Build automation

Build automation

Build automation is the act of scripting or automating a wide variety of tasks that a software developer will do in their day-to-day activities including things like:
* compiling computer source code into binary code
* packaging binary code
* running tests
* deployment to production systems
* creating documentation and or release notesThis automated build is in contrast to a manual build process where a person has to perform multiple, often tedious and error prone tasks.The goal of this automation is to create a one-step process for turning source code into a working system. This is done to save time and to reduce errors.

Advantages of build automation

* Improve product quality
* Reduce boring jobs
* Eliminate dependencies on key people
* Have history of builds and releases in order to investigate issues
* Save time and money - Because of the reasons listed above. [ ]

Types of automation

* Commanded automation such as a user running a script on the command line
* Scheduled automation such as a continuous integration server running a nightly build
* Triggered automation such as a continuous integration server running a build on every commit to a version control system.


One specific form of build automation is the automatic generation of Makefiles. This is accomplished by tools like
* GNU Automake
* CMake
* imake
* qmake
* Apache Ant

Requirements of a build system

Basic requirements:
# Frequent or overnight builds to catch problems early [ ] [ ] [ ] .

Optional requirements: [ ]
# Generate release notes and or other documentation such as HTML help pages.
# Build status reporting
# Test pass or fail reporting
# Summary of the features added/modified/deleted with each new build

Build automation software


* Mike Clark: "Pragmatic Project Automation", The Pragmatic Programmers ISBN:0-9745140-3-9

ee also

* BuildBot
* Continuous integration
* Release engineering
* Unit testing

External links

* [ Best practices in build automation]
* [ Capacity Planning]

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