My Review of Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine

Originally submitted at O’Reilly

Your practical guide to using, customizing, and extending the build engine in Visual Studio 2010.

Quite a LOT of information

By Jim from Herndon, VA on 5/5/2011


5out of 5

Pros: Concise, Easy to understand, Accurate, Well-written, Helpful examples

Best Uses: Intermediate, Expert

Describe Yourself: Developer

I’ve reviewed this book as part of O’Reilly’s blogger program.

I have previously used MSBuild and Windows Installer XML for build and deploy scenarios. Before reading “Inside the Microsoft Build Engine”, I considered my understanding of MSBuild to be fairly in-depth. After reading through this book, I now realize that I’ve not used MSBuild to its full potential.

This book covers a lot, from the basics of ItemGroups and PropertyGroups, to writing custom tasks and loggers, to using MSBuild for the more complicated build process of Visual C++ projects.

Recently, I was on a team which used MSBuild and msdeploy.exe for building and deploying a web application. Researching and implementing a solution with proper configuration took the better part of two days. The last three chapters of this book cover web application build/deployment scenarios and would have been very useful if I had this book as a reference a few months ago.