2010 Build Basics – The Build Report and Build Configuration

While I’m working through the upgrade of dependency replicator to 2010 (beta 1) I have a CI build setup to give me feedback on how my check-in’s are going. This is maybe a bit of overkill, being that it’s a one man show but one of the things I was really keen to see was the new build report. I’d seen it in videos, and a little in the CTP but a bug that existed made it pretty hard to get at (I got white screens pretty consistently.

So I finally cracked it open tonight and one of the first things I noticed about my running build was the “Show Property Values” option on the log. This is a really great way to get either a general view of the tasks run during your build, or if the build is failing (as mine was – but that’s for later) to get the actual values being passed around during the build steps.

Build Log Without Parameters

Build Log Without Parameters

Build Log With Parameters

Build Log With Parameters

How is this helpful? Well as I mentioned – my CI build was “failing”. It wasn’t failing per se, rather it would report that the configuration I was trying to build wasn’t valid. When checking the build definition it looked ok as “Release | x86” but there was a key gotcha in the build configuration string. The split on the pipe value meant that the space on either side of the pipe got included in the configuration parameter, and therefore it didn’t match the “Release” and “x86” configuration names I’d specified. I spotted this will checking the build log through the new interface. As you can see, there’s a space either side of the comma – which made me wonder.

Broken Build Configuration

Broken Build Configuration

It turns out the configuration to build is actually a little frail, so if you are experiencing issues with your build definition being unable to be found, the configuration to build is a good place to start. I’ve raised a suggestion on connect in regards to improving this part of the dialog to potentially load the available configs from the solution to build (if it’s available at that point) or simply applying a couple of small reliability fixes such as white space trimming. Vote for it here

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