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Instant GitHub Codespaces are dangerous without realistic data

Picture the scene:

  • You click a button on a GitHub repository
  • A new tab launches with VS Code containing your code
  • All of the prerequisites are preinstalled and you can start coding, compiling, and running your application instantly

Amazing! Forget about walking line-by-line through “SETUP.md” to configure your local machine.

But let's fast-forward a little bit more…

  • You start your web app and load it in a new tab
  • You log in to your web app
  • You’re greeted with an empty screen

There’s no data. There are no other users. There’s no realistic data in this application at all.

Codespaces with databases

With GitHub Codespaces you can set up a cloud-hosted, containerized VS Code environment. You can then connect to a codespace through the browser or through VS Code.

The main question we are trying to answer now is:

Can we have virtualized environments with databases created from backups or scripts, not just empty databases, or fake data sets?

Update July 2021

Hello from the 🛸 Spawn 🛸 team!

Virtual environments with databases#

The Spawn team has been busy looking at how databases can fit with virtual environments. We've written articles about Github Codespaces, Wunderpreview and Gitpod. We are interested in how these different services can fit with Spawn to enable you to have virtual environments that can have GBs of realistic data as well. Have a read through our blog posts below.

Collaboration with Wunderpreview#

We are looking for people who want to work with us and Wunderpreview to set up virtual environments with data for you and your team. Wunderpreview is a company that helps you get a live preview environment for every new feature – fully automated. If you have a project where you’d like to create preview environments with data, then send us an email at spawn@red-gate.com or contact us via slack.

Exploring new pricing models#

Many of you have expressed interest in finding out how Spawn will be priced going forward. We’ve now started exploring various options when it comes to pricing models, please head to our pricing page. For now, if you’re already a Spawn user, this won’t affect you, but feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts!

Try the beta#

Spawn is currently in open beta, and free to use. It takes less than fives minutes to get up and running. Click the link below to join our beta 👇

👉 Get started

📝 Blogs#

Codespaces with databases#

With GitHub Codespaces you can set up a cloud-hosted, containerized VS Code environment. You can then connect to a codespace through the browser or through VS Code. The main question we are trying to answer in this article is:

Can we have virtualized environments with databases created from backups or scripts, not just empty databases, or fake data sets. Read more

Pull request previews with WunderPreview and Spawn#

Level up your pull request workflow with live preview environments backed by dedicated databases.

WunderPreview provides all stakeholders in a software project with a window into the work in progress features of an application. By building your application on every pull request and publishing it for all team members to see, visibility is increased and feedback is given earlier, tightening the build, test, deploy cycle. Read more

Going all-in on cloud-based development with realistic databases (with GitPod)#

Throughout 2020 and 2021 much of the world moved to remote-first working through unfortunate necessity. We got used to remote standups, meetings, reviews and collaboration. Working patterns and practices changed, but have development environments kept up? We’ll try to answer that using GitPod and Spawn. Read more

✨ New features#

🤖 spawn#

  • We have a brand new website to help new visitors understand Spawn better
  • Make data image sizes display correctly on app.spawn.cc
  • Fix container creation date display issues on app.spawn.cc
  • Improve support for MySQL
  • Improve overall reliability

⬆️ Backups#

  • Improve our upload strategy to better manage creating images from large backup files
  • We are dropping support for MongoDB backups

📖 Documentation#

  • Add search functionality to our doc site