What is build automation?
Build automation is the process of creating and building software without direct human intervention. With build automation, tasks that were traditionally the responsibility of a developer are standardized, to become scripted, repeatable, automated steps to moving a new software forward to its final form.
Without automation, software development follows a single-track, step-by-step progression from architecture to deployment. However, this results in a cumbersome, slow, manual process that slows the lifecycle and leads to errors.
With automation, however, an organization can become flexible, agile, and responsive to changing demands of the business landscape. Because many software build processes are repetitive, they are excellent candidates for automation. And build automation sets the stage for a number of benefits, while providing the foundation for more sophisticated DevOps processes.
Often, build automation involves creating repeatable, standardized processes for compiling source code into binary code, packaging or compressing binary code, creating installers, and running automated tests, and updating to a centralized repository.
A build process may be partially automated, but is generally considered fully automated when these steps require no direct human intervention, can be performed at any time, and use only the information contained within the centralized source code control repository.