Pull Request Reviews

Pull Request Reviews allow you to see the performance impact of development work before it gets released to your customers. It’s a powerful GitHub integration that works with most popular deployment platforms.

Your repository has to be using GitHub deployment statuses so Calibre knows what Pull Requests should be compared to. Vercel, Netlify and Heroku provide these automatically.

Connect Calibre to your GitHub organisation

To enable Pull Request Reviews, go to Site → Settings → Integrations tab and click Add to a repository in the GitHub section. You will be redirected to GitHub to enable the integration for your organisation.

Connecting Calibre to a selected repository

Calibre requires access to commit statuses, deployments, checks, comments and pull requests. We strongly recommend granting access to any selected repositories you’re interested in tracking.

Select comparison branch

After confirming the link between GitHub and Calibre, you will have to select a primary branch that will be the base for performance comparisons. This branch should be either deploying to production or a staging environment. In most cases, this might be main branch.

For the most accurate results, make sure you compare two very similar environments. Some of the common differentiators producing unreliable results can be using a CDN on production, but not on Pull Request deployments, or the presence of ads or other third parties.

Deploy tracking market on your performance metrics charts

When your Pull Request is merged and selected branch is successfully deployed, Calibre creates a deployment marker on your charts and takes a new snapshot of your Site. That way, you always know how releases affect your performance metrics.

If you’re using Netlify, make sure to enable the Netlify integration first, so the deployment markers show on your charts.

Create a Pull Request

Calibre will compare each Pull Request to the median of your site metrics since the last deploy. Each report highlights critical measurements (Largest Contentful Paint, Cumulative Layout Shift and Total Blocking Time) overall and across Test Profiles to highlight top-level changes.

Calibre Pull Request Reviews in GitHub

You can also analyse each page to see browser previews for specific Test Profiles and most significant changes, including any Budgets that have changed.

Calibre Pull Request Reviews showing most significant changes per page

Pull Request Reviews provide a helpful performance overview directly in GitHub, with the ability to drill down into metrics further in the Calibre interface.

Calibre does not automatically test draft Pull Requests. Test Draft Pull Requests by marking them as Ready for Review or using a Pull Request Command.

Pull Request Commands

You can trigger Calibre actions by commenting on a PR:

  • @calibreapp run: will create a Snapshot and start testing this PR with each new deployment.
  • @calibreapp stop: will stop testing and ignore all future deployments.

Deployment statuses & environments

Your repository has to be using GitHub deployment statuses, so Calibre knows what to compare Pull Requests to. Providers such as Vercel, Netlify and Heroku provide these automatically.

If you have a custom CI pipeline, you can mark deployments and create deployment statuses using the GitHub API. Calibre creates a Pull Request Review Site when it receives a deployment status with a state of success. Make sure to set the canonical URL of your review Site in the environment_url field.

Calibre will create Pull Request Review tests from any GitHub deployment status. If your repository is creating several deployment environments in Pull Requests (e.g. in monorepo scenarios or when both Site and Storybook preview is created), we recommend choosing one of the following options in Site → Settings → Edit a GitHub Integration:

  • a specific provider (Vercel, Netlify or Heroku)
  • a custom domain
  • custom deployment environment(s) (for Vercel, specify both preview and production environment in a comma-separated list)
Setting up custom environments for Pull Request Reviews
If your repository generates several deployment environments, specify one to be used as a comparison source for Pull Request Reviews to avoid errors in reporting. If you are using Vercel, specify both the preview and production deployment environment.

Deployment branches

You can include or exclude branches that Calibre runs Pull Request Reviews on by setting the deployment branches using positive and negative patterns.

The order branch patterns are defined matters. The last matching pattern will determine if the branch is included or excluded.

Example: Ignore dependabot PRs

Set the Deployment Branches field to: dependabot/**:

Setting up branch filtering for Pull Request Reviews

Example: Ignore all branches

Set the Deployment Branches field to: !*. You can trigger Calibre actions by using the Pull Request Command @calibreapp run.

Example: Only compare release branches, ignore alpha releases

Set the Deployment Branches field to: releases/**, releases/**-alpha.

Configuration file

You can customise metrics and authentication settings by including a configuration YAML file in your linked repository at /.calibre/config.yml.

There are two top-level properties you must specify:

  • version: The current version is 1
  • pullRequestReviews: Options for Pull Request Reviews

Configure metrics

By default, Calibre will compare the following metrics:

Under pullRequestReviews in your configuration file you can explicitly define which metrics to use, or you can provide a list of metrics to ignore from all available metrics in Calibre.

When you define metrics, the first three will be shown in the summary table.

Example: Define metrics

The following configuration will only compare the metrics listed under measurements:

1version: 1
3 measurements:
4 - lighthousePerformanceScore
5 - lighthouseAccessibilityScore
6 - lighthouseSEOScore

Example: Ignore metrics

The following configuration will include all metrics except the ones listed under ignore:

1version: 1
3 ignore:
4 - lighthousePwaScore
5 - pageHTMLDownload
6 - timeToFirstByte
7 - lighthouseSeoScore
8 - pageWaitTiming

Configure authentication

Calibre will copy your authentication settings to Pull Request Review tests. The authentication URL will be automatically updated with your deployment URL.

If you require specific authentication details for Pull Request Reviews, you can set them using config.yml.

Example: Define authentication settings

The following configuration will be used for authentication:

1version: 1
3 authentication:
4 url: https://different-domain.com/login
5 username: user@email.com
6 password: mysecretpassword
7 formSelector: form
8 usernameSelector: input[name=email]
9 passwordSelector: input[type=password]

Example: Define password only settings

Providers like Netlify and Vercel have the option to password protect preview deployments. By omitting the authentication URL and only setting the password fields, the Calibre Agent will login to the deployment URL with a password before each Snapshot:

1version: 1
3 authentication:
4 password: mysecretpassword
5 passwordSelector: input[type=password]

Access and security

To use Pull Request Reviews, the following API access to your GitHub respository is required:

  • Checks - Read & write
  • Deployments - Read only
  • Metadata - Read only
  • Pull Requests - Read & write
  • Issues - Read only
  • Access to read files - Read & write access to .calibre/config.yml
  • Commit statuses - Read only

In addition to these API items, Calibre will also read the following events for authorised repositories:

Your team authorises access during installation and will be prompted to confirm any changes in access requirements.

If you have any questions or concerns, let us know at security@calibreapp.com.