CruiseControl was a fantastic brand for ThoughtWorks. You can understand why they decided to base the name for their new, commercially licensed Continuous Integration server on the old. That didn’t work out so well. The response to the confusion about the products has been interesting however: ThoughtWorks have renamed and reskinned the product.
I reached out to some of the ThoughtWorks Studios people for comment. Here’s Chad Wathington:
We built Cruise with the idea of first class support for build and deployment pipelines. We’ve renamed Cruise to Go because we really want to take that idea to the next level, to emphasize continuous deployment, to emphasize “going live” with software, not just continuous integration. Beyond the name change, we’ve added support for environment management and we’ve revamped the user experience to fit our deployment pipeline metaphor more strongly. We think people are going to like it.
It’s interesting that the company that is so strongly associated with developers is focussing on deployment. Encouraging, too.
Here’s Jez Humble:
Cruise 2.0 is our biggest and most exciting release to date. Not only have we added more functionality than any other release, we’ve also completely re-implemented the UI (in JRuby on Rails) to make it much easier to manage your build and testing infrastructure for large organizations. The big features in Cruise 2.0 are:
- First-class support for environments, so you can deploy any version of any application to any environment and manage multiple services that share the same environment (e.g. integration testing with a SOA). You can also use this functionality to partition your build grid.
- Templates so you can define reusable workflows for pipelines – useful if you have multiple projects that use the same workflow, or for managing branches.
- The most powerful test analysis on the market. Split your tests into suites and run them on the build grid, and Cruise will not only automatically tell you which tests failed, but (if some tests have been failing for a while) also which check-in broke each test, and who was responsible. There’s no need for specialized test runners – just tell Cruise where to find the reports.
- The ability to trigger a CI build with any revision from version control. If a pipeline has multiple VCSs, you can even mix and match versions from them – another facility that no other tool offers.
Cruise now also kills the process tree on agents when you cancel a stage, lets you run pipelines on a timer (Cron syntax), and lets you specify environment variables when you trigger a pipeline.
Sounds like an improvement. This product has come a long way since they were working on the first incarnation of their commercial CI server. They had to pack a lot of features into 2008’s release of Cruise, because the game changed around 2006. As Jez comments, there are now some unique features in their product. I’ve got a backlog of reviews to do as long as my arm, but I’ll try and get something done.
Update: Corrected an ambiguity in the last paragraph. It sounded pretty harsh.
(image via CJ Sorg)