build definition

In a programming context, a build is a version of a program. As a rule, a build is a pre-release version and as such is identified by a build number, rather than by a release number. Reiterative (repeated) builds are an important part of the development process. Throughout development, application components are collected and repeatedly compiled for testing purposes, to ensure a reliable final product. Build tools, such as make or Ant, enable developers to automate some programming tasks.

As a verb, to build can mean either to write code or to put individual coded components of a program together.

This was first published in February 2007

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