07 June 2006

MSBuild Sidekick is Released

The developers from Attrice have done it again. They have released a brand new sidekick - the Microsoft Build Sidekick. The Microsoft Build Sidekick allows you to edit your MSBuild projects in a graphical, hierarchical format. You can also use this utility to modify your TFS build types. It can take a few seconds to open up a build file and have it displayed in the utility but once it's loaded, it is very easy to work with.

Here is a list of initial features:

  • Load and modify any file complying to MSBuild schema
  • View build project structure in a tree view that displays tasks used in build, property groups and properties, item groups and items, targets and targets tasks and imported build projects.
  • Show or hide presentation of imported definitions in a project tree view
  • View MSBuild project raw XML source as you modify the project
  • Modify project default targets
  • Add or remove tasks used in build project from external assembly
  • Add, remove or modify property groups
  • Add, remove or modify properties in property groups
  • Add, remove or modify item groups
  • Add, remove or modify items in item groups
  • Add, remove or modify targets
  • Add, remove or modify selected target's tasks, tasks order
  • Modify selected task properties (including output properties specification)
  • Import or remove external build projects
  • Open any imported project from the loaded project

This is a nice feature set for a "1.0" product. Here are a couple of features I have suggested be added to the product (we'll see if they get implemented :-)

  • Ability to connect to a TFS project and directly modify TFS Build Type projects - including the ability to check it out from version control.
  • Ability to view XML source and graphical view side-by-side (or rather, over-under). It would be kind of neat, and somewhat useful, to be able to see the XML source get updated as changes are made in the graphical view.

Also, a new blog dedicated entirely to the set of Team Foundation Sidekicks has been created. Click here to check it out.

Check out the Sidekicks page for more details.