Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MSBuild -- build from solutions without DevStudio

This is a tool that had passed me by until I spotted a passing reference to it just the other day. Buried in your C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727 folder is an executable called MSBuild, which will take .*proj and .sln files and build them.

It consumes XML files in a format of which the .*proj files are a special case; and handles solutions (.sln files)  as a special case.  While I've not had chance to explore the ramifications of the XML build format, this appears to be Microsoft's own preferred build system and one that will bear investigation and adoption, especially for those projects (like Callisto) which use DevStudio for developer builds and thus have had it  installed on their build machines, when they could have gotten by with just the .Net 2.0 Framework.

MSBuild with solutions -- how to capture the temporary script file generated from a solution; and how to actually build just one project from a solution

MSBuild with ASP.Net -- Visual Studio 2005 no longer uses project files for ASP.NET; this is how to roll your own from the solution.

Solution files and MSBuild -- Automated hoisting of project build from the solution file.

These latter look like something that could be ported into an IronPython script with ease.

…and caught up. Phew!

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