Provide Hosted Continuous Integration & Deployment Service
Continuous Integration & Deployment is very good for rapidly iterating sites & fast development of web applications. However, it is bit of a plava setting up. Providing a hosted service would help web developers take advantage of CI/CD.
A hosted CI/CD service would require the following functionality:
1) Hosted Integration Server (e.g. Xinc etc.)
2) Automated Testing framework
3) Automated Deployment scripts
This is how I see it working from the developers perspective:
1) The developers setup the location of the code repository (SVN or GIT) & enable checking hooks that tell the integration server when new code has been checked in. The developer would also tell the system where the code should be deployed to on successful integration. The developer can choose whether to use the continuous integration only or include continuous deployment
2) Developer loads their tests into the integration server as they are created
3) The developer writes their code and checks it into their code repository which triggers the integration server
4) Integration server runs the loaded tests and if the tests past sends and alert (email, IDE message, tweet etc.) saying tests past and then if continuous deployment is selected deploys the code to the server.
If the tests don't past the integration server sends an alert (email or IDE message) with details on what tests failed and also stops the code repository from accepting anymore checkins until the bug is resolved or the block is manually overridden.
* The code repository can be provided hosted but would also make adoption easier if it supported other hosted providers (e.g. GitHub & Projectlocker etc.).
* Supporting functional tests via Selenium GS for the integrations server would complete the test coverage for the solution
* An IDE plugin or branded version of Eclipse (like AptanaStudio) which has direct ties into the solution would help adoption
* The continuous deployment scripts need to be smart enough to know when their are migration classes that need to be run to update the server and automatically do that.
* The location of production servers can be locally hosted or should support cloud providers (e.g. AWS, Aptana). It means that the solution will meet the needs of many web companies that already have production servers & code repositories setup but want an easy way of implementing effective CI/CD.
We have been working on something along these lines. Stay tuned for more news.
I think this solution would act as a differentiator