Chapter 1. Defining a Build

Philosophy: The build is a piece of software and should be treated as such. The build is among the most heavily used and complex pieces of software in the development group and should be treated as such.

Danny Glasser, Microsoft developer in the Systems Group, March 9, 1991

The first thing we should do is define what a build is. What Danny describes in the previous quotation is important. The purpose of a build is to transform code written in any computer language into an executable binary. The end result of a software build is a collection of files that produce a product in a distributable package. In this case, package can mean a standalone application, Web service, compact disc, hotfix, or bug fix.

If you do not think it is worthwhile to spend resources on a good build process, your product will not be successful. I have been on a couple of product teams at Microsoft that have failed, and I have seen many others fail because they were not able to consistently build and test all of the product's code. I also see this at customer sites when I am reviewing their build process. The companies that have clean, crisp, reliable build and release processes are more successful than the ones with ad hoc, insufficient processes.

The Build Master(c) Microsoft's Software Configuration Management Best Practices
The Build Master: Microsofts Software Configuration Management Best Practices
ISBN: 0321332059
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 186

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