Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Matt Lonstine, Glenda Sims

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.

Testing
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.

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.

Variable
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.

References

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"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.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
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...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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 ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.