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Building the Application

With Team Foundation Build, you can create build definitions to automate compiling applications, running associated tests, performing code analysis, releasing continuous builds, and publishing build reports.

To build an application, you create a build definition to specify what projects to build, what triggers a build to run, what automated tests to run, and where to deploy the output. This information is stored in the data warehouse, from which it is retrieved when a build runs. After the build runs, data about the build results is stored back in the warehouse, where it is available to view through build reports.

The following illustration shows the three main phases of building an application:

Three phases of building an application

Set up and administer your build system.

Create a build definition with instructions about which code projects to compile, what action should trigger the build, what tests to run, and many other configurations. You can even use legacy MSBuild files by using the upgrade template.

Manually start a build, and monitor the progress of builds.

View information about builds and manage builds. Rate the quality of a build, or delete completed builds.

If a team waits a long time between checking code in and deploying a build, members of that team frequently spend a significant amount of time addressing build breaks and integration issues. If your team checks code in and builds more frequently, you can generally expect to increase your team's velocity.