Big Visible Chart CI aggregator
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Description Build Status Code Climate

ProjectMonitor is a CI display aggregator. It displays the status of multiple Continuous Integration builds on a single web page. The intent is that you display the page on a big screen monitor or TV so that the status of all your projects' builds are highly visible/glanceable (a "Big Visible Chart"). ProjectMonitor currently supports:

We use ProjectMonitor internally at Pivotal Labs to display the status of the builds for all our client projects. We also have an instance of ProjectMonitor running at that we use for displaying the status of the builds of various open source projects - both of projects Pivotal Labs maintains (such as Jasmine) and of non-Pivotal projects (such as Rails).

In practice, ProjectMonitor is often displayed on publicly-viewable monitors mounted to the wall. This provides transparency into the health of the build(s) that entire team can see at a glance. When a build goes red (fails), the next person or pair to finish their story can take a look at what broke before starting new work. If a build goes red a lot over a period of time, it can prompt a conversation about what isn't working.

ProjectMonitor in use

Table of Contents

  1. Installation
  2. Configuration
  3. Deployment
  4. Ideas and Improvements

Linked Documents

  1. Upgrading to Devise
  2. Adding a Project
  3. Displaying Your Project's Status


Get the code

ProjectMonitor is a Rails application. To get the code, execute the following:

git clone git://
cd projectmonitor
brew install qt
bundle install

Initial Setup

We have provided an example file for database.yml. Run the following to automatically generate these files for you:

rake setup

You likely need to edit the generated files. See below.

Set up the database

You'll need a database. Create it with whatever name you want. If you have not run rake setup, copy database.yml.example to database.yml. Edit the production environment configuration so it's right for your database:

cp config/database.yml.example config/database.yml
<edit database.yml>
RAILS_ENV=production rake db:create
RAILS_ENV=production rake db:migrate

Authentication support

IP Whitelist

If you want to use Webhooks, your ProjectMonitor instance will need to be located on a publicly accessible server. If you don't want your ProjectMonitor dashboard to also be publicly accessible, you can whitelist access by IP address.

The whitelist is disabled by default, but can be enabled by uncommenting the "ip_whitelist" property in settings.yml and adding a list of IP addresses to whitelist. If you're running ProjectMonitor behind a load balancer (e.g. on a hosted provider such as Heroku), you'll probably want to set "ip_whitelist_request_proxied" to true. See settings.yml for more documentation.

Password authentication

Project monitor uses Devise to provide both database backed authentication and Google OAuth2 logins.

Regular password authentication for managing project settings is enabled by default. Run rake db:seed with the environment variables PROJECT_MONITOR_LOGIN, PROJECT_MONITOR_EMAIL and PROJECT_MONITOR_PASSWORD set to create a new account.

To switch off password auth, set password_auth_enabled setting to false. To ensure strong password encryption you should adjust the value for password_auth_pepper and password_auth_stretches appropriately.

Google OAuth2 setup

To use Google OAuth2 authentication you need Google apps set up for your domain and the following configuration options specified:

oauth2_enabled: true
oauth2_apphost: 'MY_APP_ID'
oauth2_secret: 'MY_SECRET'

Setup Cron with Whenever

We have included a sample whenever gem config in config/schedule.rb. Refer to the whenever documentation for instructions on how to integrate it with your deployment. Refer to Heroku scheduler documentation for instructions on how to integrate the rake task with your Heroku deployment.

The default schedule clears log entries and cleans up unused tags daily, and fetches project statuses every 3 minutes.

The fetch project task is what goes out and hits the individual builds. We find that if you do this too frequently it can swamp the builds. On the other hand, you don't want ProjectMonitor displaying stale information. At Pivotal we set it up to run every 3 minutes.

Start workers

The cron job above will add jobs to the queue, which workers will execute. To start running the workers, use the following command:

rake start_workers

The default number of workers is 2, but if you wanted 3 you would call it like this:

rake start_workers[3]

These workers need only be started once per system reboot, and must be running for your project statuses to update. To stop the workers, run this command:

rake stop_workers

The workers are implemented using the delayed_job gem. The workers are configured to have a maximum timeout of 1 minute when polling project status. If you want to change this setting, you can edit config/initializers/delayed_job_config.rb

Start the application


nohup rails server -e production &> projectmonitor.log

Next Steps

Now you need to add a project or two! Keep reading the Configuration section for instructions.


Each build that you want ProjectMonitor to display is called a "project" in ProjectMonitor. You can log in to set up projects by clicking the "Manage Projects" link in the bottom-right corner of the main ProjectMonitor screen. You can either create a user using the console as follows:

rails c production
User.create!(login: 'john', name: 'John Doe', email: '', password: 'password')

Or, if you have set up Google OAuth2 as per above, you can simply log in with Google to create a new user account.

Admin Interface

Click 'manage projects' at the lower right to edit project details.

Add Projects

We have instructions detailing how to add a project.

Importing and Exporting Configurations

You can export your configuration for posterity or to be transferred to another host:

rake projectmonitor:export > ${your_configuration.yml}

Or using heroku:

heroku run rake projectmonitor:export --app projectmonitor-staging > ${your_configuration.yml}

Or you can download it using the configuration endpoint, using curl (or your web browser):

curl --user ${username}:${password} ${your_project_monitor_host}/configuration > ${your_configuration.yml}

NOTE: That heroku doesn't treat STDERR and STDOUT differently so you may get some warnings at the beginning of the generated file that you'll have to remove manually.

It can be imported in a similar way:

rake projectmonitor:import < ${your_configuration.yml}

On heroku or another host which doesn't allow you to directly load files or read from stdin, you'll need to post the file to the configuration endpoint like so:

curl --user ${username}:${password} -F "content=@-" ${your_project_monitor_host}/configuration < ${your_configuration.yml}


Cloud Foundry

To deploy to staging:

cf push -f ./config/cf/manifest-staging.yml

To deploy to production:

cf push -f ./config/cf/manifest-production.yml


To get running on Heroku, after you have cloned and bundled, run the following commands:

NB: These instructions are for the basic authentication strategy.

heroku create
git push heroku master
heroku run rake db:migrate
heroku config:add REST_AUTH_SITE_KEY=<unique, private and long alphanumeric key, e.g. abcd1234edfg78910>
heroku config:add REST_AUTH_DIGEST_STRETCHES=<count of number of times to apply the digest, 10 recommended>
heroku run console

When inside the console, run the creating a new user step above. You should then be able to access your server and start using it.

Ideas and Improvements

Got a burning idea that just needs to be implemented? Check the file for help getting started. Join the google group and share your ideas with the team.

The google group for Project Monitor is projectmonitor_pivotallabs

Copyright (c) 2013 Pivotal Labs. This software is licensed under the MIT License.

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