Full Android platform build in 7 minutes!

Bitbar, the mobile devops company. Logo, large

Designing new devices and developing new solutions for mobile environments is a painful process as everyone who has worked on new platforms and millions of possible configurations know.
If you are a semiconductor maker who is working on Android or Linux and creating a base port for your new chip, a device maker designing incredible devices that customers crave and love or an application developer working with the latest devices, you are most probably working with such unstable environment.

We have great news for anyone frequently building the full Android stack: Bitbar has managed to squeeze build time of entire Android stack to just mere 7 minutes! When you can experiment changes at that pace, it changes the way your organisation develop on the platform.
When you can build and run all tests in such short time, each developer will have instant feedback and are able to fix, or revert, any problem within a couple of minutes, after a commit, with minimal effect to people working on other parts of the stack/application. But if the build takes, say, 1-2 hours, which is rather normal time for Android builds, then by the time a build failure is detected the whole team is affected. Continuous integration also eliminates a need for separate integration process, which is common when building large software (“We do not need to build the entire stack because we just build the changed parts” is pretty normal, what we hear. And when many parts are changed at the same time, you face integration hell, because you do not know what part broke your build or why tests started failing).

Running automatically Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) and all of its 25k+ individual tests (or just part of tests, it’s your choice) after code commit on emulator in cloud (very fast!) or on your actual device (automatically flashed with the new image), you can be sure that your new device is compatible with Android Market requirements all the time. And everyone can see the test results and trends from the Web UI of the service.

For application developers we have integrated Android Robotium to our Shaker build service, so that UI tests are automatically run on every possible device configurations after each commit. The test results & trend graphs can be viewed from the Web UI, they are not buried into log files on the developers’ workstation. The greatest thing is that tests written for Robotium framework require about a tenth of the amount of code required to create traditional Android tests.

It is normal for top management to have a low regard for software groups because software projects have more problems with delays and overruns than other parts of companies. They do not have full visibility to problems and progress of the development, which creates anxiety and pressure. We try to help software groups to deliver more and faster, on time and give necessary tools to see and show the progress. If you want to hear more, please contact us at sales(at) bitbar.com and request for our whitepapers (just out of press!)