One of my favorite developers often wears a tee shirt that says “Smart lazy people rule the world.” The best developers know exactly what this means. If you find it mystifying, please check out my other blog post: Understanding Software Developers.
It’s in this spirit that we have been investing in a variety of extensibility points within CloudBees - because you really don’t want to invent something when you can just use something that already exists, or get a leg up from things other smart people have done before. ClickStarts fit that mould perfectly. If you’re going to set up continuous deployment of a particular kind of application that’s built from source and interacts with hosted services, you might as well start from something someone else has created, especially if you’re new to the type of technology being used. And when you create something of your own, you should share your work, so the next developer can get to work more quickly.
With ClickStacks, we’re bringing the same mindset to runtimes. We have long invested in the mechanics of provisioning and monitoring services within the CloudBees Platform. The magic behind the scenes is coordinated by what we call the Services Platform. We figured that by generalizing and exposing in open source how a runtime is set up on CloudBees by our Services Platform, we could let you modify and extend our existing runtimes and even create your own. As a fully serviced platform, we still take care of provisioning and monitoring, but you can now shape the underlying runtime for your own specific needs. You do this by modifying or creating plugins that are woven together at deployment time by the Services Platform. This approach lets you weave together CloudBees-curated plugins, partner plugins and your own contributions, so you can take advantage of the work of a lot of smart people to produce your own even-smarter product.
You can see this theme in other platform investments here at CloudBees; for example, OAuth and our extensible SDK. I like the way that Kohsuke Kawaguchi - a person with a lot of experience in creating software that is extensible - has of boiling the Jenkins philosophy down to its essence, “We need to get out of the way of developers who are investing their own time to add value to Jenkins.” By providing the right extension points and making them reusable by others, and by using those same extension points ourselves for everything we do internally at CloudBees, we’re getting out of your way. We can share our work with you more easily, and we’re excited to see developers, communities and partners create new things we haven’t yet dreamed of. That’s what a platform should be about.
Be sure to check out developer.cloudbees.com for more information on an ongoing basis.
— Steven G. Harris
Senior VP of Products