Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FinalBuilder Server replacement Continua CI

For quite some time VSoft Technologies the makers of FinalBuilder have been working on a replacement for FinalBuilder Server, that they had called FindBuilder Server vNext +1.    They just announced a public beta of this new product called Continua CI.

I have played with this software and if your build is not automated it's required to take a look.   If your build is automated it worth taking a look.  For those who have used FinalBuilder Server it will take you by surprise as they are really not alike.    But many things that I had to build special scripts to do with FinalBuilder server are now just taken care of for you.

For example:
The basic architecture of FinalBuilder Server required a dependency on the FinalBuilder desktop product and typically builds would run on a single server.   With Continua CI you now have a server that does nothing more than provide the web interface, and store information about the builds and trigger agents to do the build.    The server and agent can be on the same machine if desired or you could have multiple agents configured with different stages of your build running on each.  

Where I work we have a 25 minute build, test, deploy process that occurs with each commit.    As we look at Continua CI we are rethinking our current build process to span multiple machines with the goal to get this down to the 5-10 minute range, something I think is very possible with this product without a huge effort.

Feel free to read the documentation on the product to get a better understanding of what it offers.  Remember that the product is in beta so the documentation is still a work in process, but it's more than enough to get you going.

But the biggest news that they announced was how it was licensed.   

Out of the box, Free of charge, Continua supports :

Unlimited Users
Unlimited Projects
Unlimited Configurations
1 Local Agent(on the same machine as the server)
1 Concurrent Build. 

After that you can purchase concurrent build licenses. Once you have at least 1 license installed, you can use as many remote agents as you like, agents do not take up licenses, concurrent builds do.

If we use Continua the way we used FinalBuilder Server before it will now cost us $0.  Granted we current have user 12 licenses that we have maintenance on,  so they will convert to 6 concurrent builds licenses.   
Which may be more than we need but I suspect we could use at least 4 and if other teams here use it then we might need quite a few more.

The pricing is right to try, it was fairly easy to setup, and get a CI server going.


  1. Have you tried Hudson/Jenkins? It's used inside embarcadero to do their continuous integration builds, using MSBUILD from the command line running via Hudson. I personally found it pretty decent, and it's free and open source.


  2. Caution: Citing Embarcadero as a reference for confidence in build quality is potentially counter-productive. ;)

  3. Frankly, I find rude when someone shows a new product like this one and someone posts "why don't use product X?" - it is very much alike if any post about Delphi would get posts like "why don't you try Java? It is free and it is used in a lot of companies" (feel free to change Java with whatever you like - used Java because that's what Hudson is written with).

  4. I love FinalBuilder. We currently use it in concert with Jenkins. However, this might be intriguing if the licensing is favorable.