Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Meta Build Tools

Does anyone here have experience with meta-build tools that run on top of Ant, such as, CruiseControl?

Currently, we use Ant to drive the compilation and packaging tasks. This has worked out great because the  developers can use the same build file to build locally. The problem is the checkout and build number management on the build machine. This is currently done using batch files for historical reasons (we used batch files + make before). We also have a batch file to release a given build which copies the files to the "release" location, and should label and branch, but doesn't at the moment. Maintaining these files is painful because batch scripting is so limited.

Can someone recommend a good tool that can automate checkout/assign build number/run build cycle, as well as, handle branching/labeling from build number.

igor
Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I know of two general purpose build tools:

Visual Build Pro
http://www.visualbuild.com/

FinalBuilder
http://www.atozedsoftware.com/finalbuilder/

These are Windows tools. I don't work with *nix, so I don't know of build tools on that OS.

Hector
Wednesday, April 09, 2003

How about merely writing some scripts and cron job to perform this automation?  I read the CruiseControl FAQ, and it doesn't look like much more than that...

Nat Ersoz
Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Ant can also be exendant through the creation of new tasks in Java.  It is open source and was designed to be customized.  The O'Reilly book on Ant gives some of the interface information.  Also since it has it's source avalible it is posible to pick it apart and add things if you have the time.

A Software Build Guy
Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I have a separate Ant script that does the build numbering and labelling in SourceSafe. It checks out some build information from SS, creates a new build folder based on that, then runs the main build script in that folder. If the main build works, it increments the build numbers, labels and checks the updated build info back in.

Not sure about branching - there doesn't seem to be an existing Ant task for it, but you could probably write something yourself based on the existing Ant VSS tasks.

Matt
Thursday, April 10, 2003

No experience with it, but there's also Anthill: http://www.urbancode.com/projects/anthill/default.jsp
I saw a presentation on it, and it sounds like it's designed to do the kind of thing you're talking about.  They have a free regular version, and a non-free Pro version.

Colin MacDonald
Thursday, April 10, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home