Build Number

Each build that is released out of the Central Build Lab should have a unique version stamp (also known as the build number). This number should be incremented just before a build is started. Don't use a date for a build number or mix dates into a version number simply because there are so many date formats out there that it can be difficult to standardize on one. Also, if you have more than one build on a given date, the naming can get tricky. Stick with an n=n+1 build number. For example, if you release build 100 in the morning and rebuild and release your code in the afternoon, the afternoon build should be build 101. If you were to use a date for the build number, say 010105, what would your afternoon build number be? 010105.1? This can get rather confusing.

It is also a good idea to touch all the files just prior to releasing the build so that you get a current date/time stamp on the files. By "touching" the files, I simply mean using a tool (touch.exe) to modify the date/time stamp on a file. There are several free tools available for you to download, or you can write one yourself. Touching the files helps in the tracking process of the files and keeps all of the dates and times consistent in a build release. It also eliminates the need to include the current date in a build number. You already have the date by just looking at the file properties.

In addition, try to avoid tools that inject version numbers into binaries (as a post-build step). Although the tools might seem reliable, they introduce an instability factor into your released binaries by hacking hexadecimal code. Most Q/A teams become distressed if this happens to the binaries they are testing and justifiably so. The build number should be built into the binary or document files.

This would be a good time to review Chapter 2, "Source Tree Configuration for Multiple Sites and Parallel (Multi-Version) Development Work," or jump ahead to Chapter 16 unless you are able to follow this without the visuals.

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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