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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Create a Script to Build .NET Projects

Sometimes we need to use command line in order to compile our C# or VB.NET projects. This is very useful when we have a big project with a lot of solutions. Compiling each manually can be vary tedious.
I want a solution that will not require me to use csc (C# compiler) because I don't know all the flags that the VS IDE uses when it builds my project.

Using The IDE From Command Line
I found out that I can tell VS.NET to build my project/solution in command line using the following statement:
devenv mySolution.sln /rebuild debug
devenv mySolution.sln /build release

It will build my solution as if I click the Build button in the menu inside the IDE. This is exactly what I need - I will set the project properties in the comfortable project properties window, and then run a script that will build everything for me, and get an extra bonus: It can copy stuff around, run executables, check things in between the builds.

Creating the Script
The script is actually a bat file. Here is a template you can use for your project:

@echo off
set visualStudioDir=C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\Common7\IDEset solutionDir="."
set buildType=Debug
set returnErrorCode=true
set pause=true

if "%1"=="/?" goto HELP
if not "%1"=="" set solutionDir=%1
if "%1"=="" set solutionDir="C:\"
if not Exist "%visualStudioDir%..\Tools\vsvars32.bat" goto HELPVS

set savedPrompt=%prompt%
set prompt=*$g
@call "%visualStudioDir%..\Tools\vsvars32.bat"

set solutionName= MySolutionName
set solutionPath= RelativePathToSolution

pushd %solutionDir%\%RelativePathToSolution%\
if not Exist %solutionDir%\%solutionPath%\%solutionName%.sln goto ErrorCouldNotFindSolution
devenv %solutionName%.sln /build %buildType%
@if errorlevel 1 goto :error
@goto :exit

if %returnErrorCode%==false goto exit
@ECHO An error occured in BuildLibrary.bat - %errorLevel%
if %pause%==true PAUSE
@exit errorLevel

echo Could not find %solutionDir%\%solutionPath%\%solutionName%.sln
@goto :exit

echo Error: Unable to locate Visual Studio.NET
echo This batch assumes Visual Studio.NET 2003 has been installed in its default location
echo ("%visualStudioDir%".)
echo If you have installed Visual Studio.NET 2003 to a different location, you will need echo to update this batch file to reflect that location.
goto exit

echo Usage: BatchBuild [path]
echo BatchBuild will build the solution that is located in path.

goto exit
if %pause%==true PAUSE
set pause=
set solutionDir=
set buildType=
set returnErrorCode=
set prompt=%savedPrompt%
set savedPrompt=
set solutionName=
set solutionPath=
echo on

The emphasized part is the one that builds your solution. Change only what in the red section: Customize it by changing the tag (GeneratedSolution:), the solutionName and solutionPath. You can duplicate it if you need to build several solutions.
Script.bat /? - Shows help
Script.bat C:\ - Will start all compilations from this directory (useful when you have few versions of same project).


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