The only thing that's changed is that instead of having a human being sitting in front of a computer doing each step, we now have a series of 16 scripts doing it for us on a server in a datacenter.
The way I see building in Xojo is it comes in three levels:
- Building Manually. Developer hits Build and then assembles the final product by hand. We've all done that at one time or another, and usually when our products are simple enough or simply in flux.
- Build Automation Steps. Developer hits build and the repeatable steps are done in the IDE. The things that can't be done in the IDE are done manually (like cross platform installers).
- Continuous Integration. Developer checks a change into their version control system and an automatic build is triggered. Sometime in the not too distant future, a tested, packaged product is ready for delivery without need of human intervention.
It's a natural progression, and you move from one to the next when your process outgrows the previous one. Until this summer, all of our products were built using levels 1 & 2. We've been working fastidiously to get everything moved to level 3, so a human being doesn't need to babysit the process.
Did you happen to notice how many betas we had in r3, and how quickly they came? That was made possible by our new build process...