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Atlassian Shoots New Test/Plan Branches Into Bamboo 4

Collaboration software company Atlassian has cultivated new functionality options into Bamboo 4, the newest release of its continuous integration and delivery server. The new iteration includes options to automatically test code on development branches before merging with the main code line.

"Every version control system, whether it's centralized or distributed, brings advantages to the developer but also workflow challenges. Bamboo 4 bakes in the best practices in workflow to make the continuous integration process more streamlined without having to know all the details," said Jean-Michel Lemieux, vice president of engineering at Atlassian. "Bamboo gives software developers the best of both worlds — feature branching and continuous integration — and works the way developers work."

The new release also includes user interface improvements, which have been specifically built with a view to allowing developers to provide rapid feedback on build failures by navigating builds faster. Atlassian also wants programmers to be able to browse plans and identify build failures more quickly.

It provides automatic plan branching and merging for distributed version control systems (DVCS) like Git and Mercurial as well as push-button plan branching for traditional version control systems (VCS), such as Subversion, Perforce, and CVS. Developers can reuse the same build configuration across branches. These features have been incorporated so developers can integrate changes irrespective of which branch contains the new code.

NOTE: DVCS encourages a practice called branching, which makes a copy of the source code at a certain point in time and allows developers to briefly work in isolation on their branch before merging their changes back into mainline development.

Bamboo's support for DVCS detects new branches as they are created, tests the changes, and can merge the branches into mainline development.

Bamboo also now comes with a "Test Quarantine" feature. A process for system administrators to isolate a broken test so that it can be revisited at a later time and not affect the outcome of the build. Once quarantined tests are revamped, developers can reintroduce them. Bamboo 4 provides the count of Quarantined Tests in every build as a reminder to reincorporate them.

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