Enhance your CircleCI pipeline with these four extensions

In the October 2021 mentorship calls, we discussed continuous integration pipelines like CircleCI. This post highlights four extensions, or orbs, that you can add to your CircleCI pipeline for added reporting or analysis of your code base.

What is an Orb?

CircleCI has a good introduction to Orbs on their website, but here is a quick summary of their advantages:

Orbs are reusable snippets of code that help automate repeated processes, speed up project setup, and make it easy to integrate with third-party tools.

  • Save time on project configuration
  • Increase organizational efficiency
  • Simplify third-party integrations

There are several pre-built Orbs you can use for free today. You can also create your own Orbs to optimize your CI pipeline, but this post will highlight four specific Orbs to make the most of your CI pipeline.

Coveralls

:arrow_right: :arrow_right: See the Orb :arrow_left: :arrow_left:

I mentioned Coveralls to some of you who were creating a CI pipeline while also writing unit tests for your code. This CircleCI Orb adds easy integration with Coveralls to upload the code test coverage reports from your CI pipeline into the Coveralls platform:

This Orb posts your test suite’s LCOV coverage data to coveralls.io for analysis, change tracking, and notifications. When running on Pull Request builds, a comment will be added to the PR with details about how coverage will be affected if merged.

This will give you dynamic reports about your code test coverage, its changes over time, and the snazzy README badge to quickly visualize your unit testing work.

CodeCov

:arrow_right: :arrow_right: See the Orb :arrow_left: :arrow_left:

Another popular tool for getting code coverage reports is CodeCov. If you decide to use a tool like CodeCov instead of Coveralls, you can also quickly and easily integrate your unit test coverage reports into CodeCov’s platform.

Flutter

:arrow_right: :arrow_right: See the Orb :arrow_left: :arrow_left:

Many of you are using Flutter to build multi-platform, modern applications for Android, iOS, and the web. If you are using Flutter, you can use this CircleCI Orb to test and build your applications in real-time. The Orb is described below:

Easily install Flutter SDK, package dependencies, run unit test, lint and more on CircleCI. Supports Linux and macOS.

Slack

:arrow_right: :arrow_right: See the Orb :arrow_left: :arrow_left:

Finally, if you are using Slack as a way for your teams to communicate and collaborate, you can also configure CircleCI to send notifications and updates to Slack channels or individuals. This can be a handy way to keep up with CI jobs and builds, especially if you have a complex pipeline that may take longer to run.

See the official description of the Slack Orb below:

Implement event-based notifications across all of your CI/CD pipelines. Utilizing built-in message templates or Slack’s visual Block-Kit builder, create and customize notifications specific to your organization’s needs. Supports Linux x86_64, MacOS, and Arm64 V8.

Code. Test. Repeat.

That’s all for this brief announcement. Keep working on building out your continuous integration pipelines, and if you have questions, you are always welcome to ask here.

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