Thursday, March 20, 2003

Continuous Integration: A Step Beyond Daily Builds

Today I was talking to Craig Larman about his forthcoming book on a manager's guide to agile development processes. He mentioned that daily builds are for wimps and real developers do "continuous integration." The configuration management system checks for updates to code every few minutes, runs unit tests, runs exceptance tests, publishes results automatically on the web, and emails any offending developers on the need to fix their code. 100 builds a day is not uncommon.

Sounds like we all should be doing this and there are a couple of open source products to help - Anthill, Cruise Control, Krysalis Centipede, and Maven.

Continuous Integration
Martin Fowler and Matthew Foemmel, ThoughtWorks

An important part of any software development process is getting reliable builds of the software. Despite it's importance, we are often surprised when this isn't done. Here we discuss the process that Matt has put into place on a major project at ThoughtWorks, a process that is increasingly used throughout the company. It stresses a fully automated and reproducible build, including testing, that runs many times a day. This allows each developer to integrate daily thus reducing integration problems.


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