Dev and test the Docker way

New Shippable platform, available in both cloud- and self-hosted forms, helps developers prep workflows for Docker

Shippable made InfoWorld's list of Docker companies to watch, thanks to its use of Docker as part of a continuous integration and deployment workflow.

Now Shippable plans to expand on its original concept, due in part to the explosion of third-party work around Docker, through projects like -- what else? -- Google's Kubernetes.

The new platform, also named Shippable, is a refinement of its existing services, where an organization can use Docker containers to create dev/test environments that are, in Shippable's words, "perfect replicas of the production environment, a continuous delivery pipeline for application containers, and versioning of application containers with a one-click upgrade or rollback to any version."

Shippable believes using containers, rather than VMs, is a better solution to problems arising in dev/test, mainly because containers require less overhead. Avi Cavale, co-founder and CEO of Shippable, further explained the appeal of using containers in this manner. When doing dev testing and running tests that involve a given application but are tested against stubs rather than the full application, "it's not really CI. You're not actually doing functional integration; you're in this bubble. The stubs you wrote against might not be valid," Cavale said in an interview.

"With a containerized workflow, you can get away from testing against stubs, and instead test against real containers with the dependencies you want. That way you can move the profile of discovering feedback earlier into the cycle, still at the development level, so there's clear accountability of who needs to fix what bugs."

Shipper will offer two versions of the service: one as a hosted service, where Shippable keeps both the containers and the orchestration on its end, and the second as a BYOH (bring your own host) model. For the latter, the orchestration takes place in Shippable's service, but the containers are kept on the customer's machine. Also in the works and scheduled to debut in Q1 2014 is an on-premises, self-hosted solution.

The pricing structure is designed to appeal to individual developers, as well as teams and enterprises. Shippable's hosted, multitenanted service is offered without charge, and users can host any number of public repositories there -- with the caveat that performance will vary widely on a multitenanted service. The paid plans allow for "more parallelization and unlimited private projects," according to Shippable's press release, and the BYOH model will be charged "by number of cores of the host that will be attached to Shippable."

This article, "Dev and test the Docker way," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.