Aaron Hallberg

Team Build (Build Automation) - Visual Studio North Carolina

Blog - About

About Aaron Hallberg

I am currently a developer for Team Build, the build automation feature of Team Foundation Server.  Prior to that I worked on the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP), a tool used by the EPA to estimate the health and economic impacts of air pollution.  Prior to that I worked on speech software, including the Microsoft Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine, the Speech API (SAPI), and the Microsoft Speech Server. 

  • Aaron Hallberg

    Lots of Good Blog Content

    • 1 Comments
    I've been neglecting my blogging duties for the past many months while we finish off the bulk of Dev 10 - sorry about that. In the meantime, lots of other folks have posted lots of good TFS Build 2010 content, including: Jim Lamb 's post on creating...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Writing Custom Activities for TFS Build 2010 (Beta 1)

    • 7 Comments
    With TFS Build 2010 (Beta 1) , we've changed the build orchestration language from MSBuild to Windows Workflow Foundation (WF).  As such, you now have a new option for adding custom logic to your build proces - custom WF activities.  I've gotten...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    TargetsNotLogged Hotfix Available

    • 10 Comments
    I did a post a while back on a change in TFS Build SP1 which reduced build log noise by cutting out the build steps for project-to-project references (of the form "Project 'project' is building project 'dependent project' for target(s) 'GetNativePath...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Calling Custom Targets in Team Build, Part 3

    • 3 Comments
    I've done a couple of posts now on calling custom targets during a Team Build build - this one focused on calling custom targets in the solution/project being built, and this one focused on calling custom targets in your TfsBuild.proj file itself before...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    The CompilationOutputs Item Group

    • 4 Comments
    I've mentioned the CompilationOutputs item group we added in TFS 2008 before in passing (see this post , for example), but never given it the attention it deserves...  This item group is built up over the course of the Compile / CompileConfiguration...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    A Minimal TFSBuild.Proj File

    • 3 Comments
    A fair number of people seem to want to use Team Build to kick off their own pre-existing build scripts that have nothing in common with the process defined in Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.targets.  While we don't typically encourage this, enough...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Associating changesets and Work Items Since the Last Successful Build

    • 3 Comments
    We got a forum post the other day on whether changesets and work items could be associated since the last Successful build.  Some of you may be thinking "Isn't that how it already works?"  Actually, it's not quite how it works. ...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Attaching Custom Data to a Build

    • 2 Comments
    In Orcas, we introduced a generic information storage for builds - internally this is used for all build steps, associated changesets/workitems, etc.  You can use it to attach arbitrary data to a build (and later retrieve it).  Here are a couple...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Orcas RTM Object Model Documentation

    • 0 Comments
    The official Orcas RTM OM documentation was posted a while ago, and I neglected to blog about it!  It's available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=6466b53d-d80b-4c31-8f5c-dfb5d32e9411&DisplayLang=en .  Make...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Tech*Ed 2008

    • 1 Comments
    If you are planning on attending Tech*Ed Developers in sunny Orlando this year, I'll be manning the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server (Version Control and Build) demo station (quite the name, eh?) for about 22 hours over the course...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Orcas SP1 TFS Build Changes, Part 2

    • 3 Comments
    As promised, here are some more details on other SP1 changes for TFS Build.  3. Detect test results. In Whidbey, a failed test would result in a failed build - builds were either Succeeded or Failed, so there wasn't really much middle ground. ...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Orcas SP1 TFS Build Changes

    • 10 Comments
    Brian Harry put up a post on the improvements that will be available in the upcoming Team Foundation Server 2008 SP1 release. Here's some more in depth info on two of the TFS Build changes: 1. Conditionalize builds on the trigger. There are actually...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Solution-Specific Output Directories in Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas)

    • 5 Comments
    In an earlier post I described how one can, in Orcas, preserve the output directory structure used in a standard IDE or desktop build. It seems that many people are looking for a simple approach, however, to augmenting the standard Team Build output directory...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Overriding the ToolsVersion for Your Projects in Team Build

    • 1 Comments
    Recently I got a question about how to compile projects against multiple .NET Frameworks (e.g. 2.0 and 3.5) in Team Build. MSBuild added support for this sort of thing in the 3.5 framework (they call it multi-targeting), but it is not particularly easy...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Modifying the ConfigurationFolderPath RecursionType in Team Build 2008

    • 9 Comments
    In TFS 2008, TfsBuild.proj files can be located anywhere in source control, not just in $/TeamProject/TeamBuildTypes, as was required in TFS 2005. As a result, we changed the default recursion type used to download files from the configuration folder...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Team Build 2008 Property Reference

    • 17 Comments
    There are lots and lots of MSBuild properties available to Team Build 2008 build definitions, most of which are probably unknown to the majority of users. As such, I've tried to compile a comprehensive list of these properties so that they can (hopefully...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Calling Custom Targets Within Team Build, Part 2

    • 4 Comments
    First of all, sorry for the long delay between posts... Things have been a bit crazy around here trying to meet various deadlines lately, and blogging fell right off my radar for a while. Having said that, I've got a pretty big backlog of posts to get...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    How Would You Spend $100 On MSBuild?

    • 2 Comments
    The MSBuild team is looking for some feedback from the community to keep their "vision" for the next version of MSBuld aligned with their customers wants and needs. They've got a blog post up here that asks for you, the MSBuild experts out there, to rank...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    How to: Fail a Build When Tests Fail

    • 7 Comments
    Got an email from Martin Woodward this morning asking: What would be your preferred way to fully fail the build on test failure rather than partially succeed the build? A bit of background - Team Build 2008 marks builds as Succeeded if no errors are encountered...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Building VC++ 2005 Projects With Team Build 2008

    • 5 Comments
    MSBuild introduced a multi-targeting feature in VS 2008 that allows it to build managed code projects that target previous versions of the .NET Framework (and all associated tools - the Microsoft.Common.targets file, the MSBuild engine itself, etc.)....
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Error MSB3021 and Team Build

    • 6 Comments
    The error message " error MSB3021: Unable to copy file "<filename>" to "<output location>". Access to the path '<output location>' is denied " occurs when the MSBuild Copy task cannot overwrite an existing read-only file. Typically in...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Running Unit Tests for Individual Configurations with Team Build

    • 2 Comments
    The default behavior of Team Build when running unit tests is to run them for each configuration defined for the build. That is, when you specify configurations for compilation (e.g. Debug|Any CPU and Release|Any CPU) you are also specifying them for...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Using the SetBuildProperties Task to Update the Log Location for a Build

    • 2 Comments
    One of the new tasks available in Team Build Orcas (VS 2008) is the SetBuildProperties task. This task allows you to modify any of the settable properties of a BuildDetail object directly from you MSBuild script (TfsBuild.proj). The settable properties...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Fancy New Command-Line Options For MSBuild

    • 3 Comments
    A while back I had a post on the modified command-line options for file logging in MSBuild in the 3.5 .NET Framework. The MSBuild team has since added some cool new command-line options here that will be available in the RTM version of VS 2008 (which...
  • Aaron Hallberg

    Running Tests With Team Build Orcas

    • 3 Comments
    The Orcas Beta 2 ReadMe contains (or should contain - let me know if it doesn't!) the following text: On build machines with Visual Studio 2005 installed, running tests may fail with the following message: “Failed to load tests from '<assembly>...
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