January 15, 2015 | Written by: Lauren Schaefer
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If you have been using the IBM DevOps Services web IDE to deploy applications directly from your workspace (i.e., not using the pipeline or the command line client), then you are probably used to pressing the DEPLOY and DEPLOY AS buttons:
Recently, we started working on some significant improvements to the flows around developing and deploying applications—both from the web IDE and the desktop. There is some really exciting stuff in the plan, which we’ll talk about once it’s a bit further along. Starting today, you’ll see the beginning of these improvements in DevOps Services.
Introducing the DevOps Services Run Bar
The first step on these usability improvements is replacing DEPLOY and DEPLOY AS with something we’re calling the run bar, which looks like this:
The run bar consolidates the existing capabilities related to deployment, and makes them easier to access. It’s also pluggable, so new capabilities can show up here over time. At a minimum, there are four controls:
- Status area (1) – shows various pieces of information about your application, including whether or not your app is running (green = running; red = stopped; grey = unknown), your app’s name, the space where your app is being deployed, and status text that shows additional details.Note that this area is also a drop-down list that allows you to pick a different launch configuration. A launch configuration encapsulates the details of how the application is deployed. This list of launch of configurations is the same list that was previously under DEPLOY AS, but it has some new features described next.
- Play button (2) – pushing the play button will cause the contents of your workspace to be deployed (i.e. “cf push”) using the information in the currently selected launch configuration. The play button does exactly what the DEPLOY button previously did.The improvement over the old behavior is that you can now see the launch configuration that will be used (as displayed in the status area) and select different configs from the drop-down. To get the same functionality as the old DEPLOY AS, simply select an entry from the list and click play.
- Stop button (3) – you can now stop the application shown in the status area by clicking the stop button. Previously, stopping the application from the web IDE took an embarrassingly long set of steps (bonus points to those of who actually figured out how to do it!).
- Link button (4) – opens a new browser window on the URL for your application./li>
As mentioned above, launch configurations were already present in the web IDE under the DEPLOY AS button (sharp-eyed developers may have noticed that the configurations were actually stored as files in a ‘launchConfigurations’ folder in your project).
The new drop-down in the status area looks something like this:
The new drop-down improves on the old DEPLOY AS list by providing a simple way to delete individual entries. We’re also looking at other usability features for this list, which will show up as they are finished.
By the way, the CREATE NEW button performs the same action as the (rather obtusely named) ‘Deploy application from Web IDE to Bluemix’ entry in the old DEPLOY AS drop-down did.
Look for more improvements!
These changes haven’t introduced much new functionality, but we hope the new presentation and layout will be much easier to use. Try it; we think you’ll like it! And be on the lookout for some exciting new functionality that will be appearing in the coming weeks. If you have feedback on this change (or anything else in the web IDE) please leave a comment here or on the dWAnswers forum.