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About Alambic

Alambic is an open-source framework and service for software engineering data analysis and management. Alambic main page is and its forge is hosted at BitBucket.

Basically Alambic uses plugins to retrieve data from various tools and repositories of the software development process, applies these values to a quality model and generates a variety of graphs, numbers, and reports. Alambic also provides a unified API to retrieve this data.

The complete process is fully documented, from quality attributes to the metrics retrieved. Data sources may include mailing lists, configuration management, issue tracking system, source code, and more. See the full list of data sources in the Data sources section of the documentation.

Alambic is a derivative of the PolarSys dashboard. PolarSys is an Eclipse Industry Working Group created by large industry players and by tools providers to collaborate on the creation and support of Open Source tools for the development of embedded systems. Members of PolarSys started working on a Maturity Assessment task force back in 2013, to assess and help improve quality of projects entering the PolarSys umbrella.

Alambic is developed and maintained by Boris Baldassari and Castalia Solutions. It has notably received important contributions and support from the Eclipse Foundation and Thales Group.

Main features

Alambic provides tools to better centralise, manage, and present software engineering data.

  • Alambic helps you organise and understand your data by building a quality model to quickly catch up with the things that matter to you. The quality model can be entirely customised, and almost any type of data source can be added through plugins.
  • Alambic helps you share your data by providing ready-to-use datasets, plots that can be exported to external web sites, and online tools to play with data. The process, metrics and quality attributes are self-documented.
  • Alambic can be easily extended: a flexible plugin system allows to easily add new data sources (e.g. git or svn logs, bugzilla queries), analysis tools (including R scripts), visualisation and reporting (e.g. knitr or plotly graphs). Examples of plugins ready to use include PMD Results Analysis, StackOverflow questions and PMI Checks for Eclipse projects.

Retrieval and analysis process

Data is retrieved by executing pre-plugins. Plugins first collect the data and then optionnaly run checks and actions, then compute metrics or visualisation objects. Once all pre-plugins have been executed, the attributes are computed and the quality model is populated.

Then the post-plugins are executed, and have access to all data retrieved and computed by pre-plugins. Once the project has been successfully analysed results are displayed in the dashboard section. This section provides several pages to analyse the project's situation and zoom into the details when needed. The plugins tab displays the visualisation output of installed plugins.

Once all projects have been executed, global plugins are executed. They have access to data, information, recommendations, metrics and attributes from all projects.

Metrics, indicators, attributes, confidence

What about your project?

Any project willing to enter the dashboard is welcome. However, the analysis requires some information in order to compute indicators and attributes of quality. Depending on the plugins activated on the project some metrics may be empty.

Adding a project needs authentication. Please contact your Alambic administrator for the next steps.

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