Atlassian Replaces Builders with Tasks in Latest Bamboo Release
As the discussion in Agile development moves from continuous integration (CI) to continuous deployment, CI servers are doing more to automate the overall build process. Atlassian, which today released Bamboo 3.1, has implemented a new feature called Tasks that the company hopes will aid developers in their continuous deployment efforts.
A Task is basically the instruction or set of instructions being executed as part of a build. For instance a task can be a shell command, script or a Maven goal. Tasks, which now replace Builders in Bamboo 3.0, can be used to configure a job, execute a script, upload files to a server or generate documentation. One advantage Tasks have over Builders is that multiple tasks can run in a single job, allowing each task to access to the same build directory. This makes it easier to, for example, copy files prior to a task being executed.
Tasks are implemented as plugins. Atlassian has ported their available Builders to Tasks, and have completely rewritten their .Net plugin. The plugin supports Visual Studio and MSBuild, Nant, MSTest (runner and parser), MBUnit and NUnit. Atlassian is recommending that developers also convert their custom plugins.
In addition to Tasks, Bamboo has extended its support for global variables to include Plan Variables and added support for parameterized builds. Plan variables are scoped within a Plan, and can be used within either scripts or Tasks in different jobs. One welcomed feature is that unlike Bamboo globals, Plan variables do not require administrator privileges to create them.
In an interview posted today, Jean-Michel Lemieux, Atlassian’s newly appointed VP of Engineering, said:
The engineering teams in Atlassian are already working hard on optimizing our own processes for development velocity and adding features to our products that help others do the same. For example I'm really excited with the recent additions to Bamboo in the area of Continuous Deployment which helps teams streamline their build processes and get software deployed and available to users as quickly as possible.
Bamboo includes several additional enhancements. For example Atlassian has completely revamped the plugin manager, dropping in the Universal Plugin Manager (UPM) already bundled in with the company’s Jira and Confluence products. The UPM allows developers to manage existing plugins, and update all plugins with just a single click.