Q&A from ElectricAccelerator Visual Studio webinar

Earlier today I ran a webinar titled “Accelerating your Visual Studio Build Environment with ElectricAccelerator”. It was a short and concise 20 minute presentation followed by Q&A, highlighting the overall value proposition of ElectricAccelerator while also discussing the new capabilities and features of the ElectricAccelerator Visual Studio Add-in 4.0.

The webinar was well-attended with quite a few interesting questions asked by the attendees at the end of the session, which I thought would be interesting to share more broadly via this blog:

  1. Q: How do I configure ElectricAccelerator in Visual Studio?
    A: Configuration of ElectricAccelerator in a Visual Studio environment has been vastly improved in the 4.0 release of the Visual Studio Add-in. Basically you install ElectricAccelerator on your developer desktop where Visual Studio is already running, and you are good to go. For more details, I refer you to the official ElectricAccelerator Installation available here, or our public forum at http://ask.electric-cloud.com.
  2. Can we invoke ElectricAccelerator programmatically or in batch-mode, like e.g. team build in Visual Studio?
    A: Absolutely, both the developer edit-compile-test cycle and headless batch-builds (e.g. CI/release-builds) are key ElectricAccelerator use cases.
  3. Q: I have more than 1000 projects in my Visual Studio application, can ElectricAccelerator handle such scale? How are dependencies handled in such a use case?
    A: ElectricAccelerator is proven to handle gigantic software builds, but I’m not sure Visual Studio itself can scale to handle 1000+ projects in a single solution – so let’s assume you have partitioned your application in multiple solution files. ElectricAccelerator supports building the entire application as a single build through a top-level invocation using ecdevenv where you can pass in multiple solution files. Dependencies will be managed and optimized across the entire build structure, just as with any ElectricAccelerator build.
  4. Q: Is ElectricAccelerator an add-on or a competitor to TFS?
    A: ElectricAccelerator is not competing with TFS, but complementing it by accelerating the build part of any TFS workflow.
  5. Q: Does ElectricAccelerator work for Windows Phone applications?
    A: Yes, as long as your Windows Phone application is implemented using C++ or C# in a supported version of Visual Studio, ElectricAccelerator will work.
  6. Q: What versions of Visual Studio does ElectricAccelerator support?
    A: ElectricAccelerator supports all currently available versions of Visual Studio – 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Electric Cloud will also aim to announce support for Visual Studio 2013 as soon as it is generally available later in the year.
  7. Q: Does ElectricAccelerator integrate with any other build tools like Visual Build?
    A: ElectricAccelerator integrates and works with any tool where you can integrate at command-line level, including Visual Build.
  8. Q: Is ElectricAccelerator available for try?
    A: Yes, ElectricAccelerator is available for immedadiate download and try at http://www.electric-cloud.com/eade.
  9. Q: Does ElectricAccelerator uses its own compiler and toolchain?
    A: ElectricAccelerator is a toolchain-agnostic build tool which is extremely good at parallelizing and distributing build tasks, including e.g. the compiler and linker. As such it will leverage whatever tools (compilers, linkers, etc.) that is defined by the build process.
  10. Q: Does ElectricAccelerator support C# projects?
    A: Yes. ElectricAccelerator will accelerate large C# solutions. The larger number of projects the solution contains, the larger the potential for ElectricAccelerator to provide value.
  11. For your reference, below is a direct link to the webinar:

    If you are interested in giving ElectricAccelerator a try, please download a free trial of ElectricAccelerator Developer Edition here. Also, please don’t hesitate to use http://ask.electric-cloud.com if you have any questions.

    David Rosen

    David Rosen is a Solutions Engineer turned Product Manager turned Ecosystem Solutions Manager at Electric Cloud, currently focused on technical and strategic ISV partnerships in the Developer Productivity Tools, Continuous Delivery and DevOps space. With 12+ years of experience from the Enterprise Developer Tools space, David brings a wealth of hands-on technical experience and knowledge how software is developed and delivered at scale, across various industries, technical domains and geographical regions. David has held managing and engineering positions at UIQ Technology, Nokia and Telelogic. David holds a MS degree in Information Technology from Uppsala University, Sweden.

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