Understanding Microsoft Build System – Making use of Properties

In previous blog post, we discussed about the concept of properties in MSBuild schema. We also saw few project files samples and about reserved properties. In this post, we are going to expand that knowledge by discussing how to use properties further.

Access Environment Variables

In some build configurations, when you build projects, it is often necessary to set build options using information that is not in the project file. This information is typically stored in environment variables. All environment variables are available to the MSBuild as properties. So we can simply access them in the same way we access properties i.e. by encapsulating their name in $(environmental_variable_name).
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Understanding Microsoft Build System – Properties

In one of the previous post, we discussed about the significance of MSBuild and how to download it. We have also seen the very basics of schema that is needed by MSBuild. In this blog post, we are going to expand on the same by discussing Properties.

Concept of Properties

When you build projects, you frequently compile the source code with different build options. For example, for development environment release, you generally create a build with debug configuration with symbols so that the developers can use it to help finding bugs. For production release, you generally create a build with no symbol information. You would also like to also enable optimizations if its possible.  Continue reading “Understanding Microsoft Build System – Properties”

Understanding Microsoft Build System – What is MSBuild

MSBuild is perhaps one of the most used but uncredited piece of technology. The Microsoft Build Engine or more known as MSBuild, is a platform for building applications. Chances are that if you have ever used Visual Studio or compiled a .NET based project, you have used it knowingly or un-knowingly. Visual Studio uses MSBuild, but it doesn’t depend on Visual Studio. By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio is not installed. For MSBuild to work properly, you need to use an XML schema that defines how the build platform processes and builds software.

In this blog post, we’ll learn just basics of MSBuild, understanding what it is. Through a series of upcoming posts, we’ll learn how to use the XML schema so that MSBuild can build software as per our needs.
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