deployment is part of software development life cycle (sdlc). i never feel deployment process is important, till i responsible for it in my company. any re-deployment require qc team re-test the application. even worst, if we deployed the application to customer.

i alway make mistakes. sometime, i forgot to include certain external fxps into installation package; included incorrect version of dbc and etc.

in order to minimize my mistakes, i have deployment checklist which noted step by step actions, small programs to automate certain actions such as :

  • copy updated files to deployment machine
  • check if any excluded prg already included in installation script
  • regenerate view dbc (with help of gendbcx)
  • and etc

as what i did to minimize my mistakes as above are not enough. because i get new mistake in every deployment.

i am looking for any robust automate build product can help. i found a product called finalbuilder from southwest fox conference website. finalbuilder
is an automated build and release management solution for windows
software developers and scm professionals.  use finalbuilder to define,
debug, maintain, run and schedule reliable and repeatable build
it is developed by vsoft technologies.

i sent email to vsoft technologies for enquiry. they replied, finalbuilder integrated with some well-known version control products such as visual source safe, sourcegear vault and etc; distribution software such as wise installation and installshield; support .net, vbscript, jscript and com actions. they also mentioned currently finalbuilder doesn't support vfp actions as this moment. however, we still can use execute program action to achieve it (how? i don't know). a vfp action is on their to-do list. more info here.

as i know, rick borup is using finalbuilder and will be presenting in swfox conference. i hope rick can publish whitepaper about this after swfox conference.

anyone has experience using finalbuilder? any other good automate build product?

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