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Case Study: MainSoft and FinalBuilder™


Patrick Philippot, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), owner of MainSoft and independent consultant, talks about how FinalBuilder allowed him to automate his build process and integrate multiple configurations, saving time and avoiding costly mistakes.

[Note: This article is also available for download as a PDF here]

Overview


 “Day to day at MainSoft, FinalBuilder has given us two main advantage: saving time and avoiding mistakes. In fact, avoiding mistakes frees up even more time that we would otherwise have dedicated to fixing those mistakes!"

Challenges faced


"For over a year and a half, we have been distributing a parental control product that is sold electronically through the Internet. At the beginning, we had only one version of the product that was downloadable from our website and the usual download sites. The product has gained significant momentum recently, and we have begun to work with distributors who distribute the product through their own channels. Of course, each distributor needs the application customised for their individual needs. For example, they want a "Buy Now" link that redirects to their own webpage. Also, since the product is multilingual (7 languages supported), different links were required for each language, version and vendor."
"Another problem was the software protection. Some vendors want the version they are distributing to be protected with a different license scheme (or key template). So, the build for one vendor has to be protected differently than the build for another vendor. Altogether we have dozens of different configurations that need to be managed."
"Every time we add a new partner, we have to add new build configurations. Before, each configuration was built manually, which meant they were error-prone and very time consuming - just a big nightmare! It was time to automate the whole process. FinalBuilder solved all our problems overnight (well, actually in a few hours) - after all, that's what it's made for."

Why MainSoft chose FinalBuilder


"Although there are other similar tools on the market, one thing was immediately obvious when I gave FinalBuilder a try: ease of use and built-in support for just about every tool a developer needs. I created a build project in FinalBuilder extremely quickly even though our software consists of components compiled with very different tools from different vendors, Microsoft Visual C++ and Borland Delphi among others. Everything was supported. The user interface is very refined and the developers obviously pay great attention to detail. The built-in actions are self-explanatory, and we only occasionally needed to look up features in the manual. The decision was easy."

Return on Investment


"The ROI [Return on Investment] was immediate. Instead of spending hours manually launching the tools necessary to produce the many different builds, I only had to click a single button and wait a few minutes until everything was done."
"FinalBuilder is installed on my development system and the output is feeding various servers on the network as well as an image of the web site. After we test each new build the entire website including the installers is uploaded."

Recommended


"Yes, we definitively recommend FinalBuilder. The product is mature, stable, easy to use and the support is responsive. It saves me time - exactly what MainSoft needs! It also gives us confidence in our own products, as we know all the combinations are built correctly without any human error."

About MainSoft


MainSoft was established in 1993 by Patrick Philippot, a former system engineer at IBM how is now an independent consultant. Patrick Philippot is the author of computer books awarded by IBM and has written numerous articles for computer magazines. He has also developed numerous shareware and freeware software packages.

About MainSoft's Products


 PC TimeWatch is a program aimed at parents wanting to restrict the time their children spend on their computer, on the Internet and on specific programs. It's not a "spying" program, it just allows to specify when and how long a specific program or Windows itself may be accessed by a given user. For more information: http://ww.pctimewatch.com

About VSoft Technologies


 VSoft Technologies have been in business since 1996, and are focused on developing automation software for software developers, software configuration managers, system administrators, network administrators and IT professionals. Both FinalBuilder and Automise save time and money by providing easy to use, flexible and powerful solutions to automation tasks. Visit our website at http://www.finalbuilder.com/ to find out more information and to download fully functional 30 day evaluation editions.
FinalBuilder™ is a Trade Mark of VSoft Technologies Pty Ltd. All other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

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Comments

Anupam
# Anupam
Thursday, March 13, 2008 2:48 AM
Hey Patrick, I am also evaluating the tool for my build process.
After reading your feedback I guess it works well with the normal BUILD process, I tried my hands on it too and found it is simply great !!.

I am also into product development in .NET and the problem I am struggling with is to provide service packs, hot fixes, or patches for a particular version of my product to a group of customers.

Do you have any idea how we can use the tool to create PATCHes or kind of Service Packs?

Appreciate your help..

Thanks,
-Anupam

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