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Bamboo newbie - how to automatically merge changes from one branch to another

I'm a Jira admin, but a newbie with Bamboo. We have a very old install of Bamboo (4.3), and upgrading is not an option at this point, so please keep that in mind.

 

We use Bitbucket to manage our git branches. We generally have a develop branch, which is the source during our dev cycle (devs check out new branches from develop to work on specific issues, and we do pull requests and merge code back to develop when an issue is complete.) We then have release branches, which are created at code freeze so our QA group has something to test that will not change before going into production. Then we have master, which a release branch gets merged back into after release.

Normally we have no issues with this. But we have a few projects coming up that will require work that spans sprints, and we want to use feature branches for this. We'd create a branch called, for example, projectABCdevelop. For this project, devs, will check out their new branches from this branch. But we need a way to make sure that changes that are being merged into the main develop branch also get merged back into projectABCdevelop. 

It seems like Bamboo should be able to do this, but the admin who set up our Bamboo install has been gone for years, and I've had no training with it. Can anyone tell me if what we want to do is possible with Bamboo, and if so, point me in the right direction of how to set things up? I've been looking at the documentation for our version, but it's kind of overwhelming.

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First of, to state the obvious, Bamboo 4.3 has reached its end of life in November 2014, which means it has not received any security updates since over 3.5 years. If this instance isn't completely locked out of the public internet, even just starting it "is not an option at this point, so please keep that in mind" ;)

Similarly, it simply isn't supported anymore, so as you discovered already, you'll have a hard time to find applicable information (and by extension users who are able to help you).

That being said, you seem to be after Bamboo's Automatic branch merging feature (here's the related info in the 4.3 docs), specifically the Branch Updater merging model that ensures "a branch repo is kept up-to-date with changes to master":

The Branch Updater should be used when you want to:

  • Automatically merge changes from the team's master branch into your feature branch, after a successful build of the master and branch merge.
  • Get notified when the changes on your feature branch are no longer compatible with the team's master branch.

You might also want to read the related section 'Approaches to branching' within Bamboo Best Practice - Branching and DVCS to evaluate whether a current Bamboo version would cover your use case.

Thank you. I'm aware of the issues caused by the age of our install. When I said updating isn't an option, I mean that it's not my call. I've made my recommendations, and explained the security implications, and management has chosen to stay with things the way they are, as they are evaluating a different solution.

 

You're right, I am looking for info on automatic branch merging. What you linked me to is for version 6.6, which is different enough that I don't know if the documentation will help, but I'll see if I can find anything similar in the documentation for our version.

Just in case you haven't found it yet, I actually took the time to look it up and already provided the link about Using automatic merging from the 4.3 docs in parentheses behind the 6.6 one ;)

I did find it myself, but thanks. Now it's just a matter of trying to understand it :)

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