What Is Build Management In The Software Development Process?
Software development is not an easy process. It involves a lot of trial and error. Not only that, but software development also includes various steps and stages. There are many tools called build tools that assist in the process of software creation and development. These tools make the task of developing software much easier and more convenient. Building tools or even applications such as maven, ant, and even gradle and some of the popular ones.
Are you wondering what exactly is build management? Do you have no idea what happens during software development? If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, you’re in the right hands! Don’t worry. We’re going to run by some important points about build management and how it is related to software development. This guide will break down every little thing you need to know about what exactly build management is.
Understanding the basics of build management
Understanding build management is not difficult at all. It is basically the task of automatically compiling raw codes or source codes into useable packages and files. Aspects such as the accuracy of the compilation, scheduling, and even automating are all taken care of by the management portion. Build management basically controls a software’s life cycle. It controls the build of the software in the various stages.
Sometimes you might also see synonyms for build management like build automation. Do not get confused. Both imply the same thing. It involves the turning and computing of source codes into releasable and functioning binaries. It also performs tests to ensure that every single piece of individual code behave as it should without any glitch or defect.
Build management usually takes place in five different types of environments or stages. This means that the planning, controlling of the builds, and even managing and scheduling occur in different environments. Let’s take a look at what exactly these environments or stages are in the process of software development.
- Development Environment
Development is the first stage in the process of build management. It is the stage where the development team writes the coding for the software. The development environment is something that is accessible only to this team. No other team in the software creation process can access this environment. The team of developers will make use of this environment to write test codes and cases.
- QA Environment
Once the development team runs and writes the test codes, the second stage is the QA environment. This stage belongs to the testing team. What happens in this stage is very simple to understand. So, basically, the codes written by the developers in the first stage gets tested here. Code execution takes place in this environment, and only the QA team has access to this environment. The codes for the software gets tested to see if any discrepancies or errors creep up.
- User Acceptance Testing Environment
This is the stage when another type of testing is done. This type of testing is usually done by business users. The software gets tested from a business perspective, and this usually happens once all the system testing gets completed by the QA team. User Acceptance Testing environment is also accessible only to business users. But in certain cases where help is a need, the QA team can also get access.
- Staging and Production Environment
Staging and production environments are the last stages of the software’s development. These are the stages and environments where neither the development nor the QA team has access. The staging environment is somewhat similar to the production environment. In the production environment, the software gets accessed only by real users.
How to smoothly run build management for software development
Like every other thing, software creating and development also needs to run smoothly. The process of developing a software is not an easy task at the least. So much effort goes into it. So, it is only natural that developers will want to make the process as easy, smooth, and convenient as possible. There are many great tips and ways to achieve this. The process of build management to develop a software will get easier and simpler for you if you follow these easy-to-follow steps.
- Gather requirements and plan the build
This is a crucial stage where all the requirements and needs of the client should be properly documented. Finding out what your client or customers want is key to delivering great software in the end. You should map out a process to go about how and when the build will get completed. Plan out what to include or exclude in the build. Once this is done, you can begin automating your build seamlessly.
- Try to build using automation
It does not come as a surprise that things that get automated tend to save much more time than if done manually. If you automate your builds, the result be will that it will consume lesser time to finish the build. Moreover, it will also reduce the number of errors in the build itself. Build errors can take up much of your time. So make sure you try automating your builds.
- It is good to know manual building
One cannot always rely on automated building. This is because of the possibility that sometimes errors can also creep up in automated building. Moreover, there are chances that the people who wrote the code are no longer part of the company or team. There are also chances of change in patches, operating systems, or even glitches and upgrades that can disrupt the automated building process. This will affect the testing and even release dates. In such cases, knowing how to build manually comes in handy!
- Keep checking and updating
Being reckless or careless has no place in build management. There is a crucial need for continuous checking and updating of old codes with newer codes. This is so that errors or even bugs get detected earlier on rather than in the later stages, such as in the production stage. Detection of bugs in the later stages can be costly both in terms of labor hours and even to the company’s name. So, developers should constantly check their codes and update their builds. Testing is key here for example if we look at the development of Free Fuckbook, a top-rated free sex site and app, they had to do extensive tests to debug their innovative feature of location based searching before being able to offer it with confidence upon their launch.
Software developers and the different teams that turn codes into useable files and packages have tons of crucial and important work to do. Developing a software from scratch is a task that requires so many skills and knowledge. Build management is just one of the ways to make software development easier, convenient, and more organized.
Build management consists of a number of planned out stages and environments where a software gets coded, tested, and finally released. If you’re someone who is new to the world of software development, this easy-to-follow guide will surely clear up any confusions you have.