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Build Automation and Cloud Build

July 27, 2021 | Lata Naik

Blog / Build Automation and Cloud Build

In software application development lifecycle build automation is one of the important areas.Build automation involves automating some of the processes involved in releasing a software into production. It involves compiling of source code, fetching dependencies, building docker images and running testing.

Build automation eliminates a lot of manual steps in releasing a software into the production environment.With build automation, some of the tasks that developers traditionally did are standardized to become scripted, repeatable and automated.

However, with automation, the organisation can become flexible, agile and responsive to the changing demands of the business landscape. Since many software build processes are repetitive, they are excellent candidates for automation. Build automation sets the stage for a number of benefits and provides the foundation for more sophisticated DevOps processes.

Build automation often involves creating repeatable, standardised processes for compiling source code into binary code, packing code, creating installers, running automated tests, and updating to a centralised repository.

Some of the benefits of Build Automation:

Build automation is critical to DevOps, as it needs to be established before the organisation can implement other DevOps processes, including continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment. In addition to advancing DevOps processes towards maturity and accelerating its benefits, building automation on its own provides a number of benefits, including:

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  • Can help reduce errors compared to the manual process.
  • It streamlines the software delivery process and helps in moving a project forward to the next stage quickly. In addition, with fewer errors, less time is needed to investigate and address problems in the build of software.
  • When the manual building steps are automated, developers can focus their time on other impactful tasks
  • Automation tools provide transparency and help in identifying the process optimization areas. It gives a clear view to the stakeholders of the software, what is happening and helps in easily analyzing the issues.
  • When the software grows in terms of complexity and size, the manual process is more prone to errors.Here automation can accommodate the growing complexity of the software.

About Cloud Build

Cloud Build is a service that allows you to run your builds on the Google Cloud Platform.Cloud build can import source code from a variety of repositories or cloud storage spaces, run a build according to your instructions, and generate objects like Docker containers or Java archives.

Cloud build is the serverless CI/CD platform.Cloud Build will allow us to develop complete workflows to quickly build our code, containerize and deploy it to VMs, k8s or serverless for instance.

It essentially operates with something called “Triggers” that includes a setup for how Cloud Build will be triggered. We might say that our triggers represent pipelines.

Cloud Build will run your build as a series of build steps, where each build step is run in a Docker container. Running build steps is analogous to executing commands in a script.

Here’s a flow diagram of setup :

Cloud Build

Some of the features of Cloud Build:

  • Builds extremely fast
    Access machines which are connected through Google’s global network to significantly reduce your build time. Run builds on high-level CPU VMs, cache source code, images, other dependencies which further improve the speed of your build.
  • Automate deployments
    Create pipelines as part of the steps you are building to automate deployments. Deploy with built-in Google Kubernetes Engine, App Engine, Cloud Functions, and Firebase integrations. Use Cloud Build Spinnaker to create and run complex pipelines.
  • Support for multi-clouds
    Deploy to multiple clouds as part of the CI/CD pipeline. Cloud Build comes with built-in images that have languages and tools already installed. Similarly, Cloud Build’s containerized tasks are fully portable across clouds.
  • Commit to deploy within minutes
    Going from PR to building, testing, and deploying can’t be simpler. Set up triggers to build, test, or deploy source code automatically when you push changes to GitHub, Cloud Source Repositories, or the Bitbucket repository.
  • Unparalleled Privacy
    Run builds on the security infrastructure protected by Google Cloud. Get full control over who can build and view your builds, what source code can be used, and where your build artefacts can be stored.
  • Support for the Native Docker
    Just import your existing Docker file to get it started. Press images directly to Docker image storage repositories, such as Docker Hub and Container Registry. Automate deployments for continuous delivery to Google Kubernetes Engine or Cloud Run.
  • Identifying vulnerabilities
    Identify the vulnerabilities of your container image package. Automatically scan the vulnerabilities of Ubuntu, Debian, and Alpine packages.