To automate any manual process, you need to use tools. This chapter introduced a set of tools that, when used together, can automate the complete software build and release process. Perhaps the key similarity between each of these tools is their degree of configurability. IBM Rational ClearCase and ClearQuest both provide a strong set of features that let you customize the products to support and automate your own process. The same is true of the other toolsin particular, Apache Ant and CruiseControl, which together provide an environment for you to script a repeatable and automated software build process.
Since Software Build and Release Management is essentially a part of Software Configuration Management, this chapter also described some of the main capabilities of ClearCase. The next chapter uses these capabilities to create the basic environment that is required to execute your builds and releases.