Continuous Integration and Micro Focus Development Tools

The sections Introduction to Continuous Integration and Continuous Integration Workflow introduce the idea of continuous integration and summarize how continuous integration works as a process. This section looks at the continuous integration process and shows how different products available from Micro Focus fit into and add value to that process.

The diagram below shows the process presented in the topic Continuous Integration Workflow but has been modified to indicate which Micro Focus products you can use at the different parts of the process. Although this diagram refers to Micro Focus products, the process described does not require the use of Micro Focus products, so if you are already using a third-party product for one part of the process you can continue to work with that and use Micro Focus products to integrate with it.

where the numbered steps are as follows:

  1. Developers use Visual COBOL to check out code into their private workspaces. They then make their changes and test them locally using Visual COBOL's unit testing features.

    This diagram illustrates the use of AccuRev, Dimensions CM, StarTeam or PVCS as the source code control system but you are not limited to using only those products. Visual COBOL works with any SCC-compliant source code control system, so you can work seamlessly in Visual COBOL with virtually any source code control system you choose to use regardless of whether it is a Micro Focus product or a third-party product.

  2. When done, developers check in their changes into the source control repository.
  3. The CI server monitors the source control repository and when it detects a change it triggers a build of the relevant sources. Although the build actions are triggered by the CI server, the build actions themselves will be performed by Visual COBOL, typically using Apache Ant or MSBuild scripts.
  4. After a successful build, the CI server performs activities such as the following:
    • makes deployable artefacts available for testing
    • assigns a build label to the version of the code that was just built
    • notifies the relevant team members that a successful build occurred
    • triggers unit and integration testing to be run under COBOL Server

    At this point, the changes that were checked in at step 2 have been successfully built and a build label has been applied to the source code that was used for the build (so the build could be recreated if necessary).

    In the event of a build failure, the CI server sends notifications to the relevant developers who restart the process from step 1, using Visual COBOL to make the changes necessary to resolve the build errors.

  5. After the unit and integration testing has taken place, the relevant team members are notified of the test results.

    At this point, the changes that were checked in at step 2 have been successfully built and tested, all with little or no manual intervention.

For information on using Jenkins to perform the CI server tasks in the above list, see Using Visual COBOL with Jenkins.

The following list gives a very brief summary of each of the Micro Focus products that play a part in the continuous integration process: