MSBuild Team Blog

"Coding ... the boring bit between builds"

  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Write a custom logger for MSBuild

    • 732 Comments
    This question came across the internal conversion alias this morning: Is there a way to send errors to STDERROR? This simple little question provides a nice lead-in to a blog entry about custom loggers, so here we go :) Whenever something...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    MSBuild support for targeting the .NET FX 1.1 runtime

    • 274 Comments
    Being able to target .NET 1.1 has been by far the most popular request that we have heard from our customers - and I am very pleased to say that it is finally coming! Craig Lichtenstein is working on enabling this important scenario, and has blogged about...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Implementing Custom Tasks - Part I

    • 53 Comments
    While MSBuild is all about build customization,we never really blogged about what is involved in implementing custom tasks. Partly, I suppose that's because implementing a custom task is as easy as falling off a log most of the time: 1) Subclass Microsoft...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Update Assembly Version Numbers with MSBuild

    • 62 Comments
    UPDATE: For information on the "Y7K" or "2007" issue, see our new blog entry . One of our most frequently asked questions is: "How do update my assembly version numbers at build time?". Unfortunately our answer has been "you can't". Until today, that...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Recursively Copy Files Using the <Copy> Task

    • 31 Comments
    Have you ever run into a situation where you had to recursively copy files from one folder into another as a part of your build process? We certainly have run into it a few times, and I thought I'd share with you a neat trick that involves the use of...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Sprint 9 Review

    • 415 Comments
    It’s been about a month since we last talked about Sprint 9, and it’s time for an update. If you recall, the MSBuild team was planning on two parallel sprints: one for platform investigations and one to support internal dogfooding efforts . Last Friday...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Wrap Custom Targets Around a Solution Build

    • 212 Comments
    We got the following question on the msbuild@microsoft.com alias last week: I'm migrating from VS2003/NAnt to VS2005/MSBuild for my build solution, and want to create a custom project that does the following: Pre-build actions Sync my source...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Response to the feature poll

    • 32 Comments
    There were over 80 responses to my recent post asking for feedback on where MSBuild should be heading (if the graph doesn't appear, it's here ). Thank you all for your thoughtful allocations! Let's go through each one in decreasing order of ...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    New Reference Assemblies Location

    • 13 Comments
    Those of you who've been using the 3.0 Framework may have noticed a folder under Program Files called "Reference Assemblies". This folder contains those assemblies that ship with the 3.0 Framework which are useful for referencing during the design and...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Add a custom build action to Visual Studio

    • 15 Comments
    So far on this blog we’ve shown different ways can use MSBuild to tweak behavior from the command line, but never really talked about things you can do with MSBuild that will affect the Visual Studio user interface. Since managed projects in Visual Studio...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Multi-Targeting : How does it work?

    • 15 Comments
    So in my last post , I described the multi-targeting feature at a very high level. I discussed how there will be three frameworks that you can build "for", and how there will be two toolsets - i.e. .NET Framework 2.0 / MSBuild 2.0 toolset, and the .NET...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Exclude Multiple Files From a Wildcard

    • 17 Comments
    We got the following question on our internal conversion discussion alias today: Is there a way to exclude two or more items from an ItemGroup using the “exclude” attribute without using a wildcard? It turns out the way to do this wasn't clear...
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    MSBuild / Visual Studio aware error messages and message formats

    • 22 Comments
    MSBuild recognizes error messages and warnings that have been specially formatted by many command line tools that typically write to the console. For instance, take a look at the following error messages - they are all properly formatted to be MSBuild...
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    Fixing invalid version number problems with the AssemblyInfoTask

    • 23 Comments
    The arrival of 2007 bought a flurry of e-mails to the MSBuild team from people having trouble with the AssemblyInfoTask. The symptom is simple to describe - the builds start to fail with the following error: Error emitting 'System.Reflection.AssemblyVersionAttribute...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Building projects in parallel

    • 20 Comments
    Greetings MSBuilders! Orcas MSBuild introduces a new feature allowing build authors to build projects in parallel. To enable this feature we have introduced a new parameter to the MSBuild task called “BuildInParallel” and a new command line parameter...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    /p property values are immutable - (sort of)....

    • 6 Comments
    Hello there - sorry for the long absence, but we're back and hopefully I'll keep this going again. So there was a recent forum post about how property values that are specified from the command line are immutable - i.e. it is not straightforward to...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Add Custom Process at Specific Points During Build (Method #2)

    • 19 Comments
    Back in November I wrote about a quick-and-dirty way to add custom build process into the standard Visual Studio build by overriding pre-defined targets that exist in Microsoft.Common.Targets. While this method works fine for internal build processes...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Sprint 9 Backlog: Dogfooding Sprint

    • 90 Comments
    Here are the tasks we selected for the Dogfooding sprint. For those who aren't familiar, our dogfooding work is all about converting all of Visual Studio's source code to build with MSBuild. Provide .targets files for building Managed C++ targets ...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Debug a custom MSBuild task using Visual Studio

    • 14 Comments
    Yesterday I was complaining to Kieran about how hard it was to debug a custom task. When working on my AssemblyInfo task I was debugging all my regular expressions by running them in a separate command-line app, and with Log.LogMessage() calls in the...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Why Doesn't Delete Take Wildcards?

    • 18 Comments
    Here's another question from our internal conversion discussion alias that came through last week: Does the Delete task in MSBuild not use wildcards? The documentation doesn’t say anything about it but that seems to be the behavior I am seeing....
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How would you spend $100 on MSBuild?

    • 119 Comments
    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...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Editing MSBuild project files in Visual Studio

    • 12 Comments
    Being able to edit your Visual Studio generated projects is one of the fundamental goals of MSBuild. Being able to edit your project file to customize and extend is not something that just happened to work :) MSBuild and Visual Studio 2005 were designed...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    Cranking up the build verbosity in the IDE

    • 7 Comments
    We are often asked whether it's possible to crank up the build output verbosity when building inside the IDE....think building from the command line using msbuild /verbosity:Detailed or msbuild /v:Detailed Sure, it's possible, and we've made it dead...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    HOW TO: Beyond PreBuild and PostBuild Steps

    • 4 Comments
    Do you use PreBuild and PostBuild steps that are provided in the IDE? You will find that they are still available in Visual Studio 2005 - but from within the IDE, you only get the ability to run command line batch files / scripts. Essentially, prebuild...
  • MSBuild Team Blog

    How To: Concatenate files using MSBuild tasks

    • 9 Comments
    This came across the internal MSBuild discussion alias this week: How can I concatenate a bunch of individual files into a single file during my build process? It looks like the ReadLinesFromFile and WriteLinesToFile tasks will do what I want, but...
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