Crucible Atlassian: A Comprehensive Guide 101

on Jira, Project Management Tool, Tasks • November 24th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

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The main responsibility as a Project Manager is to make enormous, intimidating assignments simpler. Consequently, to be successful at Product Management in enterprises, you must employ the right type of tools for improved Product Development and Visibility among the teams.

Crucible Atlassian aids in the development of reliable code by facilitating collaborative code reviews that assure compliance and quality. It offers Workflow-driven and Iteratively executed lightweight formal code review tools. If you consolidate and formalize your review cycles, your teams will provide higher quality code more often and with greater confidence.

Implementing robust Product Management tools can help you set milestones for decision-making and attaining business goals through collaboration and planning. Atlassian offers a string of project management tools like JIRA, FishEye, Bitbucket, Crucible, Confluence, and more to help organizations achieve their productivity and Project Management goals.

This blog, however, will have a special focus on Crucible, an On-premise Code Review solution for enterprise teams from Atlassian.

Table of Contents

What is Crucible Atlassian?

Crucible Atlassian - Crucible Atlassian logo
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Crucible is a Web-based Collaborative Code Review tool that allows you to discover, fix and track key flaws in your code. It has a simpler syntax and can be readily deployed by remote teams to receive quick code evaluations with inline comments and threaded discussions. As Crucible can help you immediately detect bugs, it ensures high-quality codes in the process. Crucible also provides you with in-depth reports and reviews of the code status, enabling you to have an idea of the changes to be made.

For better code review management, Crucible also has robust integration options that allow you to customize and fit any use case. If the integration you want does not already exist, you may create it using the REST API. The advantage of integrating with multiple platforms can allow for centralized management of all your code reviews by remote teams, as well as thorough Audit Trails, which will reduce the time it takes to release and deploy software.

Key Features of Crucible Atlassian

  • Code Review Tool: Using this tool to review the code can help you spot some key flaws in the code structure. This would prompt a team to debate, after which they can decide what adjustments need to be made.
  • Clear Inline Discussions: If you wish to connect with your team members, you can jump directly into the code using inline comments, mentions, and threaded discussions.
  • Well-organized Activity Streams: The Activity Streams feature allows you to see the status of your project at any given time, complete with comments.
  • Simple Audit and Compliance: Crucible allows you to track the history of a code review that you previously visited or skipped.
  • Jira, Github, and Bitbucket Integration: With the integration of JIRA, Github, and Bitbucket, you can handle and resolve code bugs in a single time-saving interface. This enables you to optimize your development productivity by using email notifications, side-by-side differences, smart commits (both before and post commits), and Source and Review Tabs.

Roles in Crucible Atlassian

There are different types of teams who work on Crucible, where they can customize the workflow to fit a variety of team sizes and working methods. These basic roles include:

  • Authors: Usually, it is for code creators — people who will take necessary steps based on the review’s findings.
  • Reviewer: A participant who will make comments on the source files in the review, raising issues, and sparking debate about the job done.
  • Moderator: Usually, the individual who initiates the review and is in charge of determining the outcomes and concluding it. 

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Getting Started with Crucible Atlassian

To get started with Crucible, first, we need to Set up a repository. Before that, make sure you have installed the latest version of Crucible and have admin permission to use Crucible:

1) Crucible Atlassian: Adding a Repository to Crucible

  1. To go to the Admin section, click the ‘Cog‘ button in the upper right corner and click on Administration.
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  1. In the Repositories listing of the Administration area, select Add Repository.
Crucible Atlassian - Adding Repositories
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  1. Enter the name and description of the repository after selecting the Repository Type.
Crucible Atlassian - Repository Type
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  1. Put the location of your repository in the repository configuration. If required, fill in the Authentication Information.
  2. Finally, select whether or not you want diff indexing enabled and whether the repository should be indexed immediately, then click Add to complete the process.
Crucible Atlassian - Adding Repository
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Crucible Atlassian- Finished adding repository
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  1. Your Crucible Repository has now been set up, and indexing should have started.

2) Crucible Atlassian: Creating a Project

A Crucible Project is a methodology to organize and manage connected reviews, which are usually reviews for the same Software Project. You may use a Crucible Project to do the following:

  • Set the default Moderators, Authors, and Reviewers for the Project’s Reviews.
  • Determine who is eligible to be a reviewer for that Project’s Reviews.
  • Employ Permission Schemes to limit who may conduct specific actions (for example, ‘Create Review‘) in that project.

Every Crucible review is associated with a specific project. Each project has a name and a key (for example, ACME Development). The project key becomes the initial component of the project’s review keys, such as ACME-101, ACME-102, and so on. Crucible comes with one project by default. This default project has the key ‘CR‘ and the name ‘Default Project.’

To create a new project,

  • Select Administration from the ‘Cog‘ menu in the Crucible header. Again, to view this, you must be logged in as an administrator.
  • Under ‘Project Settings,’ choose Projects.
  • Add a new project by clicking the Add a New Project button (at the top-right corner).
Crucible Atlassian - Setting Projects
  • Fill out the form in the project’s default settings. Here, you can opt for customization too.
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  • Save your new project by clicking Save.

3) Crucible Atlassian: Create a Review

After creating your own project, you can proceed with creating reviews in it. You can create a review if you wish to add the files, changesets, and other content for review, or choose the people who you want to be reviewers. Keep in mind that you must be logged in to create a review.

  • To open the Review Creation form, click Create Review in the header.
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  • Select the Project for which the review will be written.
Crucible Atlassian- Selecting Project for Reviews
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  • To see the list of changesets available for review, go to the next screen and click Browse Changesets.
Crucible Atlassian - Browsing Changeset
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  • After you’ve selected the changesets, you wish to evaluate, click Edit Details.
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  • After that, you may add reviewers and amend the review information before clicking Start Review
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  • If you’re ready, click Start Review to make your review public. The review is now created, and the reviewers will have been notified that a review is pending.
  • Else, Click Done if you’re not ready to begin the review. You can return to the drafted review at a later time.

You can set other details for the review, including:

  • Objectives. 
  • A Due Date.
  • A Reminder Date.
  • Linked Reviews (if any).
  • Related Jira Issues (if any). 

If you’re the moderator, you can close a review by clicking on Summarize in the upper right corner and then close the review from the dialogue. There are some considerations that must be kept in mind before creating a review.

A) Review Effectiveness

It is observed that with an increase in the number of files, time spent reviewing each file decreases. In situations when the number of reviewers increases, reviewers tend to spend less time reviewing and, as a result, find fewer defects. Both these instances can hamper review effectiveness, therefore:

  • Don’t make the review too long. Only a few essential files should be the focus of reviews.
  • Make sure the review isn’t too crowded. Reviewers should be carefully chosen and given particular instructions on what to look for while evaluating.

B) Crucible Performance

When a high number of reviews are generated, the performance of a Crucible instance can suffer significantly. As a result, Crucible puts a restriction of 800 file revisions on the review content size when creating reviews to prevent users from mistakenly triggering this.

In a review, each version of a file counts as one revision. Therefore, there are two revisions when a review is generated for a single updated file. Each time you make a modification to the file and upload it to the review, it counts as a new revision. In a review, a ‘Full File‘ is merely one revision.

However, if you need to create a more extensive review, have your system administrator adjust the crucible.review.content.size.limit value as specified on the JVM System Settings page, but the performance would suffer while producing and reading large reviews.

Why Crucible Atlassian?

Here are the top reasons to know why:

1) Crucible Atlassian makes Review Cycles a Formalized Process

You may use full workflows developed in Crucible to standardize the review process for Large Code Upgrades. You can appoint reviewers from your team to guarantee that the complete code base is reviewed before the release processes are started.

2) Crucible Atlassian Makes Continuous Delivery Process

Being a distributed team collaboration tool, Crucible enforces adaptive control to keep everyone focused on the same goal by offering integrations with other tools. In other words, it improves the Continuous Delivery/Continuous Integration (CI/CD) Workflow by allowing interfacing with platforms like Jira Software or Fisheye. For example, when coupled with Jira Software, review results may highlight bugs with a single click. You may change the Jira Software status straight from Crucible for code that passes the review.

3) Crucible Atlassian Tracks Code Reviews and Performance

You may keep track of all code activity, including commits, reviews, and reviewer comments, using unified views. In addition, you can define metrics for the review teams, allowing Crucible to intervene when tasks begin to fall behind schedule. Using Report Statistics on the reviews per line of code, you can easily track the entire process and ensure that your team and you stay on track to deliver on time.

Conclusion

This article discusses Crucible Atlassian and its importance as a Code Review solution to boost collaboration among Project Development teams. Crucible Atlassian creates a thorough audit record of the whole process by allowing structured peer assessment of codes across distributed teams. Performing audit trails and automated release prevention avoids coding mishaps before they happen in organizations.

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