TeamCity 4.0 breaks down build procedures for testing

Jeff Feinman
December 3, 2008 —  JetBrains has tried to make builds and tests more efficient in its continuous integration server and distributed build manager.

TeamCity 4.0, released Monday, lets developers break down a single build procedure into several parts that can be run on different build agents in sequence or in parallel, company executives said. JetBrains described a build agent as a separate computer or a virtual machine capable of running a build, with the TeamCity agent software installed. Different agents can be installed under different operating systems and software configurations. The company said this provides a simple way to compile and test projects in different environments.

“Using multiple build agents, or a Build Grid, removes the bottleneck of a single building machine,” said Yegor Yarko, JetBrains’ TeamCity project manager. “However, a central server still allows managing the grid and monitoring the process from a single, user-friendly Web UI.”

A test reordering capability in TeamCity can determine a set of tests that is likely to fail, and perform those tests first during the next project build, according to the company. TeamCity gathers information about recently failed tests, modified test and tests with high failure rates, and passes the information into the build.

“If the build is run with Ant, IntelliJ IDEA, or NAnt runners, TeamCity plugs into the test running process to do the reordering,” Yarko said. “It involves dividing each test task in two. One runs the test cases that include risk-group tests, and the other runs all the other tests. This feature helps developers receive more rapid feedback on their changes.”

Also new in TeamCity is the possibility to redo any build from a particular code iteration, along with new build agent identification from the TeamCity server. Previously, agents were identified with an agent name and IP address, but the company said the new authentication is more stable and secure. An agent overview statistics matrix provides a view of the overall build workload so that users can adjust hardware resources and fill productivity gaps.

The product has an improved integration with Eclipse and new integrations with Microsoft’s FxCop code analysis application, a free tool that checks managed code assemblies on the .NET framework. There is an enhanced project page with information and statistics on projects, along with other user interface enhancements, according to JetBrains executives.

Yarko said Team City further optimizes build management and continuous integration processes, speeds up build feedback, and ensures codebase integrity.

“You, as a developer, can see how well your changes integrate into the project in record time,” he said. “And if something goes wrong, TeamCity intelligently sorts out and displays the relevant information you need to understand and fix the issue.”

TeamCity is available for free for individual developers and small teams, the company said. The free edition is restricted to 20 build configurations and three build agents.

Related Search Term(s): TeamCity, testing, JetBrains

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