CI Challenges With Multiple Branches

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How do we handle CI with multiple branches?

Questions/ Problems to Solve

  • How do we handle CI/builds/deployments if there are multiple branches that exist?
  • Developers have no idea which branch to check the fix/feature into
  • How do we discover merge conflicts sooner?

Auto-Merge Tool
This worked well for one organization. The challenge was that main bug fixes or features need to get merged into multiple branches as soon as possible and automatically. Waiting too long can lead to merge conflicts and other issues and lost time.

  • Devs check code into one branch
  • Release engineer configures the additional branches that will be merged from trunk.
  • The utility performs an auto merge and pushes. This allows each branch to be updated, even though the dev pushed once
  • Send email to devs when a merge happened or if it failed.

This process requires setup. It depends which tool you're using for version control and bug tracking. Perforce can be configured to do the auto merge, but one clever solution was to write a JIRA plugin