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Map Suite Daily Builds Guide

We make the daily builds of all our GIS products available through the ThinkGeo Product Center. This means that you'll be able to try the most cutting-edge GIS features, bug fixes and tweaks that we add to Map Suite without waiting for the next major public release. It's part of our initiative to increase transparency and further include our customers in the development process, where your opinions help shape the future of Map Suite.

Downloading Daily Builds

The latest daily builds from both the development and production branches can be found on the right side of the Product Center window. While you are evaluating any product, you can download evaluation daily builds. Once you have purchased and activated a full license, full daily builds become available for that product only, as long as you are logged in.

To download a daily build, simply select the product you need a build for, then check the Daily Builds section for the latest version. Click “Download” next to the version you want. The build will be automatically retrieved and extracted to your Product Center installation directory. When extracted, daily builds will be placed into two folders:

Folder Example
The “Current Version” folder C:\Program Files (x86)\ThinkGeo\Map Suite X.X\Map Suite Wpf Desktop\Current Version
A version-specific folder C:\Program Files (x86)\ThinkGeo\Map Suite X.X\Map Suite Wpf Desktop\Daily Eval Development X.X.XX.X

You can always expect that the “Current Version” folder will contain the most recent assemblies for a particular project, and is therefore a good place to reference from when building your own Map Suite projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the new Map Suite daily builds, including more details about where to get them and how to use them.

What are daily builds?

At ThinkGeo, we have an automated build process that runs each day against the production and development branches of source control for each of our mapping products. This process allows us to run thousands of unit tests (plus FxCop) against the latest code to ensure that any recent changes still allow the products to compile and pass all of our internal standards. Once the automated build completes successfully, new packages will be available with the latest compiled binaries for each product.

Why are you making the daily builds available?

We want to be as open and transparent as possible when it comes to our mapping products and our development process. While this daily build process was originally designed to enable us to turn around bug fixes quickly, we have also seen great value in allowing our customers to try out new GIS features and functionality in our development builds. This allows you to be part of the product development life-cycle and help guide which features and functionality are important to you.

Why would I (the customer) want a daily build?

There are a couple of reasons why you may want to try a daily build of Map Suite. The first reason may be due to a bug you have encountered, in our mapping software, and you need a new build to get your project rolling again. Another reason may be that you want to try out a new feature or enhancement that isn't released yet as part of our major release cycle, but which is currently available in a daily build. There are numerous scenarios when upgrading to a daily build might make sense for you.

What is the difference between the production and development daily builds?

The production builds are based on the source code branch from the last major release. These builds will not contain any new features or functionality; they will only include bug fixes we deem as critical, widely used or requested by our customers.

The development builds, meanwhile, are the result of our active development towards the next major release as outlined on our road map. These builds contain many new GIS features and functionality, but they lack the regression testing of a major release build. While development builds are great for testing out new features, you should be aware that their APIs and functionality are subject to change throughout the development cycle.

You can differentiate between the production and development builds at a glance simply by looking at the DLL version number. A Map Suite version number typically consists of four parts:

  1. Major release version
  2. Minor release version
  3. Development branch version
  4. Production branch version

For example, a daily build versioned X.0.YY.0 is from the Map Suite X.0 major release and is the YYth daily build in the development branch. In general, if the third part is greater than 0 and the fourth part is 0, the build is from the development branch. If the third part is 0 and the fourth part is greater than 0, the build is from the production branch.

When are the enhancements in the development daily builds packaged up into a major release?

Our major product release cycle is once per year, typically occurring in May. All new features and functionality built into the development builds before each annual release in May will be wrapped up and included in that annual release.

Where do I get the daily builds?

The daily builds are available now through the ThinkGeo Product Center. Once you log into this application, you will be able to download daily builds of any Map Suite free evaluation by clicking the corresponding download link on the right side of the window. To download full daily builds for products that you have purchased, make sure you activate your developer license first. Once activated, the daily builds section will switch over to the full licensed builds. From there, click the download link of the build you wish to download and install.

See our ThinkGeo Product Center overview for more details about how the Product Center application works.

How do I use the daily build packages?

The daily build packages contain updated binaries or DLLs. This allows you to easily switch out the current DLLs that you are using and try the new ones without having to completely uninstall and reinstall your product. Additionally, a daily build package may also contain an unmanaged dependencies installer that will place some important third-party assemblies in the correct place under your Windows folder. If you decide to replace assemblies manually in your custom Map Suite projects, we encourage you to back up your previous DLLs or binaries before replacing them, in case you need to roll back for any reason.

When you download a daily build package from within the ThinkGeo Product Center, the application can automatically extract the assemblies and run the unmanaged dependencies installer (if necessary) for you. This will bring your computer up-to-date with everything you need for the latest version of Map Suite in a single step.

If you have any questions about a daily build, please post in the support forum for the product you are using.

map_suite_daily_builds_guide.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/02 02:58 by admin