Getting Started with CA APM Developer Community Contributions

Document created by Chris Kline Employee on Nov 6, 2014Last modified by Haroon Ahmed on May 27, 2015
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So you think you'd like to contribute to the CA APM Dev Community?  That's great!  This community is designed as a place where you can learn about building extensions, plugins, connectors, or anything else for APM.  Once built, we encourage you to share your best work back with the APM community.


What Should I (or Shouldn't I) Contribute?


There's a number of different content types (like EPA plugins!) that are great candidates to share.  Using the new RESTful API, it's easier than ever to build integrations that send content into CA APM. Learn more.


Contribution Process


We have a simple process that utilizes GitHub:

  1. Understand licensing (see below).  Sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA).
  2. Sign up or login to your GitHub account. Learn more about the basics of Git and GitHub here.
  3. Code! Put your code in a repository on your private or company GitHub account.
  4. Get (from here: CA-APM/ca-apm-fieldpack-examples · GitHub) and include the and LICENSE files in your project.  You will need to update all relevant sections in the  Note that the LICENSE file should not be changed.
  5. For new projects: create a new issue here: Also see additional requirements below.
    1. Issue title should be “new request” and the description should explain your work and make it clear why it would be a good contribution to the community.
    2. Copy this template into the issue and answer the questions:

      ### What does it do?

      ### How does it work? (EPA plugin, PBD file, name formatter, etc.)

      ### What versions of APM does it work with?

      ### What versions of APM has it been tested with?

      ### Do you have any automated tests? Describe them or attach test results.

      ### Provide the link to your public GitHub repository so we can clone your content.

  6. For an existing project:
    1. Report an issue or make a feature request using the Issues manager for the repo.  See below for details. Or even better:
    2. Fork the repository on GitHub.
    3. Add features or fix bugs.  Code!
    4. Request your code be merged; create a Github Pull Request.  See details below.
  7. The CA APM Engineering Team or CA APM Core Committers will perform a Code Review on the pull request.  We will communicate with you via comments on the GitHub issue. See details below.
  8. Build your fieldpack package, create a release, and upload to the APM community.  See details below.


Licensing and Contributor License Agreements (CLA)


Licensing is very important to open source projects. It helps ensure the software continues to be available under the terms that the author desired.

Depending on the needs of the project, CA APM uses one of two possible licenses. Each project should have the appropriate license specified in the LICENSE file. One option is to use the Apache License 2.0. This license does not require that work be contributed back to the community. Another option is to use the Eclipse 1.0 license to strike a balance between open contribution and allowing you to use the software as you wish.

      1. Eclipse Public License - There are some great descriptions online that explain EPL in plain English.  EPL requires that any addition or extension to a work be republished and available.  This license will be used in nearly all cases.
      2. Apache Public License - There are also some great descriptions that explain AL in plain English.  AL does not require that derivative works be republished and made available.  APM-Dev will only use AL when publishing example code so that developers are freely able to tweak, change, and build upon that code without being required to share it.  For example, if you wish to embed RESTful calls to EPAgent inside your own XYZsoftware, you can use the example code we publish under AL without worrying about needing to publish your actual XYZsoftware.

The license tells you what rights you have that are provided by the copyright holder. It is important that the contributor fully understands what rights they are licensing and agrees to them. Sometimes the copyright holder isn't the contributor, most often when the contributor is doing work for a company.

To make a good faith effort to ensure these criteria are met, CA APM requires an Contributor License Agreement (CLA) for contributions. This agreement helps ensure you are aware of the terms of the license you are contributing your copyrighted works under, which helps to prevent the inclusion of works in the projects that the contributor does not hold the rights to share.

It only takes a few minutes to complete a CLA.You can complete our: CLA online at (link will vary with each project).

Should you wish to use different licensing, feel free to post your contributions to another repository and link back in a field pack document (below).


Obvious Fix Policy


Small contributions such as fixing spelling errors, where the content is small enough to not be considered intellectual property, can usually be submitted by a contributor as a patch without a CLA.  As a rule of thumb, changes are obvious fixes if they do not introduce any new functionality or creative thinking. As long as the change does not affect functionality, some likely examples include the following:

      • Spelling / grammar fixes
      • Typo correction, white space and formatting changes
      • Comment clean up
      • Bug fixes that change default return values or error codes stored in constants
      • Adding logging messages or debugging output
      • Changes to ‘metadata’ files like Gemfile, .gitignore, build scripts, etc.
      • Moving source files from one directory or package to another
      • Contribution of PBD, typeviews, or other configuration files (not considered to be code)

Whenever you invoke the “obvious fix” rule, please say so in your commit message:

commit 360acb3f82d55d762b0cf9c1d1e99b144a8ed3b5
Author: klinebch <>
Date: Fri Oct 10 11:30:11 2014 -0500

Fix typo in help text.

Obvious fix.

Developer Office Hours


We hold regular "office hours" on CA Communities that you can join to review contributions together, ask questions about contributing, or just hang out with CA APM Software employees. The regularly scheduled are announced on the APM-Dev community homepage.

Pull Requests and Code Review


When you're finished with your work submit your work for review:

CA APM is enterprise-grade software and community contributions have the potential to adversely affect the core product. We strive to ensure high quality throughout the CA APM experience. In order to ensure this, we require a couple of things for all pull requests to CA APM:

      1. Tests: To ensure high quality code and protect against future regressions, we require all the code in CA APM to have at least unit test coverage.
      2. Doc: Ensure you have at least a satisfactory document.  When you make the pull request, it would be nice to include the description of the problem you are solving with your change. You can use CA APM Issue Template (below) in the description section of the pull request.
      3. Dependencies: Your code should not have any of the following within your submissions:
        1. cryptographic libraries (embedded/included)
        2. CA-proprietary code/libraries (such as agent/CLW jar files)
        3. 3rd-party libraries (in most cases you should simply link to their hosted locations in your build configurations, e.g. using maven).  They can taint the license of the entire project if not handled correctly.


CA APM Code Review Process


The APM-Dev Code Review process is triggered on Github pull requests or issues for new projects. Once you create a pull request, the CA APM Engineering Team or CA APM Core Committers will review your code and respond to you with any feedback they might have via comments on the GitHub issue. The process at this point is as follows:

      1. Two thumbs-ups are required from the CA APM Engineering Team or CA APM Core Committers for all merges.
      2. When ready, your pull request will be tagged with label Ready For Merge.
      3. Your patch will be merged into master including necessary documentation updates and you will be included in

Our goal is to have patches merged in four weeks after they are marked to be merged.


Build a Fieldpack and Post a Release


Once your code has been merged, the final step is to create a release package for those who wish to download a ready-to-use asset.  The GitHub repository has a "releases" feature that allows tags from the repo to be linked and advertised with a zip/tar file for download.  Once created, you should create a new fieldpack entry in the MAIN APM community (not the APM-Dev community!)  The APM-Dev community is to be used for collaboration while building fieldpacks, but the finished products always belong in the main APM community. They should be uploaded as "files" or "documents" and tagged with "fieldpack" (one word only).  This will cause your submission to be picked up automatically for searching and cataloging!  Now everyone can find it!


Issue Tracking


Issue Tracking is handled using Github Issues.

Issues include both problems and feature requests (related to the project; nonrelated requests should go to APM-Dev Ideation). Issues should be filed under the project/repository to which they correspond. Each project/repository has a Issues link on Github on the right-side nav menu. You can also go directly to the issues pages by visiting<repo name>/issues.

In order to decrease the back and forth an issues and help us get to the bottom of them quickly we use below issue template. You can copy paste this code into the issue you are opening and edit it accordingly.

### Version: [Version of the project installed]
### Environment: [Details about the environment such as the Operating System, cookbook details, etc...]
### Scenario: [What you are trying to achieve and you can't?]
### Steps to Reproduce: [If you are filing an issue what are the things we need to do in order to reproduce your problem?]
### Expected Result: [What are you expecting to happen as the consequence of above reproduction steps?]
### Actual Result: [What actually happens after the reproduction steps?]

That's it!  We intentionally try to keep the process level to a minimum.  If you have ideas on how we can further streamline or simplify our process, speak up!  Use the ASK A QUESTION link on the homepage to start the dialog.