ColdFusion Developer’s Journal: Intro to Ant – Automate and Improve Your Build and Deploy Process

“Maybe your build and deploy process for your latest application
is fine – you type a single command and your build process
automatically retrieves your application from the source control
system, configures the application appropriately for the target
environment, and copies all the necessary files to the production
servers while you head to the coffee shop for your morning cup of
caffeine and the newspaper. But I know that the reality for the
vast majority of projects I’ve seen (including many of my own
applications!) are built and deployed using a written multistep
checklist – some steps automated by simple shell scripts and some
done by hand. With time a scarce commodity on most projects, it’s
not a surprise that anything other than the ColdFusion application
itself gets little, if any, attention.

“But how many times have you personally been burned by a bad
build or deploy? Maybe forgetting to copy a custom tag to the
CFusionMXCustomTags directory? Or deploying the wrong version of
a ColdFusion template? Maybe you forgot to toggle the data source
name from the development server to the production server? Or
neglected to disable some debugging code? The list goes on. How
much time did you waste finding and fixing the problem? Odds are it
was a lot, and that the problem happened at the least opportune
time, like during a major production release! If there was a
simple, free, cross-platform, extensible tool that would let you
write automated build and deploy scripts, wouldn’t it make sense to
use it…?”


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