Java IoT Authors: Charles Araujo, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Managing a Standardized Build Process Outside of the Eclipse IDE

Point-and-click solutions won't cut it

Post-Processing Steps
As with the pre-processing tasks, the post-processing tasks should avoid items such as copying and renaming files. If an archive has to be given a specific name then that name should be handled on the archive task instead of doing a copy or rename. The use of multiple task dependencies should also be minimized to ensure easy traceability and IT compliance.

One of the common items to do in the post-processing phase is to test. These tests are usually unit tests such as Junit. But these tests can also include some basic tests about the archive itself, such as checking to see if the correct deployment descriptor and properties files have been used or checking the number of files in the archive to verify at a basic level if all of the source was compiled. Another useful test is to check to see if the archive contains the correct manifest and directory structure. Validating these items before deployment can save you the embarrassment of a production failure. It's best if these items are extracted and e-mailed to a tester to verify their accuracy before deployment.

The deployment task should be one of the last steps in the build process. It should be dependent on the Testing task and the Testing task dependent on the Build task. But it shouldn't be the default task that gets executed. You want to give the user the option of just building and testing or building, testing and deploying. This lets someone just deploy.

Beyond the pre-processing, compiling, and post-processing steps in your Ant/XML scripts, managing variables is also critical in creating a more standardized manual process.

Using variables lets an Ant/XML script be written to execute on multiple machines. This is a cautionary tale, however, because using too many variables makes an Ant/XML script hard to read and debug. It's best to use variables for the directory path on the Jar files in the CLASSPATH and for the source code locations. For example, instead of using:

    c:\jdk2\lib\rt.jar you would use ${JAVAHOME}\lib\rt.jar

This reference will let different users have different working locations. Again, the directory structure of the source code and libraries should be laid out efficiently for builds.

Machine-Specific Variables
If there are any machine-specific items referenced in the Ant/XML script then they should be referenced through a variable and abstracted out. When you write the Ant/XML script assume that you won't be the only one using the script.

By following a standard guideline, your Ant/XML scripts can become easier for another developer in your organization to follow and so more traceable. This is ultimately what you're striving for. Traceability in your build process can only be achieved if someone else can follow the build steps. By maintaining some standard sections such as pre-processing, compiling, and post-processing, your scripts should follow a basic structure that can be easily identified and traced.

Commercial Eclipse plug-ins are available that can substantially minimize the need for Ant/XML scripting. These tools provide a reusable build framework through a standardized interface.

Commercial build tools that simply execute your Ant/XML scripts may be helpful in managing the many scripts that are created over time; however, tools that minimize your scripting effort are preferable because they create a solid reusable framework once that can be reused over and over.

The inherent problem of Ant/XML scripting is that the scripts are written for one jar and one application at a time. This creates a lot of redundancy. Redundancy equates to higher cost and lower quality. Just as you strive for reuse when developing applications, you should strive for reuse in your application build framework. Using scripts to do this is close to impossible because manual Ant/XML scripts contain hard-coded application references.

Commercial tools such as Openmake by Catalyst Systems Corporation, Perfect Build by CodeFast, and Builder by Serena address the scripting issue directly by providing a reusable framework in your build process. Open Source tools such as Maven will also assist you in minimizing the amount of scripting necessary for each jar file you create.

As upper management demands more accountability from the development process, the build component will be scrutinized more closely. A point-and-click process from the Eclipse IDE won't meet the new IT mandates. Neither will overly complicated nor non-standardized build scripts. Eventually you'll be forced out of the comfort of your point-and-click IDE and into a more standardized method. Your choices will be to rely on Open Source languages such as Ant/XML and a lot of hard work or a commercial tool to help you with the job. Regardless of your future build requirements, the effort in creating standards for the build is critical and well worth the effort.


More Stories By Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor is an experienced senior developer, bringing 17 years of expertise with client/server and mainframe application development and system integration. Prior to founding Catalyst Systems Corporation, he served as a lead technical consultant responsible for the successful implementation of applications into the production environment. Steve received his BS in computer science/mathematics from the University of Illinois-CU.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Archi...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...