Thursday, December 13, 2012

Using Yeoman, Jenkins in Continuous Integration

Yeoman is a tool that will concatenate and minify your scripts, as well as, run JavaScript unit tests (JasmineBDD) inside a PhantomJS instance. It's fast and easy to integrate into your existing continuous integration process. At present, we have Jenkins as our work horse who will do the following upon each push to a specific development branch:
  1. Concatenate all JavaScripts based on a Gruntfile (GruntJS with NodeJS)
  2. Run JSHint on the concatenated JavaScript file (call this all.js)
  3. Minify the generated concatenated JS file (call this all.min.js)
  4. Run "yeoman test" to execute all the JavaScript specs against the concatenated JavaScript file
  5. This should fail the build process if any specs fail or if JSHint chokes
At this point, you could ship the assets over to CDN on Amazon CloudFront or Windows Azure Blob (CDN) to further reduce latency for your users.

Below is a shell script that can be easily modified to fit your needs:

 yeoman concat min --disable-insight --no-color  
 rm -rf src/test/build  
 cp -R src/main/MYAPP/public/javascripts src/test/build  
 yeoman test --disable-insight --no-color  

Above, you'll see that we're removing the src/test/build directory, which is just a directory that contains all your JavaScript assets. In the next line, we copy over the application's JavaScript files to the src/test/build folder. One thing to note is that the src/test folder is actually where the Jasmine BDD Test Runner resides.

In trying to integrate Yeoman into your pipeline, you'll most likely hit this feature where it prompts the user to allow 'analytics for usage'. You can disable this prompt by adding the "--disable-insight" flag. The reason why you'd want to disable this feature is because it will cause builds to fail on Jenkins if it comes up.

Happy front-end development!
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