We include a built in package repository, CodeStation, with AnthillPro, uBuild and uDeploy. They also integrate with third party repos. We place much emphasis on this capability because it is critical for safety, governance and audit.
To explain this, let’s first look at a simplified build and release lifecycle:
Developers submit their work to a source control system. A build is generated from that source and any dependency libraries retrieved by a tool like Maven or CodeStation. That build is submitted to test environments and certified. Finally, it is sent to production.
The following questions are important to be able to answer:
- What is in production?
- Was it certified in test environments (and by whom)?
- How do you know your answers to #1 and #2 are true?
To be able to answer 1 and 2, you need an inventory of what version of something is in an environment or at least logging that indicates the version number. But to truly know that what is in production is what was tested, you have to ensure that not just are the file names the same, but that the exact same files were moved into each environment.
In order to know and prove that the files are the same, one must validate that they are bit-for-bit identical by comparing digital signatures or hashes at deployment time. It helps to actually have the original file around in a tamper resistant location. A good package repository, like the one in uDeploy, will provide that location, the automatic signature generation at build time, and the automatic verification so that you know that what is in production is exactly what was built from known source, and tested in the prior environments.
For more information on package repositories, view our on-demand best practices lesson: 'The Role of Binary Repositories in SCM'
A number of new and updated integrations have rolled out recently, here’s the run-down.
AnthillPro – Jira 4.x
The folks at Atlassian changed up their web services schema. The latest plugin for Jira supports the new Jira web services. You can get it here. If you’re still using the legacy integration rather than the plugin, migrating to Jira 4 is a good time to switch over.
We’re starting to see some adoption of Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2012. Updated integrations for it are now available. They’ll be shipping in uDeploy 4.8. AnthillPro and uBuild integrations are around the corner as well. If you need this integration before the next release, contact support for a patch.
The uDeploy integration for Apache Tomcat has been updated with support for moving over a specialized context.xml with a war file deployment.
uDeploy – Jenkins
This has been available for a little while now, but we should mention that the Jenkins plugin for uDeploy has a couple of enhancements. First, it now supports Jenkins slave builds better. Second, it can be configured to automatically trigger a deployment of the new version in uDeploy.
uDeploy / ServiceNow
This integration was expanded to cover ServiceNow’s CMDB offering.
Tell us. When it comes to integrations, we’re all ears. Ok, ears and nimble coding fingers.
That ALMOST looks like nail. Doesn't it? Image courtesy of Justin Baeder
In 1966 Abraham Maslow said, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” Maslow gave us all too much credit. When we have a hammer and know how great it is, we not only treat everything as a nail, we actually perceive everything to be a nail. One develops a blindness to “non-nail” problems and creative problem solving takes a back seat to picking up that hammer and smashing the problem.
For those of us in the tool-making business, this blindness can be our greatest weakness. We know our tools extremely well, and know how to bend them to purposes outside their sweet-spot. When Continue reading
Our team is excited about the release of 3.8 (the last major release under the “AnthillPro” brand). There are lots of great new features and a special emphasis on easier maintainance and management in environments with hundreds or thousands of projects or servers.
Personally, I am particularly excited about using jobs multiple times in a workflow and easier inter-project dependency configuration. For more on the new features, check out the 3.8.0 release page.
Also available (for 3.7+) are new or updated plugins for IBM’s Rational Team Concert & ClearCase, Amazon EC2, VMWare vCenter Lab Manager, Bullseye, Microsoft IIS, Websphere, Fitness, Selenium, and TestNG.
UrbanDeploy has just reached its first GA release. We’d like to thank the early adopters who have been using the tool with great success prior to this milestone as well as all the AnthillPro users who helped teach us just what a pure deployment tool should look like.
UrbanDeploy is designed to handle complex application release automation (that’s the overly precise term for “deployments”). Lots of teams have continuous integration, but no release automation, or use an automation tool in just test environments or production. UrbanDeploy is designed to consistently deploy across environments regardless of what (if anything) you use on the build side.
UrbanDeploy is the first element of our fourth generation automation platform (the DevOps Platform) to reach the market. We’re looking forward to get more elements out this year and early next as well as migrating existing AnthillPro customers to the updated platform.