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The Best Continuous Integration Tools

  • February 18, 2009
  • By Vlad Kofman
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The web dashboard does not let you configure the build process, but only allows monitoring it and executing various operations. So, for the initial setup (and any changes), you have to roll up your sleeves and start updating the XML config file.



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Figure 3: Cruise Control (CC) build configuration UI

Cruise Control can be installed as a Windows service, and can execute builds at a predefined schedule. It also can run code analyses, code syntax checks, and compare code against checks.

Overall, the tool is extremely powerful and can be adapted in the enterprise environment with medium to large teams. Its UI is definitely lacking, especially compared with other offerings in this space.

Apache's Continuum

Apache Continuum is an open source continuous integration server that is designed primarily for Java builds. One feature that sets it apart from the other tools is the role-based security. This feature gives you control on what aspects of the build can be seen by specific users. All other main features are similar to Hudson and CC, such as release management, email notification, and integration with popular build tools, such as Maven, and source control management systems, like SVN or CVS.

To install this server, you need to download the tar file and extract its contents to a directory on the machine that will be a build server. Java Runtime also has to be installed on the same box. The initial configuration of Apache Continuum is similar to Cruise Control's, and you need to get your hands dirty with some XML editing. The main file, continuum.xml, is in the conf/ directory.

The operation is fairly straightforward: "continuum start" to start, "continuum status" to check status, and so forth.

The tool's UI is web based, and after the server is up the dashboard can be accessed via a local host link (http://localhost:8080/continuum).

Figure 4: Apache Continuum Dashboard



Click here for a larger image.

Figure 5: Apache Continuum configuration

Note: You can set the tool to generate notifications on failures or successes of the build status. The mail server settings can be configured in the continuum.xml file.




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