17 Sep 04

Tracking Projects by the Dashboard Lights

Tom Copeland wrote an insightful article a while back describing how his team uses automation—powered by Ruby and Java—to keep a large, geographically distributed Java project on track. He writes:
…the UltraLog project is written in Java, by developers from over a dozen companies distributed around the United States. We needed something to help avoid integration problems; we needed a status page. So we put together the "Dashboard."

He goes on to describe how they use Ruby to parse the output of several Java-based open source tools and aggregate project metrics into a consolidated view. Nowadays, depending on the situation, I’d probably use the CruiseControl framework to publish this information on a custom tab of the build status page. But it’s neat to see how Tom’s team used a scripting language to knit all of this information together.