Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3 Build Acceleration

Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3 Build Acceleration

Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3, released January 18th, brings the new build acceleration opt-in feature to Visual Studio. Build times are improved for all SDK-style projects. Larger projects in particular will see greater improvements in build times. Build acceleration works by avoiding excess calls to MSBuild when building a dependent project.

The behavior of Visual Studio in versions prior to Preview 3 in some cases caused MSBuild to be called even if there was no code changed. When Visual Studio would need to copy the artifacts of a referenced project that was already built to an output directory, it would call MSBuild to re-build the project and copy the needed files to the output directory. Additional builds were triggered even when no compilation was required.

In this preview version, Visual Studio will avoid calling MSBuild when just a copy of the artifacts to the output directory is needed, and will instead just copy them on its own to the correct locations.

Build acceleration can be enabled by adding the AccelerateBuildsInVisualStudio property to true in a Directory.Build.props file, or alternatively, it can be enabled for a single project by adding the same key to the project file.

This feature is currently only available on Visual Studio for Windows and exclusively for SDK-style projects.

In a Reddit thread some users discussed that adding additional proprietary features to Visual Studio instead of into the .NET SDK is undesirable since it implies a vendor lock-in. Reddit user Atulin expresses his concerns:

So, another thing added to proprietary VS instead of being added to the SDK? First the debugger, then the hot reload, now performance improvements also get rolled into VS?

What's next? Algebraic data types supported only by a special VS compiler?

In Microsoft developer Drew Noakes's Twitter thread however, he gave an explanation as to why this feature is currently only available as a Visual Studio exclusive:

VS has the advantage here as it's a long-running process, and so has a lot of information available when you hit build. Obviously anything is possible in software, but exactly how this might work on CLI isn't totally clear.

Adding this feature to the dotnet watch build tool is certainly a possibility, however according to Noakes, it would be a significant amount of work.

The addition of this feature to Visual Studio for Mac was not ruled out, but it does not seem to be planned for now.

The latest preview version of Visual Studio can be downloaded on Microsoft's official site. At the time of writing, the latest preview is Preview 6, released February 7th.

About the Author

Rate this Article