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Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build (Developer Reference) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735626287
ISBN-10: 0735626286
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi is a consultant, trainer, and senior software developer who has designed large-scale, distributed applications using a variety of programming languages and platforms, including Microsoft .NET, C++, and Java. This is his third book on MSBuild.

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (January 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735626286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735626287
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeremy K. Jenkins on February 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been working with MSBuild now for about a year and have learnt it solely from other people feeding me strips of information here and there. Recently I have been working on an enterprise project that requires the utmost attention concerning automated builds.

I searched for anything on MSBuild and came across this gem. Even though I have decent experience in MSBuild I read this book from front to back twice over and was exceptionally impressed with how this book was put together. The examples were very straight forward and understandable even to a few of my friends who have no idea about MSBuild. I feel that so long as the reader has an understanding of XML, then they can understand the examples in this book. The chapter 1 quick starts are greating for getting straight into the basics and getting a great feel for the direction the books takes you in.

There is some fantastic advice and guidance for customizing MSBuilds, batch building and incremental building and there are 3 chapters dedicated to Team Foundation Build which were highly educational for me in not only a gathering a better understanding of the build process in Team Foundation but also a stronger understanding of how to utilize Build Agents, retention policies, triggers, and unit testing within Team Foundation Build.

This book quite simply in my humble opinion, is a "must have" for anybody that is serious in learning the art of build mastering and is a "must have" for build masters as an A+ reference.

Kudos to Sayed and William for writing this much needed gem. Well done.
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Format: Paperback
This book is outstanding. A literal step-by-step walk through of MSBuild and Team Build. I have been working with these products for almost a year and learned them on my own, via various websites, blogs, msdn walk-throughs, etc. There are a myriad of sources with bits and pieces of the information you need, and I feel this book pulls them all together in one very well written book.

This is the best source to get going from beginner to intermediate level with MSBuild and Team Build. Obviously you need to dive into the products and get your feet wet intensely to gain expert knowledge of the two. However, this book takes you leaps and bounds into an advanced level of knowledge. The msdn topics have everything else you need as a reference beyond this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is both new or experienced with MSBuild or Team Build. Great work!
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Format: Paperback
I'm a developer on MSBuild; Sayed wrote this book with our encouragement, and we reviewed it for accuracy and completeness, so I can recommend it. The documentation for MSBuild in 2.0 and 3.5 was not great; I consider this something like the missing manual. Unfortunately there aren't many other MSBuild books; fortunately Sayed did a good job on this one.

We're fixing a lot of what's "missing" in MSBuild in the upcoming version 4.0 -- I hope Sayed can do a 2nd edition when that comes out. Plus, our docs should be better then :-)

Dan
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Format: Paperback
When the Microsoft Developer Division sat down to consider the future of .NET development from v2.0 onwards, they recognised the build process in Visual Studio .NET was primitive in its facilities. It had to be re-architected to provide a much more flexible and extensible mechanism. Thus the re-engineering endeavour that brought us MSBuild. Although it was modeled after NAnt and featured some intriguing concepts, widespread adoption was not achieved. As in, conscious manipulation and customisation.

Sure, most developers simply think Ctrl-Shift-B when "build" is mentioned; it remains an invisible compile tool in Visual Studio in their eyes. But for those who did knew the advent of MSBuild, the woefully inadequate documentation prevented many from properly understanding the arcane concepts it brings to the table. Lack of understanding directly affects utilisation. I was one such individual who struggled last year to find relevant material to explain what I needed to know and do to achieve what I thought were pretty common build steps. Suffice to state I was disillusioned and disappointed.

Which brings me to this executive summary: I wished Inside the Microsoft Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build was published last year when I needed it.

This book is what the stock documentation should have been. Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi and William Bartholomew must have realised that - developers were not getting much out of those materials - and wrote the first three chapters of Part 1 to slowly and meticulously explain the concepts and important elements one works with in MSBuild. When necessary, line-by-line details are elaborated, and the MSBuild samples are always accompanied by sample prints of the console screen output as well to illustrate the point.
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This is a well written book on the MSBuild system. I was working on an open source project that will generate the MSBuild scripts and wanted to understand it well enough to take maximum advantage of it.

This book is all that I was waiting for, it is worth the price. The explanations are simply and very clear - easy to understand language. There are few mistakes, but you can easily tell. After reading the Quick Start (Chapter 1), you know you are in very good hands.

The book can be used by any user of the Visual Studio or .NET Framework 2.x or later, and unlike many out there, it does not attempt to teach you how to install VS.NET or how to use it.

My only wish is that the complete definition of each tag is presented the first time it is introduced, so that you know at least all its attributes, without having to refer to the Appendix or other resources.
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