Our team has been delivering improvements to CloudBees DevOptics since DevOps World | Jenkins World 2018 in San Francisco. Now, as we we head to DevOps World | Jenkins World in Nice, France, I want to point out how we use the continuous delivery model ourselves to improve and update our own products.
These improvements release continuously through two mechanisms: new versions of the plugin, and changes in our Software as a Service (SaaS). On the plugin side, just update your plugin and restart your master. On the SaaS side it’s even easier, the changes will be available the next time you start your application - or, if they are purely on the server side, they will happen as you work - that’s the beauty of a Saas! Here are some of our new feature updates.
CloudBees DevOptics Plugin
The latest list of plugins is available online. As you can see, there have been three releases since Jenkins World: 1.1408, 1.1472 and 1.1494 (the release numbers are incremental, not sequential). These new versions of the CloudBees DevOptics plugin enhance onboarding and usability.
We rewrote the plugin’s user interface (UI) to reduce any confusion for our customers and improve the clarity of the details.
We also fixed a compatibility issue with some older versions of the metrics plugin. We wanted to avoid a restart of the master after installing the plugin; but in some older versions of CloudBees DevOptics, a restart is still needed. The newer plugins avoid the restart issue, although in some rare cases it may still be required.
Additionally, the CloudBees DevOptics Plugin was not visible in some older versions of the CloudBees Operations Center Update Center. This issue was fixed and the plugin is now available in the Update Center. If you encounter this issue, just try it again.
Finally, the Value Stream Data section of the plugin configuration page clarifies whether you are subscribed to the Value Streams functionality, and provides more information if you are not.
We regularly release newer versions of the plugin and strive to make the upgrade totally transparent.
You have … a new UI
The UI now checks if there is a new version of itself available, and, if there is, it will present a message like this:
The existing UI will continue to work, but if you want the new version right away, refresh!
Firefox browser support
Some icons did not show properly on Firefox; this has been fixed. Just reload the CloudBees DevOptics application in your browser.
CD platform monitoring with Run Insights
The Run Insights feature works based on data collected by the CloudBees DevOptics Plugin installed on the corresponding masters. The plugin sends data to the servers roughly every 15 minutes, which is then aggregated. The CloudBees DevOptics UI asks for data from the servers and presents it graphically to the user.
Now when the the plugin is installed for the first ime, we dynamically link to the Jenkins Metrics plugin to start collecting the data, without requiring a master restart. Some older versions of the metrics plugin didn’t interact well with our plugin; the latest plugins improved the situation and in almost all cases does not require a restart.
In addition, we made several improvements to clearly show the status of the first few minutes using CloudBees DevOptics.
The first time a master is connected you will now get a modal message describing the connection and the next steps.
Successful additional connections are reported using the shorter popup below.
Note that you can always check the status of all the masters connected to your CloudBees DevOptics account through the settings screen. Here is one example.
If your master has connected its corresponding row, it will look like the image above. There are some corner cases where this does not work. If you suspect the data is not being collected, restart the master, and let us know via the CloudBees DevOptics Community Support page.
When you return to the Run Insights screen right after connecting your plugin for the first time you will see a revised screen as the one below. Previously there was no information on completed runs.
The grayed out bars do not represent real data but are random data points for time intervals before any masters connect. As real data comes in and is processed by our backend, the grayed out bars move to the left and eventually disappear.
We also changed the way the UI works and the screen now refreshes automatically every two seconds.
Below is a screenshot showing a typical situation after you start collecting data. The left of the screen is grayed out and shows random data points. On the right, you see real data which, in this case, is one interval where some jobs are completed, several intervals where no jobs completed, and the last interval, possibly still in progress, in which some jobs are finished.
The new UI clearly shows the different stages of processing, but note that there is still a lag between the time a job completes and when the data is uploaded and processed by our backend. We will continue to improve CloudBees DevOptics initial experience for our customers.
Direct Jira connectivity
We expanded how the CloudBees DevOptics UI can connect to Jira and Jira ticket details. We now support a connection to Jira Software Cloud and to Jira Software Server, in addition to the connexion through the proxy in our DevOptics Plugin which is running on your Jenkins instance.
The type of connection is configured per organization. You can configure it at the beginning of your installation or at any later time. Below is the connection screen.
If you select a connection to Jira Software Cloud, the next screen asks for the URL to the Jira Software Cloud endpoint, as well as your personal authentication information.
The authentication is per user so your own credentials are used to access Jira. This can be changed at any time. You can also change the connection type, but beware as that will require all the users in your organization to provide new credentials.
Enhanced Value Stream functionality
We continue to enhance our value stream functionality with improved performance and reliability.
We improved the backend performance to accommodate situations when a large number of events are received from the CloudBees DevOptics Plugin. This improvement happens on the server side and is transparent to the user.
We’ve also restored and optimized the Value Stream List screen back to its normal, zippy, state. At some point, we had accidentally introduced a 10-second delay.
We will continuously deliver performance improvements, bug fixes and new features. And, time, permitting, I plan on writing short updates to keep you informed about our improvements with CloudBees DevOptics.
Learn more about CloudBees DevOptics
Download the whitepaper about visualizing your value stream
Listen to the DevOps performance webinar