The new project is really exciting. Not that we didn’t expect that, the number of new technologies we get to explore is incredible.

I’ve just finished setting up an automatic build and deployment (of a desktop application) environment consisting of SVN+Nant+CruiseControl+ClickOnce. The system is centered around CruiseControl which detects any commit in the trunk in the SVN repository and every time it’s changed, it calls Nant to pull source code from our SVN, at which point it compiles the source into binary artifacts and put them up on our release server. This means that every time you change anything and commit it to the repository – a minute or two later – any tester can get a working copy of your build to look at, without any intervention on your part, but there’s more…

The app can check on every start whether there is a new build available, so you can basically be pretty sure the tester has the latest copy of your app rather than wondering if they failed to update it. This alone takes a lot of pain off of the testing. It should also help out customers in the deployment of the highly distributed system that we’re working on.

It even installs a shortcut on the user’s Start Menu.

One caveat, which should not be much of a problem once we have the release page properly implemented is that even though you may get an initial feeling that it should work in your preferred browser, unless the preferred browser is Interned Explorer or derivative (or one of multiple of wrappers around IBrowser). The biggest problem as I see it now is that the bootstrap setup app looks like it should work but is broken on the server, while this is not the case.

You may also need to alleviate security restrictions on the site that you’re pulling the app form since it looks like it has a problem even with IE for one of our co-developers.

Some links I’ve gathered while implementing it:

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