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Develop a Customized Build Process

By using the Default Template, you can create a build process that meets a broad set of the most common requirements. However, many teams require their processes to perform specialized tasks or follow customized logic.

Common tasks

Supporting content

Create and work with a custom build process template. If the build definitions that you can create based on DefaultTemplate.xaml do not meet the needs of your team, you can create your own richly customized build process template.

Create and Work with a Custom Build Process Template

Team Foundation Build Activities

Learn techniques that are generally useful when you are creating many kinds of customized build processes. Before you start to create your custom build process, you can learn key techniques that can help you work more effectively and efficiently. For example, you can learn the following techniques:

  • Customize the Windows Workflow segment of the build process. This segment of the build process is generally the appropriate place to customize most aspects of your build process. You can do this work more efficiently if you first learn key techniques, such as how to declare and use arguments and variables and how to work with key activities provided by Team Foundation Build.

  • Customize the MSBuild segment of the build process. This segment of the build process is often the appropriate place to customize how binaries are compiled and handled. You can do this work more efficiently if you first learn key techniques, such as how to pass arguments to MSBuild and how to set up and use a centralized common code library of your own MSBuild elements.

Control Where the Build System Places Your Binaries

Control where the build system drops your binaries. The default build process, as defined in DefaultTemplate.xaml, drops the compiled binaries from all code projects into a single directory. However, you might want to organize the binaries into a more granular and organized directory structure.

Control Where the Build System Places Your Binaries

Create a Custom Workflow Activity

(blog post) How to Create a Custom Workflow Activity

Navigate in a complex Windows Workflow. A customized build process that is based on DefaultTemplate.xaml is likely to have complex structures and deeply nested elements. Some topics in this section describe the location of a specific element in a Windows Workflow file in shorthand syntax. This topic explains that syntax and how you use it to find a specific element that you want to work with.

Navigate in a Complex Windows Workflow

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