If you are a developer, chances are that you’ve probably heard about or even use build automation software (also known as build tools). The purpose of these software is to automate some tasks associated with building software. For example, a build automation software can help you to compile an app source code, run tests of the app, create an installer and even install the app on a remote server.
Build tools are an essential part of the DevOps process. They help to save time, highlight potential issues, and ease the work of developers. There are scores of build automation software on the market, so how do you know which ones to choose? Well, that’s the purpose of this article. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 build automation software in 2019.
This is a Java-based open-source build automation server. Jenkins has been around for over a decade and is used by many developers. It features up to 1,400 plugins which broaden the list of what it can do. Jenkins can be used to compile the source code, test, and deploy an app among other things. You can run Jenkins as a servlet in a Java app server like Apache Tomcat, or it can be launched as a standalone app. Jenkins can even be used to share your app with different devices.
2. Apache Ant
This is another Java-based, open source build tool. Ant has been around for nearly two decades now. Although it is considered “old,” it is still very useful. Apache Ant is very flexible. You can customize it based on the tasks you need this software to perform. Like other build automation software, Apache Ant can be used to compile the source code of an app, and run it. Ant writes codes in XML – this is one of the reasons why it is preferred by some developers.
If you want a modern version of Apache Ant, I recommend Gradle. One of the main differences between the two is that instead of XML, Gradle uses Apache Groove, domain-specific language (DSL). Gradle is useful for every step in the app development process. It can do everything that Ant can do, and much more, and it also supports incremental builds.
This Java-based build automation software was released by JetBrains in 2006. This is a commercial software. However, you can request a free license if you are working on an open source project. TeamCity has the same features as other build tools. In addition, it has up to 100 build configurations, and you can run up to three builds simultaneously. This is a powerful tool, and it produces sleek, modern apps.
This app from the Apache Software Foundation has been around since 2004. Maven has been described as a modern version of Apache Ant. Although this is a Java-based build tool, it supports projects built written in other programming languages. It uses conventions for building, and you only need to write exceptions. With Maven, you can easily write plugins for a specific task. Also, you can use it for multiple projects concurrently. Maven depends on XML.
6. Travis CI
This is an open source continuous integration service. It is used to build and test projects hosted on GitHub. This service comes with a vast library of pre-installed database and services. Also, it tests Pull Requests before merging to avoid potential issues. Travis CI is written in Ruby but supports different programming languages.
This open source build automation software was released in 2000. You can use CMake to compile, test, and package a cross-platform code. This is a versatile app. It can be linked with third-party libraries and works with your native build environment. It is perfect for working on large C++ projects and can be used for apps that are sourced from different libraries. It creates a directory tree for your app.
This is an interaction build tool released in 2008. sbt stands for Scala Build Tool. Although it is mainly used for Scala projects, it also supports Java. sbt provides all the standard tools that you will find in the standard build automation software and more, but it is specifically for Scala projects. It also manages dependencies. sbt comes with several plugins, and you can add other features to the software.
This build automation software from Microsoft that works with XML code. Ir was released in 2003 as a free, open-source build tool. MSBuild is part of the .NET Framework. You can configure the build process to perform specific tasks. MSBuild is similar to Ant in many ways, and many believe it is better. Although you can generate files to use on MSBuild from Visual Studio, it is not compulsory.
This build too and continuous deployment server is written in Java and was released in 2007. Although it may not be as popular as some of the top build automation software, it is equally good. It can run multiple builds concurrently. It also provides an in-depth analysis of the problems with your software if bugs are found. It can be used to import data from Jenkins and can be integrated with other software from Atlassian. This is a premium software, and it is not open source.
These are some of the top build automation tools on the market. Although these are some of the best build tools out there, there are many others that may be equally good. When choosing which build automation software to use, you must analyze the requirements of your project and the features that each tool provides. Some of the build tools highlighted above are more suited for teamwork than others. Also, some can be integrated with other apps. These are the things to consider when choosing which build automation tool to use. Ultimately, there is “no” best build tool – it all depends on which particular tool suits the project that you’re working on.
Author: Rahul Sharma