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 to help guide those who…

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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 –…

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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 may…

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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 unable to make the best decision.  One such case…

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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 than another thereby causing the…

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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 example, for modifying version numbers), functions to convert…

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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 on content you may…

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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…

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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 items on…

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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 by MSBuild, is set…

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