Knowledge Base  /  Cloud Application Manager  /  Automating Deployments
Knowledge Base  /  Cloud Application Manager  /  Automating Deployments

Version Control and Auto-Updates

Updated by Guillermo Sánchez and Sergio Quintana on May 22, 2019
Article Code: kb/432

In this article:


This article intends to serve as a guide for explaining box versioning in Cloud Application Manager as well as giving an overview of the auto-updates feature.


Cloud Application Manager users.


An active Cloud Application Manager account.


In large-scale, complex deployments where tens or hundreds of distributed applications run from a single box configuration, a way of managing changes to box configurations and handling those updates to running instances is needed. Versioning and auto-updates can help with that.

Versioning a Box

A box must be versioned to push its updates, either manually or automatically, to live instances deployed from it. To create a version, navigate to the box and click the Versions tab.

Version control - Box overview

Click New Version and save with an appropriate version number.

Version control - New version dialog

  • Use Major to indicate deeper changes. For example, you may alter the box configuration with different child boxes, variables or a binding.
  • Use Minor to indicate small changes. For example, instead of using apt-get you now install and compile software from a Git repo.
  • Use Patch to indicate simple changes like, for example, fixing a typo.

Version Semantics

Major, minor, and patch follow semantic versioning standards. Cloud Application Manager does not check for the quality or correctness of changes between versions. It’s up to the box composer to test changes be they minor, patch, or major. Versioning semantics helps others consuming the box decide the level of updates they are comfortable pushing to their instances.

Draft, current, latest

  • Latest is the highest version number of a box. When you deploy from Instances page, you always get the latest version.
  • Draft indicates changes not yet saved to the box. When you deploy from the box page, you typically deploy the draft version.
  • Current refers to a specific restored version of the box. If you want to restore a box version you have to do it from the Versions tab. Select the gear icon and click on Restore.

Version control - Restore option

Updating Instances Automatically or Manually

When launching an instance, choose the level of auto-update you’re comfortable applying. Go with All Updates if you are not concerned about big or small configuration changes. Otherwise, choose Minor and Patch Updates or Patch Updates, which make sure the configuration remains unchanged, for the most part.

When a new version of the box is created, instances which are eligible for automatic update (if the type of version created matches the auto-update policy chosen at deployment time) will be updated with the new version of the box, and a reinstall action will be automatically triggered to apply the new version changes.

Note: This option is available for versioned boxes only.

Version control - Automatic Updates

Don't worry if you don’t set instances to auto-update. A visual cue on the Instances page reminds you when changes are available from the related box.

Version control - Box updates available

You can always manually update from Instances page. Select the instance and under the Bulk Actions or the gear icon of the instance, click Update Instance.

Version control - Update instance option

From here, you can update the instance with a specific version. An update always triggers a reinstall operation.

Version control - Update instance modal

Note: When deploying a box from Instances page, you consume the latest configuration of the parent and child boxes unless you chose a specific version for the child boxes. To deploy a different version of the parent box, launch it from the box page. From the Versions tab > gear icon, click Deploy on a selected version.

Managing box versions

Box versions can be managed in different ways. To see these options, go to Versions tab in the box details page and click the gear icon.

Version control - Box version options

  1. Delete: You can delete the selected box version. Please be aware that clicking on this option deletes the version without a warning popup.

  2. Deploy: You can deploy the selected box version.

  3. Diff: You can see the updates made to each box version from the Versions tab. Select the gear icon and click on Diff.

    Version control - Diff view

  4. Restore: You can restore your box to its previous version. The version you are working on now will become the current version.

  5. Publish box: This option changes the privacy settings of the box, making it public after being published. To execute this change filling a request form is necessary. Please note that only those fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory.

    For more information on how to publish a box see this tutorial.

Version control - Publish box request form

Contacting Cloud Application Manager Support

We’re sorry you’re having an issue in Cloud Application Manager. Please review the troubleshooting tips, or contact Cloud Application Manager support with details and screenshots where possible.

For issues related to API calls, send the request body along with details related to the issue.

In the case of a box error, share the box in the workspace that your organization and Cloud Application Manager can access and attach the logs.

  • Linux: SSH and locate the log at /var/log/elasticbox/elasticbox-agent.log
  • Windows: RDP into the instance to locate the log at ProgramData/ElasticBox/Logs/elasticbox-agent.log