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Bazel: A Versatile DevOps Tool for Various Industries

In today's fast-paced world of software development, it's essential to have a reliable build system that can streamline the development process, improve code quality, and ensure the software's stability and reliability. Bazel is a build system developed by Google that offers these benefits and more. Bazel supports a wide range of programming languages and platforms, making it a flexible and scalable tool that can be used in a variety of development environments. In this article, we'll explore some key benefits of using Bazel in DevOps processes and how it's used in various industries.

Faster Build Times

One of the primary benefits of using Bazel is its support for incremental builds and remote caching and execution. This support can significantly reduce build times, even for large and complex codebases. By only building the parts of the code that have changed since the last build, Bazel can save a lot of time and improve the development process's efficiency. Additionally, remote caching and execution can help reduce build times by offloading computation to remote servers, allowing developers to build and test their code faster.

Improved Code Quality

By using a declarative build language, Bazel can help ensure that dependencies and rules are specified correctly, reducing the likelihood of errors and bugs in the code. This can result in better code quality, fewer bugs, and improved overall software stability. Bazel's strict rules also make it easier for developers to follow best practices, leading to a better codebase.

Consistent Build Environment

Bazel provides a consistent and reproducible build environment, which can help reduce errors and ensure that the software is stable and reliable across different environments. Using the same build system across all development environments makes it easier to catch and fix issues before they become problems.

Flexibility and Scalability

Bazel supports a wide range of programming languages and platforms, making it a flexible and scalable tool that can be used in a variety of development environments. This versatility allows it to be used in many different industries, from finance to healthcare to gaming and manufacturing.

Industry Examples

Bazel is used in many different industries to manage their codebase and streamline their development processes. For example, Goldman Sachs uses Bazel to manage their codebase for risk management and trading systems, while Verily Life Sciences uses Bazel to manage its codebase for medical device software. Unity Technologies uses Bazel to manage its codebase for the Unity game engine, and Siemens Digital Industries Software uses Bazel to manage its codebase for simulation and modeling software. Additionally, JPMorgan Chase uses Bazel to manage their codebase for their risk management and trading systems, and Google uses Bazel to manage its codebase for its network infrastructure systems.

Bazel is an open-source build tool that has gained popularity among developers for its ability to improve build times, increase code quality, and provide a consistent build environment. Its support for multiple programming languages, remote caching and execution, and declarative build language makes it a versatile tool that can be used across a variety of industries and development environments. Here are a few examples of how Bazel is being used in different ways. 

Industries:

Financial Services: 

Goldman Sachs uses Bazel to manage their risk management and trading systems codebase. Bazel's support for multiple languages and remote caching and execution helps them reduce build times and improve the reliability of their code. For example, they use the following BUILD file to build their risk management system in C++:

 


cc_library(
    name = "risk_library",
    srcs = glob(["src/**/*.cc"]),
    hdrs = glob(["src/**/*.h"]),
    deps = [        "//external:boost",        "//external:gflags",        "//external:glog",        "//external:gtest",        "//external:pcre",        "//external:protobuf",        "//external:re2",        "//external:zlib",    ],
)

 

Healthcare: 

Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Alphabet, uses Bazel to manage its codebase for medical device software. Bazel's support for multiple languages and its incremental build feature helps them reduce build times and improve the speed of their development process. They use the following BUILD file to build their device firmware in C:

 


cc_binary(
    name = "device_firmware",
    srcs = ["device_firmware.c"],
    deps = [        "//external:libc",        "//external:libm",        "//external:libusb",    ],
)

 

Gaming: 

Unity Technologies uses Bazel to manage its codebase for the Unity game engine. Bazel's support for remote caching and execution helps them reduce build times and improve the efficiency of their development process. They use the following BUILD file to build their engine in C++:

 


cc_library(
    name = "engine_library",
    srcs = glob(["src/**/*.cpp"]),
    hdrs = glob(["src/**/*.h"]),
    deps = [        "//external:boost",        "//external:gflags",        "//external:glog",        "//external:gtest",        "//external:pcre",        "//external:protobuf",        "//external:re2",        "//external:zlib",    ],
)

 

Banking: 

JPMorgan Chase uses Bazel to manage their codebase for their risk management and trading systems. Bazel's support for remote caching and execution helps them reduce build times and improve the reliability of their code. They use the following BUILD file to build their trading system in Java:

 


java_binary(
    name = "trading_system",
    srcs = glob(["src/**/*.java"]),
    deps = [        "//external:log4j",        "//external:commons-collections",        "//external:commons-lang3",        "//external:commons-io",        "//external:guava",        "//external:joda-time",        "//external:junit",    ],
)

 

Networking: 

Google uses Bazel to manage its codebase for its network infrastructure systems. Bazel's support for multiple languages and its declarative build language helps them reduce build times and improve the efficiency of their development process. They use the following BUILD file to build their network management software in Python:

 


py_binary(
    name = "network_manager",
    srcs = glob(["src/**/*.py"]),
    deps = [        "//external:grpc",        "//external:protobuf",        "//external:google-auth",        "//external:google-cloud-logging",        "//external:google-cloud-pubsub",        "//external:google-cloud-storage",        "//external:google-cloud-bigquery",        "//external:google-cloud-error-reporting",    ],
)

 

Manufacturing: 

Siemens Digital Industries Software uses Bazel to manage its simulation and modeling software codebase. Bazel's support for multiple languages and its incremental build feature helps them reduce build times and improve the speed of their development process. They use the following BUILD file to build their simulation software in C++:

 


cc_library(
    name = "simulation_library",
    srcs = glob(["src/**/*.cpp"]),
    hdrs = glob(["src/**/*.h"]),
    deps = [        "//external:boost",        "//external:gflags",        "//external:glog",        "//external:gtest",        "//external:pcre",        "//external:protobuf",        "//external:re2",        "//external:zlib",    ],
)

 

In the manufacturing industry, simulation and modeling software is critical for designing and testing products before they are produced. Bazel's support for multiple languages and incremental build features helps improve the efficiency of the development process for these types of software, enabling manufacturers to bring products to market faster and with higher quality.

Conclusion

Encora provides extensive support for Bazel and can help organizations implement and optimize Bazel in their development workflows. Encora's team of experts can assist with Bazel installation, configuration, and customization, as well as guide best practices for using Bazel in a particular industry or development environment. Encora can also help organizations take advantage of Bazel's remote caching and execution capabilities to speed up build times and improve productivity. Overall, Encora's expertise in Bazel can help organizations unlock the full potential of this powerful build tool and achieve better results in their software development efforts.

References

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