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Gauntlet: Borland's Continous Integration server with defect isolation and trending

by Floyd Marinescu on Oct 31, 2006 |
Borland in early October released a beta of Gauntlet, their new entrant into the growing community of continuous integration servers.  Like any continous integration server, Gauntlet automates building and testing code and integrates with all major source control packages, but then goes beyond the typical features with the following capabilities:
  • Sandboxing: build and test changes in per-developer sandboxes and automatically integrate them into the main code line only if they build successfully and pass all gating tests. Changes that fail to do so will remain in the sandbox until fixed.
  • Reporting and trending: Gauntlet automatically parses JUnit and code coverage output and associates them with revisions in the version control system. The web dashboard charts these results (alongside other metrics such as build performance) over time.
  • Correlation: Because Gauntlet measures and tracks results over time, it can give insight into hidden dependencies by showing what files most often cause build or test failures when changed – this can be a sign that those files need to be refactored or perhaps locked down with a mandatory code review.
  • Publishing: Gauntlet provides a web interface to access current and previous distributions, along with their associated artifacts and reports. Previous versions of projects can be rebuilt and deployed. 
  • Replay: Gauntlet can import data from an existing CVS, Borland StarTeam, or Subversion repository, allowing the building of old versions of project code with new tests or dependencies. Replay can also be configured to run continuously, which allows using Gauntlet alongside a project's current SCM or version control system without replacing it.
  • Non-intrusive: Gauntlet is IDE-agnostic, and developers can use their existing version control/SCM clients to check-in code.
Gauntlet came out of the acquisition of Gauntlet Systems which was created by ex-BEA WebLogic engineer Sam Pullara. A live demo of the former Gauntlet product before the acquisition is visible online and has imported metrics from more than a dozen open source projects.

Version 1.0 final will include the above features already in the beta, plus real documentation (completely lacking in the beta) as well as a plugin-SDK for custom and third party tests, enabling users to automate anything from simple source code analyzers like FindBugs or CheckStyle, to complex security vulnerability detection or license compliance enforcement solutions.  Pricing will be announced near the end of 2006 along with the release of 1.0 final.   Some minimal installation and replay documenation is available.

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