Visual Builder Studio – May 2020 New Features

May 27, 2020 | 4 minute read
Shay Shmeltzer
Director of Product Management - Oracle
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Visual Builder Studio integrates the features of Oracle Developer Cloud Service and Oracle Visual Builder and delivers a complete development platform that covers the full development lifecycle from planning, development (coding or low-code), build, test, and deployment. In this blog we’ll introduce some of the new features of the new platform.  (This blog focuses just on new capabilities in Visual Builder Studio, to get a quick overview of the full set of features of the platform, check out the product page and our documentation page).

Complete Lifecycle for Visual Builder Applications

Visual Builder is a rapid application development and hosting platform for JavaScript/HTML/REST-based web and mobile applications. Focusing on a visual approach to development that simplifies and accelerates development.

Visual Builder Studio (VB Studio for short) provides a complete end-to-end lifecycle management for web and mobile applications built to run with Visual Builder.

A new project template called “Visual Application” streamlines the definition of project infrastructure for VB apps. A visual application project includes:

  • A Git repository to host the app code
  • Application templates you can pick from
  • CI/CD pipelines for packaging and deploying the app
  • A pointer to a Visual Builder service environment in which applications are deployed

Once a project is created, the team will have direct access to work on the app from the Designer section of Visual Builder Studio and in addition, they can leverage the rest of the platform features such as issue tracking, agile and sprint dashboards, code review, and continuous integration and delivery.

VB Studio adds new build steps to the CI/CD engine under the Visual Application category. The new steps provide an easy way to execute operations such as export and import of data from visual builder instances, locking and unlocking of apps, and packaging of a VB app for deployment.

In addition, the Oracle Deployment step now include specific configuration dialog for deployment of VB apps on VB servers.

The Designer tab also adds deeper integration between the Visual Builder development experience and Git functionality. Allowing you to switch branches, commit, and visually merge code changes. It also provides additional options for managing the lifecycle of the apps including preview, share and publish options.

New Build Steps

Complete Lifecycle for Oracle Cloud Application Configurations

Oracle is planning to start releasing new Oracle Cloud Application modules that have been built with Oracle Visual Builder Studio. Some of these modules will support configuration of the delivered app – for example modifying the UI. Managing and creating these configurations will be done by leveraging new features included in Visual Builder Studio. These features include a new “Cloud Applications Extension” project template and environments support for Cloud Applications instances that will map to these new modules. Stay tuned for more information about these features in the following months.

Git Merge Web Interface

Another new feature in this release is the ability to resolve code merge conflicts in your git hosted source code. A web-based interface provides a view of the conflict and buttons that will simplify deciding which of the conflicting options is the one you want to take forward.

This functionality is something that will of course help any type of code whether it is a Visual Builder app or any other language. 

Merge Request Interface

Dependency Vulnerability Checks for Node.JS and JavaScript

Visual Builder Studio extended the dependency vulnerability checks - that are part of your CI/CD chains - to support node.js and JavaScript apps. The dependency vulnerability analyzer scans the list of libraries your code relies on against a database of known vulnerabilities and notifies you if you are using a library with a known vulnerability. Up until now we supported Java-based application scanning their maven definitions, now we also support npm based JavaScript and node.js applications.

Vulnerability Check

New Project Roles

In the new Visual Builder Studio we offer a more fine-grained control over the access rights different team members have to the project artifacts. When you add a new team member you can assign him one of four roles 

  • Project manager has full access to all aspects of the project and the ability to modify project settings. 
  • Developer role has full access but without the ability to modify project level settings.
  • Developer limited role is restricted in terms of configuring CI/CD pipelines, environments and agile boards.
  • Contributor role is able to read all the info but contribute only through comments on code and issues in the issue tracker.

Build VMs in OCI VCN

Many of the organizations that are transitioning their sensitive systems to the Oracle Cloud leverage Virtual Cloud Networks to protect their systems. Visual Builder Studio can now leverage build virtual machines that run inside those private networks. This enables you to automate CI/CD not just for services running in the public cloud but also for services and products running in private clouds.

Git Large File Support

Visual Builder Studio adds support for Git LFS (Large File Storage) for simpler integration of large files as part of your code management system. VB Studio stores large files in Oracle Cloud Storage and maintains pointers to them in your git repository, and allowing you to manage their lifecycle as part of your project code easily.

REST API for Build Jobs

You can now interact with build jobs from outside systems using a new REST API that will allow you to start and monitor build jobs. This can be helpful for cases where you are integrating the CI/CD features with external systems. Learn more in our REST API reference.

 

Shay Shmeltzer

Director of Product Management - Oracle

Shay Shmeltzer is Director of Product Management for Oracle Cloud Development Tools. He is focused on helping developers simplify and streamline their work leveraging Oracle solutions. Shay frequently presents at industry events, publishes articles, and regularly blogs about Oracle's development tools. You can also find him on Twitter at @ShayOracle.


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