MSBuild Structured Log: record and visualize your builds
MSBuild has been open source for a while (over a year now!) and is used to build .NET and .NET Core projects. In fact, MSBuild is used to build the .NET Core Runtime itself.
Recently Kirill Osenkov published a new tool called MSBuild Structured Log that makes it easy to visualize your builds and the build process. Install and run MSBuild Structured Log from here.
It is an MSBuild logger that can be passed to MSBuild during a build and it records information about everything that happens in the build. But instead of just dumping everything into a huge text file it preserves the structure and relationships between elements, and lets you save and open the structured log in .xml format. This has significant advantages to help you understand and navigate large build logs.
It's easy to install and auto-updates itself. You can open a log file directory or it will build your project and show you the results in a friendly and searchable tree format:
Here's a more complex multi-project example. You can see what ran, what didn't, dependencies, and the logs themselves.
There is a great list of MSBuild-related resources and tips and tricks including these tools:
- https://github.com/MobileEssentials/MSBuilder - reusable blocks of MSBuild helpers
- MSBuild Sidekick
- https://github.com/KirillOsenkov/MSBuildTools - install from Chocolatey
cinst MSBuildDumper- very quick tool to dump properties and items of a project.
Sponsor: Many thanks to Stackify for sponsoring the feed this week! Stackify knows developers are the center of the universe. That’s why Stackify built Prefix and will give it out free forever. No .NET profiler is easier, prettier, or more powerful. Build better—now!
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
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