In the last few years, the technology innovation buggy has been equipped with a 500HP engine and has zoomed on at a breath-taking speed. Setting up environments to try out new technologies is a common problem faced by developers. Every new technology comes with an associated "Readme," with a list of steps to execute before you get to a point where you can see the technology working. Getting productive and quickly cannot be spoken of in the same sentence. ClickStart app templates are the fastest route to try out new technologies. All that is needed is to choose the application type and enter the name of the application.
Time sunk in setting up new projects is another recurring problem faced by developers. Maven archetypes greatly ease this pain - in one command, developers end up with a code template that is then used to code the project. However, archetypes cannot go all the way - developers have to carry the ball forward and set up the code repository, Jenkins build, application servers, databases and finally tie all of these in one continuous deployment workflow.
ClickStart templates can be thought of as Maven archetypes on steroids (some serious ones, too). A ClickStart template sets up the code for the particular app type, sets up the repository, creates a Jenkins build, sets up the deployment environment, sets up any database (if required) and hands back a running application to the developer - with just a click (see image 1).
Image 1: ClickStart completion - source, database, Jenkins setup and app continuously deployed
Let's just think about it for a second (deep breath in...and out). So, in one click, a developer has the entire development to deployment lifecycle setup with the running application. This is a serious productivity boost!
Today, CloudBees has launched four ClickStarts - a Java EE 6 Web Profile app, a JAX-RS with Backbone.js app, a Scala + Lift-based web app and Hibernate/Tomcat app and will continue to launch more in the days and months ahead. Additional details can be found on our Wiki (including how to contribute your own ClickStart).
The ClickStarts are available through the new toolbar on the CloudBees dashboard (read more about the toolbar here ).
The ClickStart templates are defined in a simple JSON file in a repository. So, if you have a particular project template or application type you use over and over again, you can contribute your own ClickStart easily.
If you are itching to start your own RESTful service backed by an application or are like me - looking to see what that Lift-Scala thingy is - go ahead! We are talking about a few minutes of your time!
Here are some links that quickly start the ClickStarts.
P.S. You will need a CloudBees account to try these out.
Senior Director, Product Management