Actor build life cycle is being changed

Marek Trunkát
Marek Trunkát
TL;DR: On June 5, we start removing actor builds that are untagged and have not been used for 180 days, and on August 5 we start removing untagged actor builds not used for 90 days.

Since the launch of Apify Actors in October 2017, we have never removed a single actor build unless the actor itself was removed. Also, users of the Apify platform are not charged for the storage costs of keeping the complete history of actor builds.

As the number of builds is exponentially increasing, and so is the cost of storing all the builds, we have reached the point when we need to change the actor life cycle and start removing obsolete, unused builds.

Technical recap

Every change in actor source code produces a new build. Each build is assigned a unique build number with the format MAJOR.MINOR.BUILD (e.g., 1.2.345), where MAJOR.MINOR corresponds to the actor’s version number.

Right now, the user needs to specify which actor build should be used when running the actor. To simplify this process, the author can label the builds with a tag such as latest or beta, which can be used instead of the version number when running the actor. The tags are unique - only one build for each actor can be associated with a specific tag.

On the following screenshot, you can see the build history of Google Search Results Scraper with two tagged builds (latest and beta):

What will change?

The majority of actors are being started by tagged version (latest, beta, etc.), and there are only a few cases where the build is selected by number. Based on our analysis, over 90% of all existing builds are untagged and have not been used for longer than 90 days.

As we want to keep costs low for actor developers, we don’t plan to start charging for build storage. Instead, we have decided to change the actor build life cycle by removing untagged builds that haven’t been used for over 90 days.

To make the transition safe, we will proceed with this change in 2 steps:

  • On June 5, we start removing untagged builds that haven’t been used for 180 days or longer
  • On August 5, we start removing untagged builds that haven’t been used for 90 days or longer

How does this impact me?

As most actors are being started by tagged version (latest, beta, etc.), and tagged builds are not subject to removal, there is no need for the majority of our users to take any action.

If you use an untagged build bypassing the build number via API or in Apify Console, then you need to make sure that the build is used at least once every 90 days. For this, you can use Apify Schedules.

If you have any questions or feedback, write to support@apify.com. We’d love to hear from you!



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