MS CRM integration with Cruise

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  • Avatar
    Jez Humble

    Hi JP. Happy new year. Sorry for the late response—we had yesterday off.


    What kind of integration are you looking for in particular? What kind of use cases do you have in mind?


    Jez.

  • Avatar
    jp

    Thanks Jez, and a Happy 2009 to You too !


    Here’s a high level workflow that the integration would need to support:
    • The Customer logs a couple of bugs related to the existing production version of Product A, in the Service module of MS Dynamics CRM.
    • The Customer also logs a new feature request for Product A, in the Service module of MS CRM.
    • The stakeholders decide that bug#1 has to go in the Feb release, bug#2 in the March release, but the new feature will have to wait till the May release.
    • Now Cruise takes over, and helps move the bug-fixes and the new feature through the different stages, approvals, environments etc iteratively, all the while maintaining an easy way to trace back to the corresponding IDs in MS CRM. So, the customer who logged the items in MS CRM can have a view of what is happening.


    So here are some questions which came up:
    1) If the business/customer facing tool is going to be MS CRM, then can we host the Cruise plumbing within MS CRM seamlessly?
    2) MS CRM has an elaborate security model, which provides a very good level of granularity. Can that be extended to the Cruise functionality hosted within CRM?
    3) MS CRM has good built-in workflow capabilities. Does Cruise API also lend itself to creating flexible workflows (I am aware of the concept of Pipelines, but don’t know how flexible it is) ? Would it be preferable to build a bug-tracking workflow in MS CRM or in Cruise?
    4) In the workflow above, I have mentioned a stage where I think Cruise can take over. But if you feel that is not the right touch point, and the integration between CRM and Cruise needs to happen at a different stage, pls do let me know…


    Please note that certain business constraints have forced us to have a ‘functional’ org structure, instead of a project/product based one. So, there is a formal hand-off from Dev to QA, and from QA to Ops. The solution we arrive at, would need to work within this constraint.


    Thanks much..


    Regards,
    jp

  • Avatar
    Jez Humble

    Hi JP


    Thanks for your detailed explanation.


    1. Cruise Server runs as service on Windows. So you can’t host it within MS CRM, it should be possible to link from Cruise to MS CRM and vice versa so you can seamlessly navigate from one to the other (depending on MS CRM’s integration support). You could use the issue tracker integration that will be available in Cruise 1.2 (released later this month) to do this.
    2. Cruise integrates with ActiveDirectory, and while it allows you to lock down who can administer and manage Cruise, it doesn’t lock down who can see the various projects in Cruise. This feature will be coming in our next major release in Q2.
    3. Pipelines is Cruise’s workflow system. It is flexible enough to do all the things you could want to do with a release management system. But it’s not suitable for bug-tracking: you’d want to build a workflow for this in MS CRM, and then have some way for MS CRM and Cruise to talk to each other so that MS CRM knows when a bug has gone through a “QA passed” stage in Cruise. This doesn’t yet exists, although Cruise’s API makes it possible for you to get the information you need (see “Cruise API” in our documentation: http://studios.thoughtworks.com/cruise-continuous-integration/1.1/help/).
    4. The integration point you mention is a good one. As I say, Cruise 1.2 makes it easy to click from Cruise back to MS CRM, but there isn’t yet a built-in way to see exactly which stories and bugs are in which release. We currently plan to make this feature available in our next release in Q2.


    The constraint you mention is (unfortunately) very common, and Cruise has been designed with it in mind. You can already control who is able to authorise promotions in Cruise at a very fine-grained level to allow for exactly this situation.


    Thanks,


    Jez.


    Thanks for your detailed explanation. While we have been thinking about this kind of integrated tracing through Crui

  • Avatar
    jp

    Thanks much for the detailed response, Jez. That one helped.


    Regards,
    jp

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