Feeds

CruiseControl builds for the Enterprise

Screen Digest

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

If there is one concept that is central to the Agile development process, it's probably Continuous Build. Although small projects can rely on manual builds, automation is the key to using Agile for ever larger projects.

If you're into Open Source, as many Agile developers are, one continuous build tool of choice is CruiseControl from ThoughtWorks.

We took the opportunity afforded by the release of CruiseControl Enterprise, the next version of the product, to ask Paul Julius, co-founder of CruiseControl, what distinguished the software from competitors such as IBM Rational Buildforge, which claims to do a lot more than just continuous build).

It's the buzz around Open Source (ThoughtWorks "opensourced" CruiseControl in 2001) which most distinguishes this software from the pack, he told us. Cruise Control has an active developer community, comprising eight committers and more than 1,000 active members. It is usually introduced to an organisation by the developers themselves. It has features wanted and needed by developers and isn't imposed on them by management.

According to Julius, Cruise Control is particularly strong on globally distributed development. It's developed that way: Julius works out of Chicago, there are developers in California, Europe and Australia, many fixes come out of India and the CC Enterprise team works out of China. This makes it appropriate for people that work in the same way.

Julius thinks that the Chinese team brings real insight into internationalisation and native language support. And, some interesting social insights – the Chinese, for example are much happier signing off support tickets as “CruiseControl” rather than signing their own names.

And what is all that to do with Build? Agile is all about People over Process and you need tools which fit the way people want to work – fitting people to tools isn’t really where Agile is at.

And what’s special about CruiseControl Enterprise? In essence, it's designed to let you view the state of all enterprise builds on one screen. CruiseControl, according to Julius, has always met developers' needs; now it scales to the requirements of the Enterprise and meets managers’ needs too. Which is interesting, considering that it already claims to be used in at least 40 Fortune 1000 companies – perhaps these updates will ensure that it stays in use there.

The user web interface has been redesigned and the observation of current and past builds made easier. An executive-level programme management dashboard now offers (according to the press release) “meaningful ‘blink’ reporting at the highest level”.

Oh yes, the enterprise implant has taken, it really has – “blink” refers to Malcolm Gladwell’s book on “extraordinarily perceptive and deceptive power of the sub-conscious”.

I think this means that managers get summaries and exception reports from CruiseControl Enterprise, which they won't need to spend a lot of time studying (because many won't), but which will still power sensible decisions.

When asked about integration with other tools, Julius admits that it doesn't really support transparency through the whole ALM stack yet, but it has a wide range of integrations with other tools (see here). He singles out integration with ThoughtWorks’ Mingle agile project management tool (which goes into beta next month).

Julius also promises that: "We have great plans for the future of CruiseControl Enterprise, including around the clock support and consultancy services, as well as incorporating new features that support Deployment Pipeline-related functions to reduce an application's time to market and increase the rate of feedback to developers, managers and IT decision makers."

CruiseControl Enterprise is released on 20 June 2007. It is free to use under a BSD-style license.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.