Handy use for VMWare #1: Portable dev tools

Every once-in-a-while we will do a project in-house (or in our “studio” as we call it) but most of the time we do our work on the client site. In our studio we can easily leverage our in-house development infrastructure: source code control, continuous builds, bug tracking, wiki, etc. When we go on-site we obviously try to leverage the tools our clients have in place. From time-to-time, though, the tools aren’t accessible or simply aren’t present.

What we needed was a way to take our studio development infrastructure with us. So, we created a VMWare image with our server-based development tools on it. Voila! Mobile studio. At the client site we simply install either the VMWare Player or the VMWare Server (both free) and we’re off to the races. Because we use freely-available software from the OS on up we can leave the infrastructure behind to be leveraged by the client development team without worrying about license concerns. It’s a good deal all around.