Branching used to scare me.  Heck, it scared every developer I knew.  Not that they’d admit it. But you could tell: the very mention of branches turned their faces into shades of lipstick that I would never wear.  (Ok, except that one time.)  They’d complete multi-hour merge marathons looking like a frat party gone wrong, and chase it with a foosball-fueled convalescence.

That was then.  This is now.

And now is good.  Now we have version control systems that don’t require God-like privileges to administer branches.  Now we have a CI tool that discovers new branches and applies CI to them before you can say “automagical”, and merges any two branches every time you build them.  And with Bamboo 4.2, now we have a CI tool that supports branch-centric development from issue tracker, to source code, and back again.

The JIRA Integration Ante Has Been Upped

You already love the way that mentioning a JIRA issue key in your commit message creates a link between the issue and the next build.  And you already love the way Bamboo makes isolated development on branches “safe” again by applying your CI scheme to all active code lines.  Bamboo 4.2 makes it a full-blown love triangle –the good kind.

When you include a JIRA issue key as part of a branch name (‘sgd-NERDS-22’, for example), Bamboo can link the issue not just to related builds, but also to the branch itself*.  Imagine a product owner checking in on a user story and seeing the latest build status for that branch right inside the JIRA issue. Imagine a QA engineer browsing builds and choosing an artifact to deploy for testing right inside the JIRA issue.  Imagine a developer looking through branch build details in Bamboo and seeing the corresponding issue’s type, summary and status right at the top of each page.  Those are happy people.  Because Bamboo 4.2 and JIRA join forces to deliver the information you need, where you already are.

(If you missed our deep-dives into the practice of story branching and how Atlassian developers use Bamboo 4.2 to make it flow, it’s not too late to catch up!)

The Evolution of Plan Branches

Make that the revolution of the Plan branches.  They weren’t satisfied.  They wanted more autonomy.  Their own build triggers.  Their own notification settings.  The first-class parent-child relationships of their main-line brethren.

Well, it’s not our style to withhold power from the people!  Now you can choose to build your branch on an independent schedule, and notify only those who committed code since the last build or marked the branch as a favorite.  Build dependencies now extend to Plan branches so long as both the parent and child Plan are building off the same branch.  And once a branch is closed or deleted, Bamboo 4.2 will automatically disable the Plan branch, which reduces polling and load on your system overall.

Welcome to the Club, SVN!

The original branch discovery feature introduced for Git & Mercurial in Bamboo 4 has been such a big hit that we’ve invited SVN repos to the party.  (And we know you SVN’ers are a wild crew, so we got extra kegs.)  Just go to Configure Plan > Branches, enable automatic branch detection, and Bamboo will poll your SVN repo every 5 minutes looking for new code lines to exercise.  After all, why should DVCS teams “git” to have all the fun?

Better, Faster, Stronger

We want to use a CI tool that does what we need without getting in the way.  We reckon you want the same.  So we profiled, tuned, and profiled some more to bring you faster page loads across the board.  But that’s only half the story.  You’ve got to fix failures fast, and every mouse click just steals time away.  That’s why we made the most important information and functions more accessible than ever.

Users told us that revision numbers, branch integration details and test results are the information looked at most, so we revised the build result summary and put them right at the top.  We decided it took too many clicks to get to a Plan’s configuration, and we created a keyboard shortcut –just press e from any page associated with your Plan.  And we moved the “Re-run Failed Jobs” option into the Run Menu, so it’s accessible from any tab in the build results.

Amongst all this goodness, the Bamboons have satisfied 19 customer-voted issues in this release.  Keep voting on issues in our public JIRA –we want to know what’s most important to you!

Download your copy of Bamboo 4.2 today to update your instance.  Or start a free trial and see how good an integrated development ecosystem can be!

 

I’m Ready to Branch Out!

 

*Don’t forget to upgrade your Bamboo plugin for JIRA to v5.1, or you’ll think I’m just making this all up.

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