Thursday, January 7, 2010

Using the Build event of visual studio 2008


Some times we need to execute some custom task just before we build our solution or project, I have no idea how others IDE do that, but recently we have gathered some experience about Visual Studio 2008, and doing these kind of task became pretty easy.

In one of our project we had to use a custom third-party component, the component is easy to incorporate in the project, but we have a problem, the component uses a d-com component which can not be added in the project, but if we keep the com component in bin directory the program runs okay. so our challenge is to copy the component before build in the bin directory of output project from the other projects bin.

Visual Studio 2008 Build Events

In Visual studio 2008 we have two build event, prebuilt event command and post build event command, post build event can be controlled with various parameters for example, post build event will raise when a successful build is happened.


Figure: Visual Studio 2008 Build tab under Project properties

In our particular case we solved our problem in using pre-build event, now let us discuss a little bit more about pre-built event, you can use almost any kind of command in command line, provided that the commands don't require special permissions for executions.

In our case we have used "xcopy" command to solved the problem, there are lot of macro for execution. we used target directory as output macro, and source directory as solution macro, since its a simple problem we set the relative path of the DLL from solution path. worked okay, when we published the project we found that in publish version also contains the DLL, job done with very good time and in a good way.

Post build is almost similar like pre-build except it has some extra control, user can specify when to raise it, in the above screen shot you can see that there is a large combo at the bottom.

Here is a small example command in the for pre-build command.

If we want to copy all output files of a project to a deployment folder after post build event we have to put down the following command in the post build command line,

""xcopy "$(TargetDir)*.*" "c:\output" /S /I /F <NUL:""

Bellow i have put down a pre-build event command line input window with macro.


well that's all for now, please visit the references for more information, best of luck and happy coding.