ./app/etc/config.php

  2. Add and push config.php to the Git master branch.

    git add app/etc/config.php && git commit -m "Add system-specific configuration" && git push origin master

When you add config.php to Git, all build and deploy processes move static content deployment to the build phase. The method for the deployment uses the scope. The default option is quick. You can change the strategy by setting an environment variable for SCD_STRATEGY.

Once this file is added to your code, you should not delete it. If you need to remove or edit settings, you must manually edit the file to make changes.

Step 3 & 4: Push Git branch to Staging and Production

Log into the Magento Admin in those environments to verify the settings. If you used scd-dump, only configured settings display. You can continue configuring the environment if needed.

For Starter, when you push, the updated code pushes to the active environment. Merge the branch to Staging and finally master for Production. Complete any additional configurations in Staging and Production as needed.

For Pro, when you push to the Git branch, the Integration master environment updates. Deploy this branch to Staging and Production. Complete any additional configurations in Staging and Production as needed.

Update configuations

If you need to modify or remove any existing configuration settings in config.php, you will need to modify the file manually with a text editor. After completing edits or removals, you can push it to Git to update.

To add new configurations, modify your environment through the Magento Admin panel and run the command again to generate the file. Any new configurations are appended to the code in the file. Push it to Git to update.

While you can manually edit config.php in Staging and Production, we don’t recommend it. The file helps keep all of your configurations consistent across all of your environments.

You should never delete config.php to rebuild it. Deleting the file can remove specific configurations and settings required for build and deploy processes.

Migrate config.local.php to config.php

If you upgrade to Magento Commerce (Cloud) 2.2 or later, you may want to migrate settings from config.local.php to your new config.php file. If the configuration settings in your Magento Admin match the contents of the file, you can follow the instructions to generate and add config.php.

If they differ, you can append content from config.local.php to your new config.php file:

  1. Follow instructions to generate the config.php file using the recommended method.
  2. Open config.phpand delete the last line.
  3. Open config.local.phpand copy the contents.
  4. Paste the contents into config.php, save, and complete adding it to Git.
  5. Deploy across your environments.

You only need to complete this migration once. When you need to update the file, you will always update the new config.php.

Next step

Example of managing system-specific settings