What is a build tool?

What are build tools?

Build tools are programs that automate the creation of executable
applications from source code (e.g., .apk for an Android app). Building
incorporates compiling,linking and packaging the code into a usable or
executable form.

Basically build automation is the act of scripting or automating a
wide variety of tasks that software developers do in their day-to-day
activities like:

  1. Downloading dependencies.
  2. Compiling source code into binary code.
  3. Packaging that binary code.
  4. Running tests.
  5. Deployment to production systems.

Why do we use build tools or build automation?

In small projects, developers will often manually invoke the build
process. This is not practical for larger projects, where it is very
hard to keep track of what needs to be built, in what sequence and
what dependencies there are in the building process. Using an
automation tool allows the build process to be more consistent.

Various build tools available(Naming only few):

  1. For java – Ant,Maven,Gradle.
  2. For .NET framework – NAnt
  3. c# – MsBuild.

For further reading you can refer following links:

1.Build automation

2.List of build automation software


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