New Book Day: A Developer’s Essential Guide to Docker Compose

As Developers nowadays we have a wide variety of Software components and Cloud Services to use. This was a scenario that we could not even imagine in the past.
I still remember when we had to setup our Application Servers and Databases on top of Bare metal servers.
This burst of computing functionality in the form of the Cloud and managed services, allowed us to be able to utilise more tools for our applications and build better products.
Issues like orchestrating workloads, isolating and shipping them went to a whole different level.
As a result containerization came to the rescue.
Docker took over the microservice world and became the dominant solution to deploy microservices and in certain cases even to deploy Databases and Brokers.
This brings us to the development process. Production deployments is a huge chapter on its own. Platform engineers needs to take care of the security, the scaling and robustness of container based deployments.
But the development process is also affected:

  • SQL/NoSQL Databases as well as purpose-built databases like InfluxDB need to be available locally
  • Scenarios of Microservices applications need to be tested
  • Other Components such as brokers need to be available for testing

A step forward to the challenges mentioned above is to utilise Docker and its rich functionality. As convenient as it is to spin up containers locally you still end up managing containers, volumes and networks. Most of the times those have been spinned up add-hoc or with some scripts that a team has to maintain.

Docker Compose is one of the solutions to the problems described. With Compose you can spin up multiple containers locally organised using yaml files.
Here are some of the benefits when used during development:

  • The containers are organised and can spin up or shut down in an organized way
  • Applications can be placed on different networks
  • Volumes can be managed and attached to containers in a managed way
  • Containers resolve each other’s location through a DNS automatically, manual linking is not needed.

I have been using Compose for years. It helped me to make my development process much more efficient. Also in certain cases it helped me on actual production deployments. Writing this book was an opportunity for me to advocate for Docker Compose.



Thanks to the amazing people at Packt publishing it was possible to write this book and give back to the community.

The book is focused on various aspects of Compose.

In the beginning it will be an extensive look on Docker Compose, how it is implemented, how it interacts with the Docker engine, the available commands as well as the functionality it provides.

Onwards we will dive deep in day to day development using Compose. We will spin up complex infrastructure locally, as well as simulate Microservice environments using Compose. We will take this concept further and incrementally simulate things that we have to deal with a production deployment, as well as issue workarounds. Lastly we will use Compose for CI/CD jobs on popular solutions like Github Actions, Travis, and BitBucket Pipelines.

The last part of the book is all about deploying to production. All the knowledge acquired previously can be used for actual production deployments. A production deployment comes with some standards:

  • Infrastructure as Code
  • Container registry
  • Networks
  • Load Balancing
  • Autoscaling

The above, in combination with the knowledge we accumulated so far using Compose, will be used for a deployment on AWS and Azure, the most popular Cloud providers. This will be done also with the extra help of Infrastructure as Code by using Terraform.

Lastly since many production deployments nowadays reside on Kubernetes we shall build a bridge between Compose and Kubernetes by migrating the existing Compose deployment using Kompose.

You can find the book on Amazon  as well as on the Packt portal.
Happy Learning!