Build Automation Tools Overview
What are Build Automation Tools?
Build automation tools are part of the software development lifecycle where source code is compiled into machine code by a build script. Once the code is completed it is integrated into a shared environment. There it interacts with other software components built by other developers. Before the code is integrated steps are taken to ensure the new code does not negatively impact other developers’ work within the development team.
Typically build automation is completed with a scripting language that enables the developer to link modules and processes within the compilation process. This scripting encompasses several tasks including documentation, testing, compilation, and distribution of the binary software code.
Build automation is a crucial step in moving towards a continuous delivery model and is an important part of DevOps, or best practices to establish a more agile relationship between Development and IT Operations.
Build Automation Tools Features & Capabilities
Build automation tools offer the following feature set:
Extensive library of plugins
Build management tools
Source code management tools
Various available UI
Compatibility with popular IDE
Parallel tests and build execution
Version conflict resolution
Collaborative debugging tools
Incremental compilation (change only compiling)
Rebuild minimization for faster build delivery
Automated events & testing
Automated initializing & reinitializing of framework
Code & resource updating on the fly
Build cache, cacheable tasks
Build metrics, performance tracking
Most popular build automation tools are open-source and free. Some build automation tools available at cost for an annual or monthly license, and are priced according to a number of factors. These may include number of containers or nodes, parallelism desired, or number of build agents. Paid plans boast advantages such as faster build and deployment, scalability, and security features appropriate for enterprises and larger teams.