Docker compose
Last modified on Fri 04 Feb 2022

docker-compose is a tool built on top of docker and is used to start multiple service containers and connect them together.

Compose is usually used to create an entire development environment: A typical docker-compose will start up a service for database, backend, frontend, HTTP proxy and so on. Then you need to connect them all together in a private network and expose public ports on the host.

docker-compose can be used to create production environments, but there are other solutions which are often better suited for that. Because of that, docker-compose is usually used to simplify setting up the development environment.

Compose configuration is contained within a docker-compose.yml script. This script references 'Dockerfiles' which can be built locally or prebuilt images which can be started as a service. You can specify environment variables to be passed to the container inside of docker-compose.yml, volumes, port mappings, etc. For details see the reference for docker-compose.yml

Some basic commands when using docker-compose :

  > docker-compose up --build

--build switch tells compose to rebuild any services that reference a Dockerfile instead of an image.

  > docker-compose stop
  > docker-compose down
  docker-compose up --scale example-api=4

This will spin up 4 instances of example-api container inside of compose network. Note that you will need to handle networking configuration slightly differently: you can either map a range of ports or use expose setup a load balancer if you want to access the API on host.

Compose networking

Like mentioned before, docker-compose creates a private network for it's services. Some helpful facts about this network :

Example docker-compose.yml

version: "3.9"
services:
  example-api:
    build:
      context: .
      dockerfile: ./Example.API/Dockerfile
    restart: always
    ports:
      - "8000:80"
      - "8001:443"
    volumes:
      - ${HOME}/.aspnet/https/:/https/
      - logvolume:/var/log
    environment:
      - ASPNETCORE_ENVIRONMENT=Development
      - ASPNETCORE_URLS=https://+;http://+
      - ASPNETCORE_HTTPS_PORT=8001
      - ASPNETCORE_Kestrel__Certificates__Default__Password=crypticpassword
      - ASPNETCORE_Kestrel__Certificates__Default__Path=/https/example-api.pfx
      - ConnectionStrings__ExampleDb=Server=example-db,1433;Database=exampledb;User Id=sa;Password=crypticpassword;
    links:
      - example-db
    depends_on:
      - example-db

  example-migration:
    build:
      context: .
      dockerfile: ./Example.Data.Db/Dockerfile
    environment:
      - ConnectionStrings__ExampleDb=server=Server=example-db,1433;Database=exampledb;User Id=sa;Password=crypticpassword;
    restart: on-failure
    links:
      - example-db
    depends_on:
      - example-db

  example-db:
    image: mcr.microsoft.com/mssql/server:2019-latest
    restart: always
    ports:
      - "1433:1433"
    environment:
      - SA_PASSWORD=crypticpassword
      - ACCEPT_EULA=Y
    healthcheck:
      test: CMD /opt/mssql-tools/bin/sqlcmd -S localhost -U sa -P crypticpassword -Q "SELECT 1" || exit 1
      timeout: 20s
      retries: 10
      start_period: 10s
volumes:
  logvolume: {}

This script specifies 3 containers need to get started, example-api and example-migration are built locally from two separate Dockerfiles and example-db is started from Microsoft SQL server 2019 image.

example-migration could then be configured to build a .NET project similar to example-api and run migrations from .NET CLI :

# syntax=docker/dockerfile:1
FROM mcr.microsoft.com/dotnet/sdk:5.0 AS build-env
WORKDIR /app

RUN dotnet tool install -g dotnet-ef --version 5.0.10
ENV PATH $PATH:/root/.dotnet/tools

COPY *.sln ./
COPY **/*.csproj ./
RUN for file in $(ls *.csproj); do mkdir -p ./${file%.csproj}/ && mv $file ./${file%.csproj}/; done
RUN dotnet restore

# Run the migrations on database
COPY . ./
CMD dotnet ef database update -p Test.Data.Db -s Test.API