MSBuild Sidekick v2(beta) is available for download

MSBuild Sidekick can be used to open and build the following project types:

  • Custom build scripts
  • VS2005 C# or VB.NET projects
  • VS2005 solutions
  • Delphi projects

This version does not support building VS2008 projects and MSBuild 3.5 scripts, but  according to this post it will be provided in the future.


  • View project structure in categorized project tree view (similar to v1)

  • View project structure in sequential project tree view (elements appear in the same order as in build project)

  • Show or hide imported elements in project tree view as desired

  • Add new or delete selected elements

  • Edit selected element’s properties and comments using properties grid

  • Edit elements properties in a list (for container elements such as PropertyGroup etc.)

  • Edit selected element’s properties and comments using raw XML view

  • Add tasks to targets using categorized "Add task" dialog

  • Use properties, items and item metadata intellisense support when editing elements

  • Change elements order in sequential project tree view or in elements list (for container elements)

  • Perform "intelligent" rename of the elements throughout the project (all relevant elements are renamed)

  • Delete elements throughout the project (no "dead" references left behind)

  • Navigate between elements and element views (properties, list or raw XML) using backward/forward navigation

  • Navigate between elements using "Find Element" dialog

  • Navigate between elements using "Jump To" function in element properties

  • Use integrated MSDN help (either from locally installed MSDN collection or from online MSDN)

  • View targets and tasks execution graph

  • Specify global or project-specific properties to be used in build session

  • Modify environment properties per project for the build session

  • Select targets for the build session

  • Build project

  • Review build results using console log (similar to command-line MSBuild console log)

  • Review build results using errors/warnings log

  • Review build results using structured detailed log; navigate to specific elements from the log

Download MSBuild Sidekick v2



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An better approach to visualize build output – BuildConsole.NET

A nice and free tool from Gaston Milano(the author of CoolCommands addin) that allow to visualize your build output.


  • Open BuildFiles and Solution Files
  • Show and Save Build Reports
  • Support for cancellation
  • Verbosity Configuration
  • Save the history of your builds


Download BuildConsole.NET


Technorati tags: tool, msbuild, dotnet, vs2005

How to run msbuild from your application ?

The following function creates an Engine object and uses the BuildProject method to build a project file.

scriptParams )
    // Instantiate a new Engine object
    Engine engine = new Engine();
    // Point to the path that contains the .NET Framework 2.0 CLR and tools
    engine.BinPath =
    // Instantiate a new FileLogger to generate build log
    FileLogger logger = new FileLogger();
    // Set the logfile parameter to indicate the log destination
    logger.Parameters = "logfile="+logPath;
    // Register the logger with the engine
    Project project = new Project(engine);
    // pass params to msbuild file
    foreach (BuildPropertyGroup pg in project.PropertyGroups)
        foreach ( string key in scriptParams.Keys )
            pg.AddNewProperty( key, scriptParams[key]);
    // Build a project file
    bool success = engine.BuildProject(project);
    //Unregister all loggers to close the log file
    return success;

The MSBuild Community Tasks Project

The MSBuild Community Tasks Project is an open source project for MSBuild tasks. The goal of the project is to provide a collection of open source tasks for MSBuild.

[Via Paul Welter's Weblog]