IBM Demos: Just kill me now

I’m looking at various build automation products and was starting with a short list: FinalBuilder, VisualBuild, BuildIt and IBM’s BuildForge. So, having saturated myself on product info with the others (hey, I don’t have the luxury of time to really sit down and get to grips with a whole bunch of products, and I’m garageing this because the client isn’t really my baliwick) I started downloading demos.

IBM’s site has demo links but they lead to web movies. So I fired up the link for the BuildForge Express Edition demo. I can only conclude, IBM really don’t want to sell it.

FWIW: The caveat I’m looking for in the build solution is a hook to Visual SourceSafe so that the tool can pull the source out of our repository. Hooks to SVN and/or Perforce would be nice since both of those are worthy candidates. It would also be nice to be able to tie it to smoke tests: an automatic build-attempt when you try to check code in that rejects the checkin if the resulting code refuses to compile.


Sorry KFS, The rats are just not big enough for IBM to deal with. They have been moving down the chain and going for smaller customers, but those customers have to have deep pockets, or can prove to be a charity case for Marketing to use.

Erh – it’s about the video, not about IBM purchaseability. The guy doing the presentation is barely awake and seems to be distracted. You couldn’t make a less inspiring product demonstration if you threatened to force frozen turkeys into random oriffices of potential customers.

The only products I know of are Java oriented so they won’t help you much. It is a shame as they have the features you want (hook to source control repositories, test integration…).

Good luck in your search!

Have you looked at Buildbot? It supports Perforce and SVN, but not VSS as far as I can tell. I’m not sure if it can roll back changes that break the build, but at least it can send an e-mail to the whole office telling everyone that you just did so :)

FinalBuilder is looking pretty excellent right now – it has built in hooks for all the things we want to do on Windows: It supports VSS, SVN, CVS, Perforce and 8 more RCS that I don’t know, Visual Studio/.NET builds, WISE Installer builds, etc.

Ramp and I both got projects up and running under it within a few minutes and it has a web-managed remote interface (“FinalBuilder Server” version). Nice in-line help and tutorials. Definitely up to the task.

– Oliver

Definitely not cheap though… but if it manages to save even 10% of your time, it should pay for a site license in a year, let alone the time of everyone else.

That’s the thing, we won’t need a site license – one license of FinalBuilder Server (which includes finalbuilder) so that a producer can fire off builds on a single build box. I realize we “could do so much more” but that there is an instantly quantifiable time saver and savings to the company. Step up to nightly builds and a little coder time adding some testing functionality to the client so it can auto-build and test (e.g. basic smoke test: does this client work offline? can it log into the dev cluster, post a mission and spawn?) and its not so instant but easy to make a good solid case for.

Any QA that CRS can automate is of direct benefit to the company’s health and bottom line.

Amen to that – I’ve often wondered how hard it would be (and how useful) to have a set of slave boxes that do nothing but automatic “wind tunnel” tests on every release, over and over, and yelp if something suddenly changes hugely in the performance of an aircraft.

Would you like to consider adding our Parabuild to the list? It takes 5 min. to install and 15 minutes to the first build run.


Slava Imeshev

I’ll do that, thanks Slava, it looks interesting.

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