On PHPMaster.com today there's a new tutorial posted about using the Phing build tool to automate a process, usually a build for a website launch. In his example, he shows a simple "Hello World" example and how to work with multiple targets in the same build file.
Phing is a PHP project build tool based on Apache Ant. A build system helps you to perform a group of actions using a single command. [...] Phing helps overcome [human error] issues by automating tasks like running unit tests, applying database changes, deploying application code, etc. In this article I’ll show you some of the basics of working with Phing.
He includes the commands you'll need to install Phing (if it's not already) via the PEAR installer and a basic "build.xml" file. He explains the parts of the file - tags for "project", "target" "echo" and "property - and includes a more complex build example with multiple targets (and how to call one specifically from the command line).