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Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build by William Bartholomew, Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi

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Extending the Build Process

MSBuild aims to expose the build process and to allow users to completely customize the process. MSBuild does indeed achieve both of these goals, and does a good job of it! We will now take a close look at that build process and see how it can be extended.

When you create a managed project using Visual Studio, toward the bottom of the project file you will find an import statement such as the following one, which was taken from a C# project.

<Import Project="$(MSBuildToolsPath)\Microsoft.CSharp.targets" />

This statement imports another known file that defines how C# projects are built. This project file is shipped along with MSBuild, which is delivered as a part of the .NET Framework. The contents of the project files ...

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