Swarm is where development teams collaborate online. Members can easily examine all project history, review and check in code or documents, and monitor the status of their continuous integration builds from a single interface.
All Swarm projects are on the left, ordered alphabetically and listing the number of team members and followers. After logging in you can limit your view to projects where you are a member or projects which you are following. These features make it easier to find projects, even among a long list of items. And you can always switch back to the classic sorting option if you prefer.
Any Swarm user can follow any project at any time.
As soon as you log in, Swarm greets you with a personalized dashboard, providing you with a list of reviews awaiting your input. This “Action Item Dashboard” lets you know which reviews need your attention before they can advance, making it easier for you to prioritize your work.
A review typically consists of a commit, which involves a few files that were added, deleted, or edited. You can link reviews to specific jobs or issues so users can track which jobs are associated with each review.
Your list of reviews, or “Reviews to Act On,” can be filtered by the specific project, by role, or by the author of the specific review. You also have the ability to bookmark the filters for future use.
Users can change the author of a review by switching between users if one member is no longer on a project or has shifted responsibility.
Users have the ability to better communicate review details with markdown text embedded directly into comments. Direct your comments to a specific user with “at” mentions that populate an interface drop down of user names.
Swarm’s Review Tab allows users to filter by reviews they have voted up or voted down, making it easier to navigate to reviews where your input is frequently needed. You can also filter lists by your comment activity within any review thread.
The files link enables you to browse files in the depot. Click here to download all the files in a selected directory. Click on a file to see a preview and click here to download it individually.
The commits link allows you to browse the history of checkins.
Jobs are a component of the defect tracking system. It records bugs found or improvement requests.
Thanks to Swarm’s phase-gate approach to reviews, each project can be set up so that there is a clear distinction between moderators and members. This enables the ability to require a select handful of dedicated individuals to approve, or vote up, for a review to move forward.
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When you select a project, a project-specific toolbar appears.
Here you can customize your view by clicking on the color-coded filter labels, which are still available in the classic activity feed.
A workflow may go like this: we are logged into Swarm as User 1. He is a member of the DiffBugs project. User 2, also a member of the DiffBugs project, initiated a Swarm review in P4V, our visual client that enables users and admins to manage versioned data in Helix, on changelist 2756. He has made an edit to the local directory helper test java file. All members of the DiffBugs project, including User 1, who have customized their notification preferences to receive an email when an edit is made to a file in a review, will receive an email notification of the Swarm review request numbered 2756. User 1 goes to his Action Items Dashboards and locates the review.
Since Swarm can be configured to run code through automated build and test environments associated with a project, User 1 sees that User 2’s review, shows a build fail. He views the code and sees the potential problem. He wants User 3’s input so he clicks on the line of code in question and “AT” mentions her from the comment dropdown. User 3 is closely associated with the project and receives an email notification since she specifically filtered her notification preferences to include items from the DiffBugs project. The email link goes directly to the review in question in Swarm.
After User 3 logs in she can respond here by clicking add a comment.
Collaborative workflow is also supported by reviews ability to vote up or down reviews, and any member of a project can approve or approve and commit a review here. Swarm simplifies collaboration on content review which speeds up workflow and accelerates releases.