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MSBuild Extension Pack Brings 170 Build Tasks

by Jonathan Allen on Oct 10, 2008 |

When MSBuild was first released, it was seen as a stopgap measure. Prior to its introduction, building a non-trivial .NET project from the command line was a daunting challenge. Either command line options have to be carefully laid out or third-party libraries like NAnt have to be brought in.

As with many open source projects, NAnt has languished in the face of the Microsoft juggernaut. The last version, NAnt 0.86 has been in beta since December of last year. Meanwhile support for MSBuild has been gaining momentum.

Recently MSBuild Extension Pack was released on CodePlex. Run by Mike Fourie and a team of 5 developers, this successor to FreeToDev MSBuild Extensions has over 170 different tasks for MSBuild. Many of these tasks support a MachineName argument allowing the actions to be performed on a remote machine.

The team summarizes the tasks into these categories:

  • System Items: Certificates, COM+, Console, Date and Time, Drives, Environment Variables, Event Logs, Files and Folders, GAC, Network, Performance Counters, Registry, Services, Sound
  • Code: Assemblies, CAB Files, Code Signing, File Detokenisation, GUID’s, Mathematics, Strings, Threads, Zip
  • Applications: BizTalk 2006, Email, IIS7, MSBuild, SourceSafe, StyleCop, Team Foundation Server, Visual Basic 6, WMI

With over 100 additional tasks in the backlog, Mike Fourie and friends are looking for more help.

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