Getting Agile with Eclipse Continuous Integration
Test Driven Development (TDD) and Continuous Integration (CI) are considered by many to be the cornerstone of Agile software engineering practices, and the key to rapid quality deliveries. For shops using the Eclipse IDE and plug-ins, developers can use its Test and Performance Tools Platform (TPTP) Automatable Services Framework to incorporate automated tests into their build cycle to achieve continuous integration.
Project committers Scott E. Schneider and Joe Toomey made a presentation at EclipseCon 2006 in March on Achieving Continuous Integration with the Eclipse Test and Performance Tools. They say that by using TPTP in the Continuous Integration (CI) cycle developers gain: more powerful test types, better / more extensible reporting, and distributed test execution (easy platform coverage). Their entire presentation is available in as an html slideshow in the EclipseCon2006 archives.
This and other changes to Eclipse in today's expected Callisto release provide an integrated toolset which will hopefully make adoption of Agile engineering techniques more straight-forward for a wider variety of organizations. What has changed? New refactorings for one thing, which could prove useful for Extreme Programming and other Agile teams. At ONjava, Ed Burnett gives an overview of What's New in Eclipse 3.2 Java Development Tools, and Eclipse has an updated FAQ.
Eclipse developers themselves have used Agile practices on their own projects, making Callisto one of the largest Agile open-source projects delivered to-date. Band XI International, creators of the FitNesse for Eclipse Plugin and an an Eclipse member, have already used the new platform with an Agile process to to build the OSGi runtime, part of the Eclipse Equinox project and the foundation of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform. John Cunningham, President of Band XI International said:
Developing this solution with the Eclipse tooling and components has enabled Band XI and the US Army to work in a very agile manner, challenging conventional notions about cycle times for government projects.
For more on using Eclipse with Agile practices, see:
- InfoQ Book Review: Agile Java Development with Spring, Hibernate and Eclipse
- Agile Application Development with Eclipse and Pragmatic MDA, by Prashanth Shidlaghatta and Michael Sawicki of Compuware.