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Software Build


Definition

The Software Build, otherwise known as integration, is the process of taking all source code files that make up an application and compiling them into build artifacts, such as binaries or executables.

The only way to accurately predict build results, ensure build reproducibility and guarantee minimal development down time due to build issues is to fully automate the build process.


The Build

Build automation is the process of combining all the steps necessary to compile the source code into build artifacts into a one step process. This can include many different types of tasks depending on the technologies involved.


History

During early software development, even small software projects were easily compiled into a small number of computer executables. However, larger software projects were not so easily assembled.

It was not just a matter of compiling the individual components of an application, but the linking them together. This is the process of telling the individual compiled components where to find things they require or depend on to run.



During the early days of software development, these were normally manual steps after the compilation. In large software applications, this could take a tremendous amount of effort and time. Which would lend itself to human error.

It did not take long to realize building needed to be automated just like the compiling. Software building is the process of documenting and automating these steps.

Just like the maturity of the actual software building process. A maturity of the software development process was underway.

Early software engineering processes flowed from the traditional engineering practices. The phased approach to software engineering was often employed.

Requirement->Development->Building->Testing->Release

One of the long standing problems for software development teams have been the integration of the new code and the stability of the application. In the early days of software engineering, the integration could be so unpredictable and painful that many development teams would put off integration until the end.

There were many reasons for this, larger development teams would be comprised of many smaller isolated development teams. In an effort to complete their individual pieces, they would work in isolation.

In addition, these teams often would not communicate between themselves. This procrastination would lead to the problem, that no one could accurately predict how long it would take to complete the integration.

Often when the other development teams would try to integrate with the newly delivered code, they would have to do major reengineering of their code.

This could be a very long and time consuming process.

There are other issues with this serial approach, it blocked any testing that could be done during the early part of the development process. With speed-to-market becoming so important in the competitive world of software, development required a more iterative approach.

As development practices matured and improved, a more iterative approach to software development emerged.

A paradigm shift moved the integration phase from after the coding phase to happen in parallel. This also happened for testing. This dramatically reduced the overall timeline for software development and increased the stability of the code during the development process.


Software Build Best Practices

  • Build Early and Build Often
  • Fully Automate the Build Process
  • Daily full system builds
  • Continuous Integration builds
  • Creating a repeatable build process
  • Using a secure and dedicated build server
  • Building in a clean workspace
  • Require all necessary files be checked-in prior to the build
  • Label the source code in each build with a unique identifier.
  • Create a BOM, bill of materials, of the source code versions for each build
  • Create a build manifest of the build artifacts.
  • Create and keep your build logs
  • Send build status emails
  • Track release baselines of your software build


Build Automation

Build Automation is the key to implementing a successful Agile development methodology.

In its basic form, the "Build" is the conversion of source code into binaries.

Build Automation


Software Build Tool Reviews

Please Share your Software Build Tool Reviews and Experiences...

Software Build Tool Reviews

Software Build Tools

Software Build Tools is a collection of tools used to create automated software builds.

This list of tools is growing and the functionality of the tools is expanding.

These tools have come along way in standardizing and simplifying the SCM Engineer's life in regarding to the automation of the software build.


Build Best Practices

Following Software Build Best Practices helps ensure that your development environment is always in a state to build.

For more information about Build Best Practices



Software Build Table of Contents

Software Build Build automation is the process of combining all the steps necessary to compile the source code into build artifacts into a one step process. This can include many different types of tasks depending on the technologies involved.

Agile Continuous Integration Agile Continuous Integration naturally supports the Agile Development process of small and frequent releases. Continuous Integration, CI, is the process of building your application on every new source code check-in. Although, considered a relatively new idea, the concept behind CI has been around for as long as development teams have been writing code.

Automated Builds Automated Build Process - Automating your software build process is a fundamental step in maturing your software development process. The only way to accurately predict build results, ensure build reproducibility and guarantee minimal development down time due to build issues is to fully automate the build process.

Build Automation Build Automation is the key to implementing a successful Agile development methodology. In its basic form The Build is the conversion of source code into binaries. However, there is much more to building software than just compiling code.

Build Management Build Management is the process of assembling all the components of a software application into an installable software product. For development teams looking to increase efficiencies and improve quality of their software, one of the most important places focus is the software build process.

Continuous Integration Continuous Integration, CI, is the process of building your application on every new source code check in. Although, considered a relatively new idea, the concept behind CI has been around for as long as development teams have been writing code. CI is an integral part of Software Configuration Management, SCM.

CruiseControl CruiseControl is an open source tool setup specifically to perform continuous integration software builds. This page is high level overview of CC and its functionality and benefits. Software build tools like CC are an integral part of your Software Configuration Management System.

CruiseControl.Net CruiseControl.Net is an open source tool that facilitates the integration of software builds. This page is an overview of the CC.Net Tool and Process.

Maven Maven is a tool that can now be used for building and managing any Java-based project.

Software Build Best Practices Software Build Best Practices are the procedures and processes that ensure software build integrity, repeatability and reproducibility. Best Practices are practices and techniques that are the most effective way of ensuring repeatability of a process. Build Best Practices are an integral part of Software Configuration Management, SCM.


SCMWise Table of Contents

Software Configuration Management Software Configuration Management an inventory of Software Configuration Management pages and information.

Software Build Software Build automation is the process of combining all the steps necessary to compile the source code into build artifacts into a one step process. This can include many different types of tasks depending on the technologies involved.

SCM Jobs SCM jobs can be a very challenging and rewarding career. Potential candidates should be able to handle multiple high priority tasks without cracking under the pressure. Must be able to see the big picture while being focused on highly technical tasks and issues.

Software Configuration Management Tools Software Configuration Management Tools are the tools and utilities used in administering source code, building software, install packaging, defect tracking, change management and managing software configurations.

Software Version Control Version Control is a system or tool that captures the changes to a source code file, website or document.

Software Change Management Software Change Management is the process of controlling change to software.

Software Development Life Cycle Software Development Life Cycle is the process in which you encapsulate your software development. Specifically meaning, it is the process and tools you use to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of your software development efforts.

Configuration Management Configuration Management, CM, is a process model established to maintain the consistency and integrity of a system or software product throughout it's lifecycle.

Define Project Management Define Project Management is a body of knowledge concerned with principles, techniques, and tools used in initiating, planning, executing, controlling and completing projects.

Web Content Management Software Web Content Management Software is a list of the top CMS Software and Tools used to create, edit, administrate and publish website content.

Definition of Information Technology Definition of Information Technology attempts to define and clarify the many aspects that surround IT.



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