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Jul 23, 2014

Apperian EASE Jenkins Plugin Makes Testing A Snap

Continuous integration (CI) -- a process to monitor source code repositories for changes and compile the app when changes are detected -- is one of the most critical components of successful application development. With CI you are able to:
  • Detect code compilation issues immediately after checkin/push to ensure they are fixed ASAP
  • Run automated tests to ensure external interfaces have not changed or are adversely affected
  • Create executables that can be used by QA teams and wider audiences
Jenkins CI is perhaps the most popular Open Source CI servers in use today, and Apperian has used it internally since 2009. We continually look for ways to streamline app development and testing for our customers, so we created a free plugin for Jenkins. The Apperian EASE Jenkins plugin allows publishing of executables (.ipa and .apk) directly into the Apperian platform without requiring any manual intervention. Once you have incorporated the plugin in your workflow, you can setup builds to auto-publish into Apperian EASE and make those builds available to your QA teams immediately. This eliminates several time consuming manual steps of the normal testing process and ensures you’re focusing your efforts on the application itself. A typical application development branching strategy might look like the picture below: Branching Workflow In such a scenario, the most probable branches to create automated builds in Jenkins would be Master/Production and Development on an on-going basis, and Release branches as they are applicable. Within Apperian EASE, you would simply create applications that mirror each branch. Then within Jenkins build configs, you simply relate a build product (.ipa or .apk file) with an Apperian EASE application, and from that point on, all successful builds will auto-publish into Apperian EASE. Once you have your applications auto-publishing into Apperian EASE, it then becomes a simple task of making certain branches available to groups of users within your organization. For instance, you could have your core development team and QA teams have access to all builds, whereas you can only make release branches available to a larger audience of beta testers. You can then publish the Master/Production application to your final end user population with a simple branch merge. I'm certain teams using branching strategies as such will be delighted by the plugin. This methodology works equally well if you’re using Apperian EASE for testing apps to publish in public app stores. Many companies utilize their internal workforce as pre-release testers to ensure the final product is of the highest quality. Given that Apperian EASE transparently scales to workforces with hundreds of thousands of employees, this is an ideal tool for any corporation which considers their public apps mission critical. (Read Cimarron's post on Apperian as a TestFlight alternative for app testing.) The Apperian EASE Jenkins plugin is available today in the Jenkins plugin store for free. In fact, we made it open source should you have a custom workflow and would like to adapt it to your environment. We are very excited about the release of this plugin and look forward to seeing you put it to use in your organization. Any questions? Feel free to contact us!  


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