CI Factory - my first day of real use - phew!

A friend from the London .NET users group, Peter Ibbotson, on hearing that I had started looking into Cruise Control .NET for continuous integration said that before doing anything I should look at Zi Makki's blog about CIFactory, a master setup tool for creating a source code tree complete with various tools such as SubVersion, NCover, NDepends all hooked into CruiseControl.NET with NAnt as the build script automating the processing.

Well, I've just spent a challenging but very satisfying day and a half getting to grips with CI Factory and I'm very impressed.  I know the principles of TDD and CI, but being a one man micro-ISV and not having the luck to work for a client with a TDD/CI software methodology I've never got round to sorting my own development out. 

CI Factory provides an ideal kickoff point as you get a large number of standard modules, configured on the fly for your 'new' project in your repository.  It doesn't have to be a really new project, as long as you don't have a mega project with 100's of projects you can probably move your code into the CI Factory Production tree quite quickly.

For those starting out new I cannot overstate how important the screen cast training videos were to my getting the system up and running so quickly.  The longer video based on beta gives you a great installation guide to setting up the default options correctly.  It helped that I run SubVersion as my source control system but it was so good I downloaded the whole lot to my local drive (not trivial with various .swf, .flv and .xml files being required) so I can browse the video under a local IIS when not connected to the Internet.

The only real issues I had were configuring the system to work on a development machine where only source code and data is on my C: partition, with my programs all in C:\Program Files.  There'll be an accompanying blog on how to solve this issue.  However, few people are probably in this position so they'll have a much easier time.

Many thanks to Jay Flowers, the developer behind CIFactory for replying very quickly with my D: drive queries. A patient man, as I'm not someone who has dealt with NAnt scripts before and had to be helped out a bit more than should have been necessary.

Print | posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 4:13 PM

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