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Build solution for web apps?

I've searched this forum a bit, but I've not been able to find a definitive answer to my question (apologies if it has been obtusely available and I just didn't see it).

We have two web applications that are n-tier (dbms, object-code, presentation, etc.) that include disparate resources ranging from XML "properties" file to XSL, CSS, JS, VBS, ASP, HTM, and GIF/JPG resources.  All resources are kept in VSS, however, I'm trying to create a simple methodology to managing and automating the Build process each time changes are made to address bugs and features. 

In reality, these two solutions (although serving entirely different industries and use-cases) are VERY similar to the FogBugz appliction, which we use internally (and have been quite pleased with).  As such, I'm struggling with how to automate and manage the entire Build process.

Any ideas and/or tips would be tremendously helpful.  Also, I've noticed that FogBugz has "version" information that must represent the result of milestone Builds; I'm curious as to what disciplines FogCreek uses to manage and automate this process as the application-type is nearly identical to those that we are developing.

A.D. Kent
Tuesday, October 14, 2003

We use a FinalBuilder script (from "a to zed software") which runs nightly or on demand and assembles everything from the full CVS checkout to building the final setup EXE for distribution.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I'm using make to handle that, but my situation is a little different, since I tend to build web apps in C on UNIX.  Internally Microsoft does automatic builds and deployments too.  You might want to check MSDN to see how they're handling it; they've probably got links to the tools, if they aren't already part of Visual Studio.

If that doesn't pan out, nmake and some batch files could be your friend.

Clay Dowling
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

A lot of people also use nant. If you search for nant you'll find some info about it here and elsewhere.

I haven't seen any full end-to-end solutions, though I've put together bits of one myself.

mb
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

You could also look into the multiplatform Ant:  http://ant.apache.org/

which is the inspiration for nant.  nant appears to be a .NET solution, so if that is your architecture, perhaps it is better. 

I would imagine that Ant would do the trick as well.  It most likely has extentions to interface to VSS (or could do so though command calls if not).

Seeker
Thursday, October 16, 2003

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