Feeds

The Build Master

One for the Microsoft shops

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Book review Every development methodology worth its salt pays regard to build management, from the most nimble of agile processes to the tools-heavy methodologies that attach the tag of software configuration management (SCM) to the task of managing the build and the deployment of software.

The Build Master book cover And yet ... build management is one of those unsung tasks that makes or breaks a project. Just as a broken testing process delivers broken software, a broken build process delivers broken projects - with slipped schedules, chaotic development and buggy software as the end-results. In The Build Master, Microsoft's Vincent Maraia aims to drag the topic out from the back room and put it out front, as a central part of the development process with all of the respect and the kudos that it deserves.

While one can't fault the aim, whether Maraia succeeds is open to question. Firstly the affiliation to Microsoft should be noted up front. While the book makes a nod towards being agnostic about tools, it has to be said that there's very little mention of non-MS tools. Forget CVS, Subversion, Ant, Maven etc, they either get a cursory mention or no mention at all. On the other hand there's plenty of mention for Visual Source Safe (not all of it complimentary by any means) and the next generation toolsets, such as Visual Studio Team System.

On the other hand tools are just one aspect of build management, and it's the practices as much as the software that count. Here at least there's lots of solid advice on offer, from the problems of nightly builds (which break when there's no one around to fix the problems), to complexities of versioning and issues with security. Most of the advice is backed up with examples and plenty of war stories (including the story of the Klingon version of Windows NT…).

Much of the advice and the processes that Maraia offers are geared to bigger projects, with teams of developers, separate build teams, testers, architects, QA departments and so on. If you're development is on a much lower scale than this, then there's still some useful things to learn but the heavyweight SCM processes that are described might not be as good a fit as they are for the larger-scale projects.

To conclude, this is an interesting read, though large-scale development teams using Microsoft tools and platforms are likely to get the most benefit from it. ®

The Build Master

Verdict: Interesting but most suited to big Microsoft development shops

Author: Vincent Maraia

Publisher: Addison Wesley

ISBN: 0321332059

Media: Book

Normal Price: £28.99

Reg price: (Inc. Tax) £23.19

You Save: £5.80

Buy this book at Cash & Carrion!


Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.