6Building Your Application with Gulp and webpack

Build systems have been around in the world of server‐side software development for many years, starting from make files used for compiling C/C++ code or simple batch files used in the '80s and '90s and evolving into task‐based systems with the arrival of Java’s Ant in early 2000. And from Ant, NAnt and later MSBuild came to life and brought task‐based build automation systems to .NET.

Until recently, front‐end development did not require as many build steps as server‐side developments, but with the increasing complexity of JavaScript‐based applications, front‐end‐specific build systems started to appear.

This chapter covers Gulp and webpack, two of many build automation systems for front‐end development. It also covers the features of Visual Studio 2017 that make working with them easier and more integrated into the IDE.

Before seeing these tools in practice, you will have a look at the typical operations that are performed in the context of front‐end builds.

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