Nightly Software Building and Tagging

By Teala Spitzbarth <>

This email describes how one company uses CVS to do a nightly build and tag; here are some interesting editted snips from this email.

Can anyone explain the point of this? CVS can checkout a project as it appeared at a specific date and time, without using a tag. Regular tags therefore seem superfluous. I'd skip straight to the next bit. --jammin

I guess just to make it super-obvious when looking at a list of tags, build logs, automated emails, and so on. --Wim

It's so that you can tell what changed between the two points. When in a distributed team (12 timezones apart New Zealand/UK) it can be very difficult to find a "quiet period" where no one is checking code in. So, to have a hope of producing something consistent, we found it necessary to use tags. Then it is possible to do the whole "on hook", "responsible for failed build" kind of thing. In a more agile environment, with continuous builds, this becomes even more important, since the set of changes (and developers) between any two points is smaller. It's all about attribution, and increasing the peer pressure on individuals to keep the code base in a useable state. :) -- Jason Pollock

A tool that automates nightly builds is Anthill Build Management Server.

Parabuild Server supports both continuos integration and stable scheduled (nightly/daily) builds.

... back to Software Engineering Resources