I just had my first experience with CruiseControl.NET. I have to say that I was very impressed! The setup was relatively simple, and the features are pretty sweet! The dashboard and the CCTray utility are great! Configuring the project to build and deploy to the DEV servers took about 8 hours from start to finish, but that was for a noob. I think I could do it much faster next time.
I’ve used TFS and it’s team build on previous projects and had good results. TFS is pretty nice, but it comes with the Team System price tag, which is out of reach in some cases. It’s nice to know that there are alternatives that work as well, if not (dare I say) better.
The comfort that an automated build and CI bring to a project is significant. On the way home, I was thinking that the automated build is kind of like the “breath of life” to a project. Without it, a project is kind of “dead”. It’s just a bunch of code. Once you get that code compiling and running, it kind of brings it to life. I feel much better about interacting with a living project, than a bunch of dead code.