Apache Continuum - A Detailed Look at the Open Source Continuous Integration System

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Thursday, November 27, 2008

Apache Continuum, a partner to Apache Maven, is a continuous integration server, which runs and builds on a configurable schedule.So what does this term ‘Continuous Integration’ mean? The term continuous integration refers to a process that builds and tests code on a frequent, regular basis. Many continuous integration systems monitor a source repository at regular intervals and trigger an integration every time someone commits a change.

An integration can be anything from compiling and testing a single project to the assembly and testing of a deliverable from multiple dependent projects. Among the benefits of continuous integration are the immediate identification of defects and the ability to guarantee that a project’s build will succeed at any point in the development cycle. Each integration is verified by an automated build (including test) to detect integration errors as quickly as possible.

Features of Apache Continuum

1. Easy Installation

Download the standalone application and run it or deploy the Continuum war in your servlet container.

2. Easy Configuration

Projects builds are auto-configured but they can be configured easily with the web interface

3. SCM Support

CVS, Subversion, Clearcase, Perforce, Starteam, Visual Source Safe, CM Synergy, Bazaar, Mercurial are supported

4. Change Set Support

For each build result, Continuum print all scm changes ( commit authors, commit logs, modified files)

5. Build Notification

Mail, Jabber and Google Talk, MSN, IRC, report deployment with wagon

6. Build Tool Support

Maven 1 and 2, ANT, shell scripts

7. External Access

External tools can interact with Continuum with XMLRPC API.

8. Build Type

Manual, scheduled and push (with xmlrpc) build technique are supported

9. Build Template

Users can define default build templates to use by project type

10. Build Queue

Users can view all projects in the queue and interrupt some builds.

What’s New at Continuum 1.2

1. Using Spring

Continuum now uses the Spring Framework as it’s underlying container instead of Plexus. This results in a boost in performance and stability for the web application in particular.

2. Repository Purge

It’s now possible to add purges which will cleanup :
m2 repositories (now it’s possible to configure a local m2 repository per project group) and also build output directory.

3. New SCMs Support

Now continuum has two new software configuration management solution providers : git and accurev.

How To Install & Use Apache Continuum

I am going to come up with an article solely based on downloading and managing Apache Continuum. So please keep an eye on this blog. But if you are almost ready to download and use Apace Continuum, then here is a rough stage wise sketch of what you will have to do.

  1. Download Continuum
  2. Install Continuum continuous integration server
  3. Configure Continuum
  4. Create admin account
  5. Change in the General Settings
  6. Create a project

Difference with Other Open Source C I

The main advantages of Continuum is

  • Tight integration with Maven 2.x
  • Tight integration with Maven SCM
  • Easy to use web-based setup and interface

Though Hudson is relatively new and Cruise Control has a GUI that is miles short of calling appreciable (It just shows the config.xml with an interface you will better forget for good), Continuum has a long way to go in being able to get a fine grained report of how the build went. In continuum it either fails or succeeds and nothing in between. Again an issue tracking system like Trac or Jira has done a world of good (though you will have to install Trac as a plug-in) for Apache Continuum.
The bottom line is, every open source C I are diverse and can not be compared to deeper extents. Still if one needs to go for any one of them, I will suggest him Apache Continuum.

In Conclusion

Continuum is easy to install and easy to use, and will suffice in many situations. Its simplicity and its intuitive Web administration console make it a good candidate for introducing  continuous integration into organizations that have had no previous experience with the subject. So what do you think about Apache Continuum? Write back to us.

[Download Apache Continuum 1.2.2]

January 31, 2010: 8:51 am

Yes I deleted the continuum files and it continues to display at start in windows vista home premium…What to do?

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