Sunday, April 8, 2007

Bamboo - Continuous Integration Product From Atlassian

Atlassian had come out with their continuous integration product - Bamboo a few months ago was a preview release. We recently evaluated it and used it on our project. Have to say that it is pretty good.

We use a lot of Atlassian products at work, And they are all characterized by clean, smart , modern, light yet efficient UIs.

Let's look at some of their products:

JIRA - Bug/Issue Tracking / Project Management Software(in a few ways, YES!)

There have been collaboration based software for the whole Bug/Issue tracking domain around for quite a while. I have used Bugzilla for quite a while. Mantis is one more that comes to mind. Pretty decent software, but JIRA takes it to the next level.
What's the first thing that comes to mind? Usability, it really is pleasant to use. Might not be the most feature rich product ever out there. But it is small, clean highly extensible and slick. That is something they have managed to build in across the board. Confluence, Their wiki product. Clean efficient to use and solves the purpose without any hassles.

Both of these are applications that still though having their advantages do not take the solution to the next level.

In comes Bamboo. Their Continuous Integration solution.
Bamboo takes it to the next level. Of course part of the reason could be that Cruise Control and Damage Control are the ones I am really benchmarking against.

Feature set is much richer this time around and has been put together rather beautifully. The interplay is real good. Amazingly good to look at. So that gets some brownie points. But real simple to use. Essence of what they have been doing. Working with developing web applications and looking at what extent we need to go to develop a usable product, I know how tough it can be. Some of the features are what I would label as ideas most people thought of and have always wanted but never bothered to ask for in a Continuous Integration product.

After all, a CI product is just something that plays the role of a baby sitter , right? Enforce that people do not check-in something in that does not work(not compiling or fails tests). Plain as simple as that.

But Bamboo can change some of that,. at least it gives the potential to take a better look at the quality trend that a product is following. OK, a build broke, but when was it fixed? What was the fix? Were tests commented out? What piece of code that changed was central to the issue that was the problem. Also seamless integration with JIRA allows for a one stop solution of which issue number the check in was made against. We can observe as to how often builds are breaking,. and whether we are being reactive in the approach to development of whether we are being proactive.

There are a lot of statistics that can be pulled up against your builds. A lot of people might argue that it is very little value added overall to the project. I still am yet to make a definite call either way as of now. But I would certainly not discount the use of it. Especially for us, we get an Academic License and its 600 bucks across the enterprise. The small amount of additional productivity goes a long way in terms of ROI.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I hope Atlassian is paying you good to advertise bamboo. just kidding.

Came across your site while searching for DUML.