MSBuild Team Blog

"Coding ... the boring bit between builds"

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  • Blog Post: Second edition of the MSBuild and Team Foundation Build book released

    Not many books that are reviewed like this on Amazon: Now the heavily augmented second edition has just come out, written by several people at Microsoft and reviewed by the product team. New extensive coverage of building C++ with MSBuild Complete rewrite of the Team Build sections to...
  • Blog Post: Incorrect solution build ordering when using MSBuild.exe

    We've had a few reports of cases where Visual Studio, and previous versions of MSBuild, will build the projects in the solution in the correct order, but the 4.0 version of MSBuild.exe gets the order wrong. Here's a full description of what's going on, why it began in 4.0, and the fix we recommend...
  • Blog Post: Debugging MSBuild script with Visual Studio (3)

    In my last two posts ( here and here ) I showed how to enable the unsupported MSBuild debugger to debug a build started on the command line with MSBuild.exe. In this final post, I'll mention some other variations. Note that this blog is rather narrow, so some of the screenshots may be hard to see...
  • Blog Post: Debugging MSBuild script with Visual Studio (2)

    In my previous post , I showed how to enable the hidden Visual Studio debugger for MSBuild script, and demonstrated it by stepping through the evaluation of a C# project. In this post, I'll keep debugging into the actual build of that project. Note that this blog is rather narrow, so some of the screenshots...
  • Blog Post: Debugging MSBuild script with Visual Studio

    Back when we started 4.0 development, I polled readers of the MSBuild blog to find out what features were most important to them. Debugging was #1 which was very surprising to us. Thinking about it more, it makes sense. In our team we've become so proficient ourselves at reading the XML and making sense...
  • Blog Post: MSBuild Property Functions (2)

    Some more information about this 4.0 feature. (I've also updated the first post with this, so everything's in one place for your reference.) Built-in MSBuild functions The full list of built-in [MSBuild] functions, like the one above, are in the MSDN topic here . They include arithmetic (useful, for...
  • Blog Post: MSBuild Property Functions

    Have you ever wanted to do something simple in a build, like get a substring of a property value, and found that MSBuild didn't have syntax for it? You then had to write a task for it, which was tiresome to do for such a simple operation. What's more, if you wanted to do this during evaluation – outside...
  • Blog Post: Tuning C++ build parallelism in VS2010

    A great way to get fast builds on a multiprocessor computer is to take advantage of as much parallelism in your build as possible. If you have C++ projects, there’s two different kinds of parallelism you can configure. What are the dials I can set? Project-level parallel build, which is controlled...
  • Blog Post: If your build fails with “MSB6002: The command-line for the “ResGen” task is too long”

    If you have the RC build of VS2010, you are targeting the 3.5, 3.0, or 2.0 Framework, you have a VB or C# project which has a lot of references, and you also have a lot of .resx files, your build may break with an error message like this D:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30128\Microsoft.Common...
  • Blog Post: Article in .NET Developer's Journal

    There's a new article by Xin Yan and myself published in the .NET Developer's Journal. We cover MSBuild from scratch, but also the new file format features in .NET 3.5 and our plans for the future. Check it out. Dan
  • Blog Post: More tools...

    Two new MSBuild community tools to check out! Eugene from Attrice has blogged about the Visualization support in the new edition of MSBuild SideKick. (There's also another pretty visualizer on CodePlex .) Partho pointed me at a debugger he's created. It's on CodePlex too, which means you can help...
  • Blog Post: How would you spend $100 on MSBuild?

    We're currently planning for our next version (aka, "Dev10" - no code name this time) and subsequent releases. In that spirit, I'd like to do a quick poll of MSBuild aficionados to help us keep our "vision" for MSBuild aligned with yours, our customers. First, a caveat - while ideally I would like...
  • Blog Post: What are Targets, Tasks, and Tools?

    I've heard these confused in the context of MSBuild, so let's talk a little about what they are: * A TARGET is a grouping of tasks (often 1) designed to do a particular job. For example, a Link target would be designed to produce a final binary from object files. Targets can declare other targets...
  • Blog Post: Enabling multiprocessor support in an MSBuild host

    As you know, MSBuild in .NET 3.5 adds support for building projects concurrently. MSBuild.exe exposes this support with the new /m switch , and because Team Build uses MSBuild to build projects, it will get a speed up as well. In this release, Visual Studio doesn't use this to build managed projects...
  • Blog Post: Manifest resource names changed for .resources files

    Juergen Bayer notified us of an issue introduced in MSBuild in .NET 3.5 "Orcas". The problem is if you have any items of type EmbeddedResource in your project file that are actually .resources format, rather than the usual .resx. In other words, for some reason you have already converted them from human...
  • Blog Post: Using MSBuild as a generic scripting language

    I just got a pretty interesting mail from Dave Hickey at Premera, describing how his team is using MSBuild as a generic scripting language: We thought you might be interested in how we use MSBuild here. Sure, we use it for compiling our .NET projects, but we’ve adopted it as our new Batch scripting...
  • Blog Post: Multitargeting against .NET 2.0

    If you're using the new VS 2008 multitargeting features to target .NET 2.0 you should be aware that in VS 2008 they have a limitation related to service packs. In .NET 2.0 SP1, the CLR team has added a few types to existing .NET 2.0 assemblies. For example, DateTimeOffset has been added to mscorlib...
  • Blog Post: Recursion, and ItemGroups inside Targets

    Greetings MSBuilders! An internal team (Office Live, I think) asked us how to make their build start up faster. Their traversal project at the root of their tree started like this: <Project xmlns=" http://schemas.microsoft.com/developer/msbuild/2003 "> <ItemGroup> <ExcludedDirectory...
  • Blog Post: Window tab management in Visual Studio

    Greetings MSBuilders! The way in which Visual Studio inserts and drops document tabs arouses passions in some people - myself included. So much so that I’m going to post about it, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with MSBuild! Currently, when a new tab is opened and there isn’t...
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