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MSBuild Concepts

MSBuild provides a basic XML schema that you can use to control how the build platform builds software. To specify the components in the build and how they are to be built, use these four parts of MSBuild: properties, items, tasks, and targets.



MSBuild Properties

Introduces properties and property collections. Properties are key/value pairs that you can use to configure builds.

MSBuild Items

Describes the general concepts behind the MSBuild file format and how the pieces fit together.

MSBuild Targets

Explains how to group tasks together in a particular order and enable sections of the build process to be called on the command line.

MSBuild Tasks

Shows how to create a unit of executable code that can be used by MSBuild to perform atomic build operations.

Comparing Properties and Items

Compares MSBuild properties and items. Both are used to pass information to tasks, evaluate conditions, and store values that can be referenced throughout the project file.

MSBuild Special Characters

Explains how to escape some characters that MSBuild reserves for special use in specific contexts.

Walkthrough: Creating an MSBuild Project File from Scratch

Shows how to create a basic project file incrementally, by using only a text editor.

Walkthrough: Using MSBuild

Introduces the building blocks of MSBuild and shows how to write, manipulate, and debug MSBuild projects without closing the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE).

MSBuild Reference

Links to documents that contain reference information.


Presents an overview of the XML schema for a project file and shows how it controls processes that builds software.