Simple and reliable building blocks
Stoat introduces the concept of a single, updatable "dashboard" comment in each pull request. This significantly reduces the "tool noise" in a pull request by allowing devs to design a comment template that cleanly lays out all related build information.
Implementing a comment that can be updated by multiple commits and builds without race conditions requires a combination of GitHub actions, a GitHub application, and state that's stored outside of GitHub. Often, devs will use a combination of GitHub actions to attempt to build and updatable comment and end up with a fairly fragile system. Using a lightweight vendor for this system can save a lot of time debugging edge case behavior.
Stoat also provides declarative configuration with a simple config file. This makes it very simple to configure static hosting for new build outputs and provides a clear mental model of what data went into building a specific comment. Moving all the complexity to the config file also eliminates a lot of the GitHub action complexity involving piping inputs and outputs between steps that plagues many build configurations.
Finally, Stoat doesn't require any API keys or GitHub secrets to be able to store repository-related data. Instead,
Stoat uses the
GITHUB_TOKEN passed into its GitHub actions to determine what operations an action is allowed to
perform, and whether it can upload data or files to the Stoat servers.
Stoat allows developers to aggregate data across builds without configuring a separate database or
other persistence layer. Again, it does this without requiring additional API keys or GitHub secrets. In the future,
we will allow aggregating data across branches (for example, comparing build times on
main vs your current pull request's branch).
Stoat will also be able to pull in data from outside of GitHub.
Access hidden data
Build data is often siloed away. Spending one or two minutes waiting for GitHub action logs to load to view test results for every failed job is unacceptable. Far too many metrics that can be calculated as part of the build are relegated to reactive, post-release dashboards on DataDog or Metabase. Data that can detect and prevent future problems should be exposed directly to developers as part of their daily development process (in pull requests). Stoat is the only tool that helps developers bring metrics to the forefront of their development process.
Stoat comments (and in the future, interactive UIs) are fully customizable with templates and a general-purpose JSON aggregation engine. Templating, combined with an ever-growing catalogue of Stoat plugins, makes it easier and easier to build internal developer tools into your build system.
See end-to-end examples of how engineers get value out of Stoat, tailored for different types of engineers: