home | contact | site map | careers |
Network Security  
Work Force Dev  
Software development is full of best practices which are often talked about but seem to be rarely done. One of the most basic, and valuable, of these is a fully automated build and test process that allows a team to build and test their software many times a day. The idea of a daily build has been talked about a lot. EWI Technologies recommends it as a best practice and it's been long known as a feature of the Microsoft development approach. We agree with the XP community, however, in saying that daily builds are a minimum. A fully automated process that allows you to build several times a day is both achievable and well worth the effort.
We are using the term Continuous Integration, a term used as one of the practices of XP (Extreme Programming). However we recognize that the practice has been around for a long time and is used by plenty of folks that would never consider XP for their work. We've been using XP as a touchstone in our software development process and that influences a lot of our terminology and practices. However you can use continuous integration without using any other parts of XP - indeed we think it's an essential part of any competent software development activity.

There are several parts to making an automated daily build work
  • Keep a single place where all the source code lives and where anyone can obtain the current sources from (and previous versions)
  • Automate the build process so that anyone can use a single command to build the system from the sources
  • Automate the testing so that you can run a good suite of tests on the system at any time with a single command
  • Make sure anyone can get a current executable which you are confident is the best executable so far.
All of this takes a certain amount of discipline. We've found that it takes a lot of energy to introduce it into a project. We've also found that once installed, it doesn't take too much effort to keep it up.
Copyright © 2013- 2017 EWI Technologies.
P.O. Box 12204 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone: 919-358-7714
Fax: 919-321-1774