August 17, 2005 - CruiseControl Goodies

We recently completed a new release of Agitator and Dashboard so I've had a bit of time to spend on my secret double life as a CruiseControl contributor. The obvious news is that we are nearing the release of 2.2.2 with lots of yummy new features (latest release candidate available here) but less obvious -- but more exciting to me -- are the neat 3rd party tools that are popping up. Here's a few that I know about...

CruiseControl has a fairly simple configuration format, but lots of people feel that XML isn't really designed to be human readable. As a CC developer I know that we do the best we can to help our humans, but there are times when it is nice to have a GUI, and that's where the simply named cc-config comes in. This is a Swing GUI available either as via Webstart or download that allows you to edit the CruiseControl config.xml while at the same time providing a nice integration with the documentation. Using cc-config is now even easier with the newly written user manual.

Maybe you don't object to editing XML, but you'd rather automate it a bit? If so and you're a Maven user then you might checkout the Maven CruiseControl plugin which will generate your CC config file from your POM. (For non-Maven users some alternative ways to generate your config files are documented here)

Getting help with configuration files is really nice for those people who maintain them, but there are far more people who just care about those results. No surprise then that there are more 3rd party tools that allow you to monitor the results in the manner of your choice. You a Mac OS X user who has made the switch to Tiger? If so you might want to checkout the two Dashboard widgets, one from Geoffrey Arnold and the other from rubiCore. Dashboard widgets are nice, but most of use don't have that option. Still non-mainstream but more broadly used are Firefox and Thunderbird, and for those users there is a plug-in available that works not only with CruiseControl but CC.NET as well. But if even Firefox and Thunderbird are too obscure for you there is are a couple of Windows system tray alternatives, one available with the CC distribution in the contrib directory and a new 3rd party one available here.

Those are a few of the CC tools that have caught my attention lately. If you're a CC user you can keep up to date with all the 3rd party tools on the wiki, and you probably also want to checkout the directions for integrating with other tools.

Posted by Jeffrey Fredrick at August 17, 2005 04:10 PM

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I noticed you're missing the CruiseControl plugin from the ivy project (

Posted by: Robert Watkins on August 17, 2005 08:31 PM

You're right -- hadn't heard of it! they really should be added to the wiki list of 3rd party tools..

Posted by: Jeffrey Fredrick on August 18, 2005 12:36 AM


I see you completed a new release of the Agitator. I am currently evaluating unit test generating tools. How do you like it? And how does it stack up against Parasoft JTest. One issue we have is we have roughly 50/50 Java/.NET development. Agitar doesn't support the .NET environment yet.


Posted by: McG on August 31, 2005 01:44 PM

Mike: I like Agitator quite a lot, far better than any unit test generator I've ever evaluated -- it is a power tool for testing rather than a (failed) attempt at a magic wand. Better place to talk about it would be the Agitar forums ( where you can also ask questions of customers already using the tool.

Posted by: Jeffrey Fredrick [TypeKey Profile Page] on August 31, 2005 03:24 PM

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