MSBuild Team Blog

"Coding ... the boring bit between builds"

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  • Blog Post: MSBuild Known Issues

    Since the release of Visual Studio 2010 we have received a few reports of crashing behavior which can be traced back to issues with MSBuild. We’ve analyzed all of these and there are several particular cases where a crash can occur. We’ve also added a notification to Windows Error Reporting...
  • 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: Better Parallelism in MSBuild 4 with YieldDuringToolExecution

    Introduction In MSBuild 4 we introduced several performance improvements, particular for large interdependent builds. By and large they are automatic and you receive their benefit without making any changes to the way your build process in authored. However, there are still some cases where we are...
  • Blog Post: Assembly Resolution in MSBuild and Visual Studio Series Introduction

    Assembly references are an integral part of build process. When the assembly references passed to the compiler are correct everything works but when they are not projects stop building. When this happens It can be frustrating to try and figure out why a reference was resolved from one location rather...
  • 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: A brief MSBuild Blog Note

    Following extensive feedback on the decision to move the MSBuild blog to The Visual Studio Blog , a decision has been made to cross-post all MSBuild blog posts to this blog. All current MSBuild posts to The Visual Studio Blog have now been posted here. Apologies if you have received RSS notifications...
  • 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: Displaying Target Output Items Using The Console Logger

    In previous versions of MSBuild users could see the initial item and property values of projects in the build, this was useful to diagnose what values certain properties and items were set to. A requested addition to these items and properties was the ability to get view the values of the target output...
  • 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: MSBuild 4 Detailed Build Summary

    Introduction When we were developing the current version of MSBuild, we spent a lot of time analyzing builds to determine where our performance issues lay. The standard logging, even on diagnostic verbosity and with the performance summary enabled (/clp:PerformanceSummary=true on the MSBuild command...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with MSBuild

    I have had several customers asking me about MSBuild and how to get started learning the language and using it. A little over a year and a half ago, I joined the MSBuild team. When I got here, I did not even know what MSBuild was, and I have been a Visual Studio user for many years. This article is to...
  • Blog Post: Build Extensibility with .NET Framework 4

    Introduction With the release of .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 comes MSBuild 4.0. Among the many great features in this version are new mechanisms to allow you (or your build lab) to extend the default build targets files with your own customizations. While some of this functionality did...
  • 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: MSBuild Interview on CodeCast

    I had the distinct pleasure to meet up with Ken Levy and talk about MSBuild. Ken is responsible for the CodeCast interviews at code magazine . The interview consists of an in-depth technical and scenario discussion on how and why to use MSBuild, both in Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010. We...
  • 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: MSBuild 3.5 "Orcas" has now shipped

    MSBuild 3.5 "Orcas" has now shipped. You can get the free download from here . It's included in the free Express Editions and of course Visual Studio 2008 itself. I'll blog about what's new in MSBuild 3.5 in due course, but the main features are: -- Multiprocessor support -- currently command line...
  • 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...
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