Review: FinalBuilder 2.0
EUR 299 Developer/EUR 399 Enterprise
Atozed Computer Software Ltd.
There are a bunch of automated build utilities out there, ranging
from batch files that drive everything from the command line, through
the XML-driven Ant and Nant, to fullblown GUI applications. FinalBuilder
is my build utility of choice, and with 2.0 Atozed has added a batch of
new features to an already impressive piece of software.
To set up a build script in FinalBuilder, you drop a series of actions
into a sequence. An action might be copying a file, or checking
something out of source code control, or calling a compiler. Each action
has properties to set exactly what it does, and there's a scripting
interface to let you customize things even further.
With version 2.0, the IDE has been completely rebuilt from the ground
up. New features include the ability to call multiple action lists (sort
of like adding subroutines to your build process), variable watches,
better logging, and speed improvements.
The number of actions in 2.0 is vastly increased over 1.0. 1.0 supported
SourceSafe, Perforce, and CVS for source code control; 2.0 adds
StarTeam, Vault, and Team Coherence. You'll also find new actions for
getting files from a Web server, sending ICQ messages, registering DLLs
and OCXs, asking questions of the user while a build is going on, and
more. Of course there are plenty of compilers, help builders, and so on
supported. Plus, you can run any command line or Windows application you
care to, with the result that pretty much any process can be automated.
With 2.0 there's an Enterprise Edition that adds new high-end actions.
These include burning CDs, executing SQL statements or DTS packages on
MS SQL Server, working with WMI, running XSLT transformations, and
controlling Windows services.
Many people don't like using GUI tools for builds, but I wouldn't be
without one. As far as I'm concerned, FinalBuilder is an essential part
of my software development process. If you want to see how it might fit
into yours, you can download a 30-day trial.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.