For the Pachyderm project, we wanted a way to automatically update, build and deploy a WebObjects application and its supporting framework. The initial reaction was to just use a shell script, with
xcodebuild running on the server to build the appropriate projects.
That didn't work for us, because our server is still running 10.3 (with the appropriate older XCode dev. kit), while we've moved on to 10.4 and XCode 2.1 for development- so our server can't understand the .xcodeproj files and barfs appropriately. Doh.
So, King and I whipped up an Automator-based workflow that runs on one of our dev. boxes. It first runs a shell script to update the source code from subversion, then builds the framework and application. It then runs a shell script to record the subversion revision number in a file in the compiled application (so we can display the revision number for bug reports etc... and not pollute our source code with revision numbers). Then, it connects to the server over afp, moves the old build products out of the way, and copies the new ones into place. About an hour later, WOMonitor comes through and cycles the app.
Basically, there is one "master" workflow that runs several nested workflows. This "master" is saved as an application, and I've set iCal to launch it every morning at 1:00am.
Yes. Source code management and enterprise application deployment with Automator and iCal :-)
It seems to work well, but we initially had some permissions problems. It will also make it trivial for use to update the app at will.