Part 1. Make it happen


A technically savvy programmer and project manager once asked how we’d describe continuous integration (CI) to someone who had never heard of it. We said there are two types of answers, and which one to give depends on how much time the listener has. The longer answer starts with part 1 of the book. The shorter one is not really an answer—it’s another question that can give you an idea about what CI is. Do you remember the last time you released software? That’s the time in the project when you gather all the bits and pieces required to deliver the software to the customer. Was it painful? Yes? Well, that’s where CI can come to the rescue.

In the first part of this book (chapters 1 through 6), we’ll lay the groundwork for a well-designed CI process in .NET. You’ll learn the basics required for any CI system. We’ll start by looking at CI in general. We’ll define the term and talk a little about how to do CI in .NET. After that, we’ll introduce the source control system as part of the CI tool chain that can’t be omitted. We’ll help you choose the right one and introduce it into your day-to-day work.

As a second ingredient that’s required for CI, we’ll describe build automation. We’ll show why you need a single command-build process and how modern XML-based build systems are perfect for the .NET CI process. You’ll also find out how to choose the right CI server to bind all the ingredients into one.