The new version of Meister, OpenMake’s build automation tool adds new integration to Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio to make the build process itself a more integral part of code development.
Meister 7.1 adds plug-ins to both Eclipse and Visual Studio so that builds are assembled automatically by interrogating the IDE’s project files. That changes the normal workflow, where developers complete their coding, check the code into a source code control system, then throw the job of assembling the build to a specialist who pieces together the script manually or with the editor of a build automation tool.
Traditionally, build automation tools such as Meister have automated the workflow for building scripts, but until now it was a separate process from development that was extremely labor intensive (often taking hours).
Instead, Meister 7.1 continually interrogates the project file so it kept the XML file that configures the build up to date. Then, when you’re ready to check in your finished code to the source code control system, it re-generates only the aspects of the build applying to the code that has been changed or refactored (reorganized). That saves time, not only from eliminating the need for a specialist to put the build together, but it also eliminates the task of recreating builds for code that has not changed.
Admittedly, Microsoft’s MSBuild has similar automation features for code developed with Visual Studio. The catch however is that it can only assemble builds for code produced under the same version of Visual Studio. So if you have the Visual Studio 2005 (for now, the latest version), MSBuild cannot deal with code developed using the previous Visual Studio.NET version. Meister 7.1 overcomes that gap, plus adding the capability to assemble builds using Java or other non-.NET languages.
Rounding out the new release are web-based reporting facilities, which means that you don’t have to use Eclipse’s or Visual Studio’s reporting facilities to assess the state of your builds. And OpenMake is introducing new mentoring services to help software development teams improve their build processes.
Meister 7.1 is available now.