Thursday, September 29, 2011

Java EE6 in the Cloud, in Production, Today

Java EE 6 has made tremendous progress in simplifying web application development. Still, deployment and management of production Java EE applications remains complicated. CloudBees offers tremendous improvements in this domain - to the point where deploying and managing Java EE applications on CloudBees' PaaS can be easier than building a HelloWorld Java EE application.

Over the next 15 months or so, EE7 will push the base Java platform forward to address needed capabilities and interoperability in the cloud. But why wait? CloudBees now offers you a way to experience the future of cloud-based Java enterprise development and deployment today. In production. Fully supported. What does it mean for you?
  • You are only one upload away from taking an existing EE6 Web Profile based application and having it running in production, with high-availability and auto-scaling already baked in. EE6 also ensures your existing EE5 web apps will work, too.
  • With tools like New Relic already pre-integrated, you can take immediate advantage of the CloudBees ecosystem to better understand your application's performance characteristics.
  • You no longer have to manage or run MySQL instances on your own infrastructure or deal with MySQL AMIs. CloudBees offers 1-click setup for MySQL in the cloud.
  • You can get a head-start with NoSQL using CouchDB in the cloud, available as part of CloudBees ecosystem.
And because you’re building on the Java EE 6 platform, you know that your investments are protected, with more vendor choice and improved interoperability in the future. If you’re already signed up and using CloudBees DEV@cloud service and developing using JBoss AS7, then you really have no excuse not to try it out.

- Steve Harris, Senior VP of Products

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DEV@cloud Private Edition beta bits available: Manage your Jenkins sprawl

DEV@cloud Private Edition Beta Release Update:

This year at VMWorld (late Aug-early Sept), CloudBees announced the beta of DEV@cloud Private Edition. At the point of announcement the release of beta bits was imminent (we were working through the last minute QA of the beta).

Since then (about 2+ weeks back) we have released the software bits to our beta customers to try out in their environments.

To recap, DEV@cloud PE:
  1. Helps manage your Jenkins sprawl - this includes managing multiple masters and slaves.
  2. Enables efficient resource usage by allowing you to share slaves across projects, departments and folders. 
  3. Enables easier security management by pushing RBAC to all masters and easier navigation through SSO through to all machines.
  4. Plugin compliance across all masters.
In short - DEV PE helps organizations become agile with their continuous integration environment.
We will be looking to do a couple more beta updates that will include RBAC and plugin compliance. Today, we help with [1] and [2] in the list above. 

To get a better picture, you can read the earlier press release or watch the video. Meanwhile, if you would like to try out the bits and be part of the program. Shoot me an email at myfirstname @ cloudbees dot com.

- Harpreet Singh, Senior Director of Product Management

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Steve Harris Joins CloudBees as SVP of Products

One of CloudBees’ top priorities for 2011 was to build a seasoned executive team. This led to Jim McLoughlin (from Appirio) joining as VP of Sales, André Pino (from Forrester) joining as VP of Marketing and John Vigeant (from Citrix) joining as VP of Business Development.

One of the critical hires we still had to execute on was to recruit a strong product leader. We were looking for somebody with a strong understanding of the middleware market, of Java and of what developers’ and enterprises’ aspirations are.

Today I am proud to announce that Steve Harris is joining the team as CloudBees' SVP of Products. Steve was seen by many as “Mr. Java” at ORCL and a truly respected individual for his hard work, management style and leadership. Everybody I’ve talked to only had great things to say about Steve: engineers, peers, partners and competitors. Steve went through the Oracle AS era, the BEA acquisition and then the SUN acquisition, with both the Weblogic and Glassfish teams under his leadership.

Steve starts at a great time to ramp up at neutrinos speed: he will attend the Jenkins User Conference this coming Sunday, be present at the CloudBees booth at JavaOne next week and drive our Technical advisory Board (TAB) in Menlo Park next Tuesday.

Welcome Steve, onward,


P.S.: you can see a recent presentation from Steve here.

Sacha Labourey, CEO
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Steven Harris, On Joining CloudBees

Why did I join CloudBees? As with most things, it's a complicated story. Across 13 years at Oracle, a lot of developers' only experience there has been with me in their management chain. I was a constant for people across many changes. For a lot of external people and companies, I was their main view into Oracle, especially when it came to Java server technologies. It was a great experience, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some exceptional people.

But...we are all in for a sea change with the cloud. You can see it everywhere. Classic software vendors like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and others see it and are crafting strategies to protect and expand their positions. Classic SaaS providers like Salesforce see it and are crafting strategies to expand their platform plays beyond their roots. Players in the IaaS and virtualization arena are moving upstack to protect and enrich their franchises. Mobile, open source and standards are all impacted. Competitors are taking all the tools out of the competitive toolbox and sharpening them. In short, it's one of the most exciting times we've seen in the software business for a long, long time! So for me, the opportunity to be in the middle of an innovative, fast moving, highly driven startup, populated by the stars that brought us JBoss, GlassFish, Jenkins, Stax and other great products was just too good to pass up.

The fact is that the changes coming about in today's software business are fundamental and the incumbents all know it. The opportunities for CloudBees to surf this wave of change, to revolutionize the entire application lifecycle for Java in the cloud, are tremendous. I am really pumped to get back to my startup roots and mix it up with the incumbents. I expect to be sharing the experience with you on the blog here and via Twitter (@stevengharris), and I hope you'll join me. As someone once said...onward!

Steve Harris has joined CloudBees. Read more about his background here.


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Monday, September 19, 2011

15 Minutes to Liferay on the CloudBees PaaS

For the truly impatient - here are the steps. Now for the rest of us :-)

I am invited to speak at the Liferay West Coast Symposium next week (BTW its free for Jenkins User Conference registrants). My talk is about PaaS, Jenkins and how both can help Liferay plugin developers, theme developers and Liferay deployers benefit from the productivity and ease of use offered by cloud technologies.

As I started building the talk - I wanted to see how hard would it be to get a non-trivial application like Liferay running on CloudBees. For those who just want to see the steps, go to the wiki article and skip the rest of the blog.

The first step was was creating a database for Liferay. In the past, I have tried running Liferay on my box and setting up MySQL truly turned me off. I did not want to  turn into a MySQL administrator. Creating a database on CloudBees is just one click and I am not going to maintain this database :-) - heck I am not even downloading the bits!!

The next steps was deploying the war. Admittedly, I ran into some minor issues - like figuring out the right jar files that the standalone Liferay war should be bundled with. (Liferay creates application server specific bundles with a bunch of jars thrown in the lib/ext directory, these had to be bundled into the standalone war). Further more file required updates with the MySQL information (minor nit). But once bundled - the war was ready to go.

The last step was to deploy the war file. Liferay requires 256M in permgen (had to put in a service desk request on my account for that on CloudBees). We are thinking of making permgen as a configurable option at CloudBees. I also had to bump up to a medium account as Liferay is a pretty big application and needs lots of memory. However, once setup - the war deployed seamlessly, I could hibernate and wake it up seamlessly.

I made some fast finger errors while packaging the war (wrong address to the database) but the delta deploy feature turned out to be a true life-saver, as I could do subsequent redeploys in seconds rather than redeploying the huge war file.

What does this mean?

The ease with which I could deploy Liferay on CloudBees PaaS means that:
  • Liferay plugin developers are freed from maintaining their own instances, they can build the plugin, deploy on CloudBees and bring it down when done. 
  • Liferay deployers can focus on getting their instance setup right and are freed from maintaining the infrastructure. 
  • Liferay consultants can now do a quick POC and share it with their customers. 

For the complete steps, read the wiki article.

- Harpreet Singh, Senior Director of Product Management

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Friday, September 16, 2011

3 Quick Steps to Use Jenkins with uberSVN

WANdisco recently launched a beta of their uberSVN application. As part of this application, they have launched an uberAPPS store. The first application available through uberAPPS is your friendly neighborhood butler - Jenkins.

On Sept 14th, I was a panelist on a training webinar hosted by WANdisco. In the webinar, we showed users how to install and use Jenkins through uberSVN.

uberSVN brings in social experience to the SVN repository. It aims to bring additional development related tools into this experience, centered around the repository. uberSVN is extremely easy to install. Suffice it to say that I had a fully running SVN server with Apache front-end running in about 5 minutes (sweet).

Setting up Jenkins is super easy to do as well. For the visually inclined – look at the picture and skip the rest of the blog. These are really the 3 main steps that you need to do:
  1. Download Jenkins: You go to uberAPPS within the uberSVN, choose Jenkins, enter your email information and password and hit install. uberSVN downloads Jenkins and starts it. (1 and 2 in the image)
  2. Associate Jenkins to a repository: Creating a repository is as easy as pressing an add button. Once you setup the repository a Jenkins instance is associated with it. The Jenkins SVN plugin is pre-installed. (3 in the image)
  3. Create and run the job: Go to the Jenkins tab and create a new job. The SVN configuration is already done for the particular job. Go back to the repository tab and kick-start the job from there. Of course before you start the job – you will need to go to the Jenkins job configuration screen to tell it how to build your particular job. (4 and 5 in the image)
For folks using SVN, uberSVN provides a very easy and consumable view of the repository and is worth checking out.

- Harpreet Singh, Senior Director of Product Management

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lose It! CEO Charles Teague Extols Value of PaaS

Charles Teague and J.J. Allaire of FitNow Inc. needed to take their iPhone app to the next level but were stymied by limited staff and capital. By embracing the Platform as a Service cloud computing platform, they upgraded their smartphone app and increased not only their ROI but also the success rate for their customers.”

This is an excellent article that illustrates the value of using a PaaS for application deployment. Teague specifically speaks to greater uptime, less maintenance of infrastructure, and being able to run a company with a lean IT staff.

“While Teague hasn't crunched the numbers, he has avoided hiring a full-time systems admin to support what would be equivalent to 25 in-house servers.”

Read more about Lose It and the benefits they have derived from RUN@cloud in this compelling SearchCIO article, authored by Christina Torode:
PaaS cloud computing platform turns mobile app into Web business

Charles Teague, CEO, Lose It

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JUC: All Our Ducks Are in a Row!

The Jenkins User Conference in San Francisco is now just over two weeks away!
All our ducks are in a row:
· Attendees: Check – over 300 Jenkins users, at last count
· Sponsors: Check – seven vendors have stepped forward to underwrite the conference and show their commitment to the Jenkins community (CloudBees, Liferay, Red Hat, New Relic, Sauce Labs, Chariot Solutions, eXo)
· Sessions: Check – we have 12 fabulous Jenkins-specific sessions lined up for YOU to attend!
It is the latter point that is the latest breaking JUC news. Monday we announced the final line-up of speakers who will be presenting to you. The selections were tough to make, as we had about 30 amazing papers submitted for consideration. Any of them would have been compelling for JUC attendees.

The Jenkins JUC Committee made some hard choices between the various submissions. As a result, we feel we have a well-rounded line-up of a myriad of timely topics for you. Session content runs the gamut from controlling Jenkins “sprawl” within the enterprise (Sacha Labourey, CloudBees), to scaling Jenkins up to some significant deployments – and living to tell about it (James Min, Liferay; Nam Duong, Red Hat; ), to several other topics about the use of plug-ins (Charles Lowell, The Frontside; Toomas Romer, Zero Turnaround), optimizing continuous integration (R. Tyler Croy, Lookout; Johannes Wienke, et al, CoR-Lab; Dean Yu, Yahoo!), using Eclipse in a continuous integration environment (Mik Kersten, Tasktop), extreme testing with Selenium and Jenkins (Jason Higgins, Sauce Labs), the use of Agile ALM methodologies on the Jenkins platform (Michael Hüttermann, Michael Hüttermann Consulting), and the extensibility of Jenkins (Ryan Campbell, CloudBees).

We are almost at the point of being oversubscribed for the conference and announcing this content will probably push us over the top!

If you haven’t done so already, check out the presenters and their content. Then get yourself signed up while there are still openings available.

See you in San Francisco on October 2!
Harpreet Singh

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Making the Most of Jenkins CI

This is the time of year when many bees start to slow down in preparation for the winter... however, it’s the opposite for us here at CloudBees. The hive continues to buzz with activity! We hope these myriad upcoming Jenkins activities will help you make the most of your Jenkins CI server...

The First Jenkins User Conference – October 2nd in San Francisco
CloudBees is pleased to support the very first Jenkins User Conference! Join the Jenkins founders and more than 275 fans who have already signed up for an invaluable day of Jenkins-focused learning and networking opportunities. An incredible line-up of speakers has just been announced, including Jenkins experts from Red Hat, Yahoo, Liferay, Tasktop, and CloudBees who are eager to share their experiences and best practices.
Learn more and sign up

Automating ALM with Jenkins in the uberSVN Platform September 14
CloudBees is teaming up with our friends over at WANdisco to bring you a free Jenkins /SVN training webinar. Led by renowned technical journalist Tim Anderson, this training session will take you through an excellent Jenkins tutorial and walk through the steps on how to deploy Jenkins with WANdisco’s uberSVN, a free, open ALM platform for Subversion that's easy to install, easy to use, and easy to extend. We'll also show you how to watch for code changes in Subversion repositories, automatically perform builds, initiate tests, notify users of results, and roll changes backward or forward.

CloudBees is proud to support Jenkins by providing enterprise support through the uberSVN platform. Register here

Ongoing Free Selenium in the Cloud with Sauce Labs
The CloudBees Ecosystem brings cloud-based services from partner companies directly to Java developers, all within the CloudBees platform… including Selenium-driven cross-browser testing on the cloud with Sauce Labs. Their OnDemand cloud-based service allows you to run automated cross-browser functional tests at high speeds in parallel, so you don't need to maintain testing infrastructure… and it works beautifully with Jenkins.

Even better, you can get this excellent service for free! CloudBees and Sauce Labs have decided to extend the initial no-charge service period for an extra 60 days, until 11/20/2011.
Try Selenium testing in the cloud now, while it’s still free

Mastering Continuous Integration with Jenkins – Training Course
Learn Jenkins secrets from the experts, including Jenkins Founder Kohsuke Kawaguchi and major contributor Stephen Connolly.
-       9/ 23 London
-       10/14 Tokyo
-       11/17 San Francisco
Get details

Onward to Jenkins in the cloud!
Sacha & the CloudBees team

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Continuous Integration with Subversion and Jenkins

Free online training session on continuous integration with the Subversion community’s favorite build server, Jenkins!

We've got some great training coming up that we'd love to share with you. CloudBees is teaming up with our friends over at WANdisco to bring you a free Jenkins training webinar on September 14th.

WANdisco's uberSVN is a new, free open ALM platform for Subversion. Back in July, WANdisco launched uberAPPS, an online marketplace that takes the Apple App Store concept and applies it to enterprise software development tools for Subversion. Members of the Subversion community had consistently identified Jenkins as their first choice for a build server and so the WANdisco team went to work integrating Jenkins into uberSVN and making it really easy to install via uberAPPS.

One of the goals of the uberAPPS launch was to give uberSVN users a great resource for easy access to Jenkins and other complementary solutions, such as CloudBees’ Java Platform as a Service (PaaS). CloudBees provides products and services that enhance Jenkins functionality. You can purchase the CloudBees offerings, along with formal Jenkins support, through the uberApps store. In addition to the CloudBees Java PaaS, more than 300 plug-ins are available to further expand Jenkins functionality.

Led by renowned technical journalist Tim Anderson, this free training session will take you through an excellent Jenkins tutorial and will show you step-by-step how to deploy Jenkins with WANdisco's uberSVN, a free, open ALM platform for Subversion. We'll also show you how to watch for code changes in Subversion repositories, automatically perform builds, initiate tests, notify users of results, and roll changes backward or forward.

As always, we'll end with a Q&A session where we'll give you the chance to ask any questions you may have.

Sign up or learn more

Ps – If you haven't already, check out the FREE Jenkins User Conference on October 2nd in San Francisco! It's almost full, so register fast!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Master Jenkins and Accelerate Application Development: September 23 in London, October 14 in Tokyo!

Continuous Integration (CI) is a fundamental best practice of modern software development. Jenkins is the number one open source Continuous Integration server. Jenkins is selected by developers, worldwide, for application development because the platform enables them to fully leverage the value a CI development environment offers.

CloudBees offers an ongoing program of Jenkins training to help users optimize the functionality provided by the Jenkins platform. You do not need to be a CloudBees customer to attend Jenkins training classes, but you must be a Jenkins user.

We currently have two upcoming training sessions:
September 23 - London
Instructor: Stephen Connolly
October 14 - Tokyo
Instructor: Kohsuke Kawaguchi

There are several openings still available for both sessions.

We intentionally keep the number of participants low, so as to allow for maximum instructor / attendee interaction. Though there is a formal curriculum, the instructors often end up discussing real-world challenges and problems individual attendees are facing with their Jenkins implementations. Smaller class sizes help to facilitate that kind of personal learning.

The sessions are aimed at users that already have a working knowledge of Jenkins and are at the, “Once you get the build and tests automated, where do you go with Jenkins from there?” stage in their Jenkins implementation. The goal of the training is to help improve knowledge about advanced Jenkins functionality in order to help the attendee answer this question. Topics covered include items such as: creating bigger automated workflows / broader choreographies, code quality metrics, automated deployment and so on.

In summary, you will learn how to set up an effective Continuous Integration (Jenkins) environment that will reduce integration issues, improve code quality, and improve communication and collaboration between team members. You will also learn how Jenkins can act as a communications hub for your development team.
Join us in either London or Tokyo!

For more information or to register visit:

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Recent Google App Engine News: Think Beyond Pricing...

Shortly after going GA with Google App Engine (GAE), Google announced a new pricing scheme a few days back.

This new scheme has generated lots of heat and anger, with some GAE customers estimating their monthly cost will grow from US $8,800 to an estimated US $20,000.

To me, this turn of events leads to several observations:

1) Standards are critical, but even moreso in the cloud. As GAE moved from a trial offering to a full-fledged, strategic GA offering, it was Business 101 for Google. They eventually have to make sure the pricing scheme matches their real costs – not doing it earlier and selling their platform at a loss for so long was the real mistake here. Consequently, while Google is certainly within their rights to make the change, the most upset GAE users are obviously the ones who are already locked-in to GAE’s proprietary features.

In the Platform as a Service (PaaS) era, open standards are even more important than they are in an on-premise environment. With a PaaS scenario, open standards become a fallback strategy in case a PaaS vendor starts providing poor service or is not competitive anymore, and the customer wants to make a platform change. That fallback strategy is supposed to be even easier to leverage in the PaaS era: PaaS offerings are typically very easy to deploy applications onto, consequently migration to a new provider should be a breeze…as long as you do not lock yourself into PaaS-specific features.

At CloudBees, we have always pitched that Open Standards were not only critical to the success of Java, but are also essential to the success of Java PaaS vendors. While Ruby and dynamic languages have historically been the favored PaaS languages to date, I believe that Java truly has a brighter future in the cloud: a lot of Java features are backed by Open Standards (or strong de facto standards). Further, the next iteration of EE7 will focus on extending that feature set in order to match the most typical PaaS deployment scenarios. Well-accepted open and de facto standards are a huge enabler for Java in the cloud, as they reduce vendor lock-in and force an equal playing field among Java PaaS vendors. That equal playing field represents obvious value for customers.

As a proof point, proprietary PaaS vendors, such as, have realized that building a PaaS on top of a proprietary architecture -- with proprietary APIs and a proprietary language -- would only satisfy a number of users and use cases. Their recent acquisition of Heroku certainly shows a desire to become more “kosher” in that regard.

2) The PaaS market is new and pricing schemes/levels are very much undefined. PaaS vendors are still trying to figure out what the right pricing scheme is, and you should expect the schemes to evolve over time. This situation will certainly last for a couple of years until the market settles on a unified scheme. We tend to forget that the per-CPU pricing model that supported the success of the software industry for the last 20 years didn’t happen overnight.

At CloudBees, we have tried to use a relatively simple freemium model that gets rid of a number of variables typically exposed by IaaS vendors (such as bandwidth usage, for example) and we offer dedicated instances for larger customers. In summary, we are adapting to the use cases we see the most frequently and are very much listening to our customers’ feedback: they are the true voice that will ultimately cast the vote on what is(are) the right pricing scheme(s).

3) PaaS vendors have real deployments, today. If anything, complaints made in the GAE forums show that a number of companies are using PaaS solutions for real -- that is, running real applications with real load and driving real business with them.

At CloudBees, we are soon going to release some case studies that clearly demonstrate the level of productivity development teams can expect by leveraging the CloudBees PaaS -- which effectively removes the need for any IT and DevOps investment across your entire development-to-deployment lifecycle. This is simply unmatched in the industry.

As PaaS offerings get more sophisticated, more and more deployment scenarios will be satisfied and companies will move en-masse towards PaaS platforms in order to remain competitive. Obviously, if you are looking for a new home for your Java applications, you might want to give CloudBees, the Java PaaS, a try. We are eagerly awaiting your feedback!


Sacha Labourey, CEO
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jenkins User Conference Weather Report

It’s a hot time here in Jenkinsville as we kick off September! The JUC Organizing Committee is happy to report that we’re just a little bit overwhelmed by the community interest in the Jenkins User Conference on October 2 in San Francisco, the Sunday before JavaOne starts. Registration has been open for less than 3 weeks, and we already have 211 people signed up to join the community for a day of Jenkins learning, interactive discussions, and fun!

This week alone, two new sponsors have also stepped up to help make the conference (and beer) FREE for all. We’re thrilled to have New Relic and Sauce Labs join us as Bronze sponsors! Both companies are recognized cloud thought leaders and CloudBees Ecosystem partners.

- New Relic provides real-time visibility into performance analytics, real user monitoring, web transaction tracing, availability monitoring, and much more. The all-in-one web application performance management provider for the cloud and the datacenter, New Relic represents the next generation of application monitoring. Used by more than 10,000 companies, its SaaS solution gives developers real-time visibility into user experiences and application performance. With a single tool designed to optimize cloud architectures, your application team can:
  • Measure front-end performance including browser response, page load times, and Apdex
  • Monitor app performance at the component level and spot potential bottlenecks
  • Determine if performance issues are in the front end, the app, or the network
- Sauce Labs, the web application testing company and home of Selenium in the cloud, provides a cloud-based service that allows you to run automated cross-browser functional tests (as well as manual tests) fast, while eliminating the need for you to maintain your own test infrastructure. Like CloudBees, Sauce Labs alleviates the headache and organizational overhead incurred when developers spend their time managing systems rather than writing code. By providing media-rich results, Sauce also improves the clarity and speed of communication between developers and QA teams so bugs are eliminated more quickly.

So if you want to test your web application UI against a variety of different OS/browsers mixes, just click a button with Sauce. Your tests will automatically launch in parallel on those specific OS/browser targets, instantly, with no setup or maintenance effort. And if you are really serious about UI testing, the mix of Sauce Labs and Jenkins-as-a-Service provided by DEV@cloud is the perfect match.

The few remaining sponsorship slots are disappearing fast, so if you’re interested in joining the party, drop a note to Also, if you want to share your own knowledge with the community – act now! Paper submissions are due today. And of course, sign up to join the fun on October 2!
-- Lisa

P.S. Want to learn more about Jenkins sooner? Popular journalist Tim Anderson, CloudBees and WANdisco are teaming up to present a training session on September 14 at 12:00pm EDT, Automating ALM with Jenkins in the uberSVN Platform. Register! 

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