O'Reilly has a new offering, Pragmatic Project Automation: How to Build, Deploy, and Monitor Java Apps
. The book looks interesting to me, since it details how to automate most aspects of project management that I now perform by hand. I would not purchase this book myself, since it is Java specific (not that I have anything against Java, just that I don't use it).
My question is: what do others use for handling project automation tasks?
Most of the applications which I develop or maintain are web based and use some sort of SQL storage. My office has discussed building a utility which takes an application's source code (possibly from CVS), builds it on a test machine, configures it with some saved values, configures Apache, creates or upgrades a database, populates a database, and runs some tests. We now do most of this by hand. It would be highly useful to automate this process for testing purposes as well as for pushing new or updated applications into production.