Atlassian Bamboo 5 Gives Rise to DevOps

Atlassian’s Bamboo 5 continuous integration and delivery server, due July 9, provides DevOps functionality for enterprise teams.

Atlassian Software, a provider of collaboration software for development teams, next week plans to announce the availability of Bamboo 5, its continuous integration and delivery server.

Scheduled for release on July 9, Atlassian's Bamboo 5 connects the process of preparing and testing software with the process of releasing it. However, Bamboo does more than just run builds and tests. It connects issues, commits, test results and deploys to provide a holistic picture to the entire product team—from project managers and developers to testers and system administrators.

The new release provides continuity in tracking changes from idea and implementation to delivery, enabling development teams and IT organizations to work better together with more coordination, efficiency and visibility around the process of releasing software.

"Duct-taped and inaccessible scripts are what most software deployment pipelines are made of," said Jean-Michel Lemieux, Atlassian's vice president of engineering, in a statement. "But the trip a feature takes from a developer's machine to a customer must happen as quickly and repeatedly as possible–and must be visible to all teams. With Bamboo, we put development-centric information side-by-side with deployment tooling, and exposed ops-centric information inside JIRA."

Atlassian officials said startups and enterprises alike are striving to break down the long-standing silos between product and operations groups—in an emerging concept known as "DevOps"—and get these teams working together as a single unit. Inspired by this movement, Atlassian Bamboo attacks the two biggest problems software makers face when delivering product to customers: lack of traceability between build and deployment processes, and lack of visibility into the release-preparation process.

"The new deployment features in Bamboo 5.0 enhance our capabilities to perform continuous deployments to development and quality assurance environments, resulting in a faster feedback cycle," said Roy Lyons, senior systems engineer for CME Group, a derivatives marketplace. "This, coupled with a custom [Atlassian] JIRA workflow and Kanban boards, allows QA to perform drag-and-drop deployments to their target environments. Atlassian's focus on supporting the agile process continues to provide us with the software we need for a high level of quality with a turnaround time to match the speed of today's fast-paced trading environment."

Bamboo 5 reduces time to market for new projects, streamlines workflows and speeds disaster recovery, Atlassian claims. For instance, with Bamboo 5, operations staff can automate their work around deployments in the same way that developers and quality assurance staff have long been able to do with testing. And with fine-grained access controls, developers and QA can deploy to their own environments on demand, while production remains tightly regulated. The product also offers traceability and transparency around releases and makes emergency troubleshooting faster and more collaborative.

Moreover, Bamboo 5 connects with Atlassian's flagship project management issue tracking software, JIRA, to give the entire team a clear view of whether a given feature or bug fix has been delivered, as well as what changes are coming up in an application's next version. For developers, testers and managers, tracking issues and deployments as one provides insight into where features are in the release pipeline. And for operations engineers, it means the ability to anticipate upcoming changes and mitigate any risk involved, Atlassian said.

"Everyone sees the issues and code changes in each build and deployment," Lemieux said. "This means they can anticipate releasing and supporting that work in production. Add to that the granular controls over who can deploy to each environment, and you've got the fluidity and power to move away from duct tape and into a repeatable and trustworthy deployment pipeline."

For its part, Atlassian has seen a significant rise in Bamboo adoption, with its user base growing an average of 40 percent per year for the past three years, company officials said. Teams from such companies as NASA, EMC, Verizon, Mercedes-Benz, GE Global Research and Flipboard include Bamboo in their software toolset to get more out of investments in technologies like Git, Amazon EC2 and test automation. More than 140 companies signed up for the Bamboo 5 beta program.

"The new deployment support allows us to take our automation and teamwork a step further," said beta participant Jan Swaelens, an architect at Sofico, a Dutch maker of automotive financing and fleet management software. "Thanks to the integration of releases with our builds and tests, everyone gets a view of exactly what has been deployed and how. This information means significant time savings for QA and less stress for developers."

Atlassian offers a free trial version of the product, and introductory pricing starts at $10. To help developers and IT companies acquire time-saving tips and tricks around adopting DevOps, Atlassian shares its most successful technical and cultural practices online at the Atlassian DevOps microsite. Meanwhile, deep dives and customer presentations on Bamboo, its integration with other Atlassian products and best practices on continuous delivery are among the more than 40 talks to be presented at the Atlassian Summit, the company's upcoming 5th Annual User Conference, taking place Oct. 1-3 in San Francisco.