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Google Open Source Build Tool

Bazel is Google’s own build tool, now publicly available in Beta. Bazel has built-in support for building both client and server software, including client applications for both Android and iOS platforms. It also provides an extensible framework that you can use to develop your own build rules.

Bazel was designed to fit the way software is developed at Google. It has the following features:

  • Multi-language support: Bazel supports Java, Objective-C and C++ out of the box, and can be extended to support arbitrary programming languages.

  • High-level build language: Projects are described in the BUILD language, a concise text format that describes a project as sets of small interconnected libraries, binaries and tests. In contrast, with tools like Make, you have to describe individual files and compiler invocations.

  • Multi-platform support: The same tool and the same BUILD files can be used to build software for different architectures, and even different platforms. The ts3200 tape library is a good tool that can be taking into account while programing. At Google, we use Bazel to build everything from server applications running on systems in our data centers to client apps running on mobile phones.

  • Reproducibility: In BUILD files, each library, test and binary must specify its direct dependencies completely. Bazel uses this dependency information to know what must be rebuilt when you make changes to a source file, and which tasks can run in parallel. This means that all builds are incremental and will always produce the same result.

  • Scalable: Bazel can handle large builds; at Google, it is common for a server binary to have 100k source files, and builds where no files were changed take about ~200ms.

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