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If you're part of a software development team that performs multiple daily builds, then you might replace the term "continuous integration" with "continuous build failure." A company called Electric Cloud may offer a solution. The software production tools maker later this month will begin shipping ElectricCommander 3.0, the latest version of its build automation system that can now check or "preflight" newly modified source code to determine if it will correctly build into an application. Version 3.0 also now integrates with Eclipse and Visual Studio.

ElectricCommander automates the process of assembling components that make up a software program and "building" them into a running application. It's independent of development language (C/C++, Java, .NET, etc.) and build utility (Ant, Maven, Make, etc.), and supports numerous scripting languages, including perl, Python, bash and Tcl. It also works with software configuration management systems AccuRev, ClearCase, Perforce, Subversion and Synergy, if you have one.

"The preflight build and test functionality enables developers to run builds and tests on production hardware before checking in code to the SCM system, thereby catching errors before they impact the productivity of the rest of the team," said Electric Cloud CEO Mike Maciag. The tool helps eliminate the problem of a successful build on one machine and a failure on another due to differences in machine type and configuration, tool versions or platform.

The tool works by applying an overlay of developer changes through production build and test procedures across all targets, giving developers the chance to commit only if their changes worked. "Automated preflight and tests put the power to compile and test each change before check-in," according to a company document. This early feedback about the potential failure of a build helps enable continuous successful integration.

If you want to see a live demo and happen to be at the Austin Game Developers Conference in Austin, Texas, today (the final day) between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm local time, stop at booth 431. The company did not disclose pricing or an exact availability date.

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