Why I Like Using Gradle in NetBeans IDE (Part 2)
Part 1 of the NetBeans/Gradle series came from Martin Steffen in Uruguay. Below, in part 2, we travel to Scotland!
My name is Douglas Maxwell. I’m Scottish and a Java software consultant specializing in financial apps.
I’ve been using Groovy for over a year now and that is what led me to start experimenting with Gradle. I enjoy the terseness and expressiveness of the Groovy language, which I am able to exploit for build management with Gradle, no more XML verbosity and the ability to exploit Ivy’s excellent dependency management.
I manage my own software codebase in Subversion. I develop using agile methods which means lots of unit and integration tests. The codebase is managed with Gradle and the CI jobs are executed on a Jenkins server. I prefer to develop in NetBeans IDE using Gradle to manage my projects primarily because of the excellent support for dependency management and the ease of use when configuring multi-project builds.
What follows is a short description of a basic server side module for trade capture and my typical development workflow:
- Go to Tools | Plugins in NetBeans IDE 7.2 and install the Gradle plugin. Then open or create a Gradle Java project in NetBeans IDE, using the Open Project dialog or New Project dialog to do so.
- Write code and configure dependencies in the Gradle "build" file:
This project consists of some service and DAO classes. It uses Spring JavaConfig and JPA to manage persistence. The database is sql server 2012 in spite of the fact that I am a big fan of Oracle 11g. There is a single integration test which runs a Groovy script to set up the database schema and inject the initial test data. Here is the build file.
As you can see it uses artifacts from a local Ivy repository. The output from the build is deployed to the same repository.
- I run all the test locally:
- The changes are then committed to the Subversion repository. Currently I do this external to NetBeans IDE, though I think this can be done from the IDE with the latest version of the plugin.
- As this project is not part of my main build, I have setup a separate gradle job in Jenkins, which runs when changes are detected in the Subversion repository.
ConclusionI am very impressed with the NetBeans plugin for Gradle so far. Rarely do I have to step out of NetBeans IDE and run a part of the build from the Gradle command line. I would, however, like to see some of these features added:
- the ability to add command line switches when a task is executed
- the ability to navigate test results in the Projects window
- the ability to add Groovy sources
- the ability to create different types of Gradle projects with the appropriate plugins and dependencies added automatically
- the ability to have a project update automatically when changes are applied to the build file.
The last feature might be implemented but it just doesn’t seem to work for me!