- 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,327,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build (Developer Reference) 1st Edition
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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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We had a problem in my shop in that our developers created Web Sites instead of Web Applications. It didn't make any difference to them, but it caused a huge amount of headache when it came to auto-deployment. One of the biggest hurdles, for example, was that TFS' Build would not be able to properly pick up third-party .dlls unless we added them to Source Control...which then created a Source Control headache for the developer as their own code would get 'locked out' if more than one developer was using the same .dll. Thanks to this book, I was able to add a Web Deployment Project to precompile their code, customize the rules, and then leave the work in a place for TFS' Build to pick up and deploy. The explanations of how it work helped me understand and troubleshoot some very intricate and low-level problems with the build process.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who plans on using any form of automated build system, be it custom Web Deployment Projects or automated build & deployment in a Visual Studio Team System environment: it demystifies both Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. It isn't an easy read due to the subject, but the authors describe the material in the easiest way they can.
In fact, this lack of resources on Team Build also resulted in a lack of good tools leveraging Team Build 2008's capabilities that have not been exposed out of the box. This actually was what prompted me to release the Buddy Build tool on CodePlex ([...]) to help fill in one of those gaps, in particular the one related to buddy builds and gated checkins, prior to their appearance as first class citizens in TFS and Team Build 2010.
The first good contribution from a publication came with Jamil Azher's Team Foundation Server 2008 In Action, a relatively good book on TFS 2008. However, its coverage of Team Build left a lot to be desired. Then came this book.
I met William back in September 2008, through email when I was looking for a TFS MVP to co-own my Buddy Build project prior to releasing it on CodePlex (I met him also in person while he was in Redmond for the MVP Summit 2009). Back then, the Buddy Build tool was only an internal project used by a couple of groups at Microsoft. William was gracious and generous enough to accept to be a co-owner and dedicate some time to help release the project as open source to the community so that many more folks are leveraging and extending it. When William mentioned that he was working on a book on Team Build, I was anxious to see the result of that. And I have to say it was certainly much better than I expected. Now I can finally recommend a good book on Team Build 2008 when I am asked, rather than pointing folks to Buck's and Aaron's blogs and the MSDN documentation.
If you are someone new to Team Build 2008, or someone tasked to extend their development and build process and leverage Team Build 2008, then this book will help get you started in a well-paced way. Team Build's functionality in 2008 is based on MSBuild and most of that functionality is spread out between Team Build's core MSBuild script and the library of MSBuild tasks that the Team Build team has written. So, this book's focus on making sure that MSBuild is explained to the tiniest details is a big win. The explanation and coverage of MSBuild is something you will not find in any other book (or even MSDN). The cookbook recipes are also a good collection of reusable and practical code samples that you can reuse in your own applications. And most importantly, they are explained in detail! MSBuild is critically important to Team Build 2008, and it will continue to be so in Team Build 2010, even with Windows Workflow (WF) defining the core build process. The project/solution build process is still going to be MSBuild-centric. Also, the Team Build coverage in this book is unparalleled. This is the definitive guide on Team Build 2008. I was particularly impressed with the Team Build Cookbook chapter, especially the load balancing discussion of the tool that William wrote, as this is a topic I am very interested in and have had solutions addressing it in the Buddy Build tool. It is great to see a book that covers a product so well without presenting a rehash of the product documentation.
William and Sayed have also done a great job of pointing out the MSBuild features that are new to v 3.5 (see appendix A of the book) as a lot of people still don't leverage those so well. Also great was appendix C which describes some of the new features coming out in TFS/TB 2010, based on the CTP version. This is probably a good segway to William and Sayed's potential next book that would cover Team Build 2010 and the WF-based build process (hint, hint).
This book is well worth every penny you spend on it. I enjoyed it a lot, and I even learned from it. I also know other here at Microsoft that use it as an important guide. That's why I now highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding and leveraging Team Build, and I also link to its Amazon page from codeplex.com/BuddyBuild. There is currently no book that comes even close to covering the topic in such detail and with such immediate practical impact. It delivers the best bang for your buck, easily. Quite frankly, I never imagined that such a book will actually come from someone outside of the Raleigh-based Team Build team.
Having said that, if you are new to MSBuild then this is a great book. It very quickly introduces you to the basics of MSBuild (which you all use anyway if you use Visual Studio 2005 or greater) and how to quickly customize MSBuild to suit your needs. If you are already familiar with MSBuild, you will learn more. If you use TFS Build on top of MSBuild then you will learn even more.
The book is well written with clear examples, including output so you can easily see the results of any of the examples. Mostly, if you need to use, or you currently use, MSBuild, then get this book - it's the only one out there and the only one you will ever need (well, until Team System 2010 is released) :)
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I reviewed the book online for about a week to see if it was worth buying.
"I only got through the fundemental chapters on msbuild but I felt it was...Read more
The chapter 8 & 9 are good, a pity too short since this is not a Cook Book.Read more