This is inspired by this post by Simon Couch on how to run R scripts on a schedule with GitHub Actions, giving an alternative with Cloud Build.

The work flow looks to:

  • Run your R code, save the object
  • Commit that object to GitHub
  • Run it on a schedule

It assumes you have set-up googleCloudRunner via cr_setup() for Cloud Builds and Cloud Scheduler, and have saved your git credentials previously to Secret Manager called “github-ssh”.

Create the cloudbuild.yaml

For this we first need to create build steps that run the R code and commit the results back to a repo.

# can be R file location or in-line code
r_code <- c("x <- rnorm(1:10)",
            "save(x, file = paste0('data-raw/data_', make.names(Sys.time()), '.Rda'))")

bs <- c(
  # assumes you have git credentials saved to Secret Manager
  # run the R code above - could also be a file in the github repo
  cr_buildstep_r(r_code, id = "run r code", dir = "payload"),
  # could put the git commands in one cr_buildstep_bash step for brevity
  cr_buildstep_git(c("add","--all"), dir = "payload"),
  cr_buildstep_git(c("commit", "-a", "-m", 
                     "Ran R script to add data $BUILD_ID"),
                   dir = "payload"),
  cr_buildstep_git(c("push", "$_GITHUB_REPO"), dir = "payload")

# using a substitution var for the GitHub repo to make it more portable
build_yaml <- cr_build_yaml(
  steps = bs,
  substitutions = list(`_GITHUB_REPO`="MarkEdmondson1234/r-code-commit-github")

Debug and test if the script works first by sending to cr_build() - this pops up the build log in your browser.

For example, when doing this I found I had to modify my code to create the data folder in R and clone to “payload” directory.

See some commits to my test repo here.

Schedule the build

Now the build needs a schedule. Taking a working YAML configuration, we use that to create the API call for Cloud Scheduler that will run the build periodically:

# your running successful build
build <- cr_build_make(build_yaml)

# create build API call
schedule_me <- cr_schedule_http(build)

# schedule the build
cr_schedule("r-2-git-demo", "5 15 * * 0", httpTarget = schedule_me)
#name:  projects/xxxx/locations/europe-west1/jobs/r-2-git-demo 
#state:  ENABLED 
#httpTarget.httpMethod:  POST 
#userUpdateTime:  2021-01-01T07:21:44Z 
#schedule:  5 15 * * 0 
#timezone:  Europe/Copenhagen