By Vincent ParrettOn December 14, 2009
We don't usually have a published roadmap. I generally don't like to talk too much about the next version until I have something to show (ie when we are close to beta), however it's been a while since we release FB6 and some customers have asked what our plans are.
I will say that FinalBuilder and FinalBuilder Server are being actively worked on. Below is just a general outline of what we are up to :
1) Full Unicode support. This is something that we have been working on for the last year. It meant finding replacements for many libraries and components we use, the biggest of which was the Active Scripting support. We ended up having to write our own active scripting library as the old one was impossible to move forward with (the vendor has long since disappeared). This work is mostly completed.
2) A new IDE - with the ability to open multiple projects, and hopefully be able to step into included projects. This required some major re-architecting of the core and the IDE and that is something we are still working on.
3) General enhancements to existing actions and some new actions. As usual, we have a long todo list to keep us busy.
FinalBuilder Server 7.0
FinalBuilder Server 7.0 will be a revision of the FBServer 6.0 code base. (Note that this has changed from my forum post in Nov. due to resourcing issues).
1) Support for more version control triggers. MKS, Clearcase and possibly Git have been identified as popular targets.
2) Enhancements to the user interface.. cleaning up html, more use of client side script to reduce postbacks.
3) Performance enhancements where possible.
We will also be looking at feature requests to see what else we can implement, but many will be implemented in a future product (see below).
FinalBuilder Server vNext + 1
Along side the developement of FinalBuilder, we have had another project running over the last year that was intended to be FinalBuilder Server 7. Due to a lack of resources (or more to the point, a lack of success in recruiting) we had to rethink our plans for this product. It's a large project, and it became clear over the last few weeks that it was not going to be ready to release alongside FinalBuilder 7. This project was born out of the feature requests and feedback from users, and an in depth look at what people were really asking for and why, as well as our own future needs (we are our own best customer!). It was clear quite early on that the architecture of FinalBuilder Server was not capable of supporting some of the features, and neither was ASP.NET.
So we started fresh. FB Server vNext (actual product name yet to be decided) was designed from outset to support work flow, build agents (possibly also on other platforms), tight integration with bug tracking systems and version control. We are also focusing more on the release management side of things.. management of build artifacts, release notes, tracking which issues are related to which builds, which checkins are related to which builds etc.
Now what you are probably wanting to hear is when will the next versions be released. I'm not going to make any promises here, but we are aiming for FinalBuilder 7 and FBServer 7 at the end of Q1 next year. FinalBuilder Server vNext will come later in the year.
The biggest blocking issue for us at the moment is a lack of manpower (or woman power!). We are finding it hard to recruit suitable people. Canberra is a difficult place to run a software business, we have to compete with the many (both federal and ACT) government departments for people... and despite the election promises the government has only gotten larger over the last 2 years. We will continue our recruitment drive in the new year (but feel free to submit your resume - if you have the right to work and live in Australia).
Hi René<br><br>No sorry, we were not able to aquire a working copy of clearcase for the development. IBM wanted us to pay several thousands of dollars for a 1 year license.<br><br>We did add Script based triggers though, so if you are familiar with cleartool you can create your own triggers.<br><br>
Hi Jamie<br><br>We've tried remote developers in the past and it hasn't worked out. <br>
A ClearCase Trigger isn't really released in the new FinalBuilder 7, right?
I must admit that I figured your build server product might need to be Desktop and Web based to do all the workflow features. Design process in the desktop, report results in the Web.<br>Have you guy's thought of working with other small businesses and developers in Australia as an alternative to hiring full time? <br>I'm happy to offer my services as a .net developer. Love your product, so working on it would be even better. I'm up in Brisbane and Skype video and GoTo Meeting products allow you to work globally.
The current release version of FinalBuilder 6 supports TFS2010 via it's source control and work item actions, although I believe some more work has been done on this and is undergoing testing. <br><br>Support for integration into TFS2010 will be available with the next major release of FinalBuilder (will be entering beta in a week or two). The TFS2008 integration does not work with TFS2010 as way too much has changed, so the integration will consist of an activity that you can drop into your build work flow. This has been completed and is undergoing testing at the moment (there was zero doco to work with for this so it's been quite a struggle!).
When will you have TFS 2010 support?
Yeah I read unemployment is at 9% ! As for moving, well I did consider moving the office to Brisbane a while back, but sadly my employees at the time were not too keen on that idea ;) (neither was my wife and kids!).
Come to the United States! we have lots of unemployed engineers! (all over)
Hi Marius<br><br>Yes, we have already implemented all of those features, but there is still more to be done. <br><br><br>
Thanks for the updates:) We are looking forward to check the FB7.<br>The build agents seem very interesting.<br><br>If you are aware of the CITCON open conferences, we talked a lot lately about build pipelines lately and also about sharing configuration on different environments (Dev, Test, Production).<br><br>Do you look in those directions? Maybe for FB8 ...<br><br>Regards,<br>Marius