I’m a big fan of CI (Continuous Integration) in the workplace but early on in my RESTful ‘Spike’ project I took the decision that I couldn’t be bothered creating a CI at home. From past experience I felt that the DIY-CI option takes up too much time and adds little value to a lone developer. What’s more, CI requires regular maintenance to remain effective.
However, as my project was coming to an end I remembered that my old colleagues at MikeCI.com have recently launched their hosted CI service that can automate Maven builds. Seeing as I was keen to avoid the hassle of CI, but appreciate the benefits it can bring – I thought I would give MikeCI a go.
Within minutes of using MikeCI, it became very apparent that it’s an astonishingly simple and very effective hosted service that can add a lot of value to any project, big or small.
Using Unfuddle as my SVN repository, within a few clicks I had MikeCI checking out my source code and completing simple builds. I needed a tiny bit of help from the guys at MikeCI.com to allow my build to access to some of the more obscure Maven repositories in my POM, but they handle these requests all the time and the service from the support team was top-notch.
Within a few hours (and very little effort on my part) I had a Maven build up and running and fully automated with a schedule.
Considering my project’s build includes starting and stopping an embedded Glassfish container and running SoapUI integration tests – I was amazed at just how easy it actually was!
Talking to the guys over at MikeCI, it sounds like the technical architecture behind the service is very cool. MikeCI uses Amazon’s EC2 elastic computing cloud to create a clean and secure virtual environment for every build, so there is no danger of them running out of infrastructure, or having multiple client’s builds interfere with each other.
If you’re looking to simplify your build infrastructure you should definitely evaluate MikeCI.com.