Thursday, June 23, 2011

TFS Build: Cannot add custom activity to build workflow

After creating a custom Workflow 4 activity, I was planning to add it to our existing build process  template. However after adding the activity to the toolbox in Visual Studio, I couldn’t drop the activity on the workflow designer.

The reason is that the workflow designer is not able to find the assembly containing the custom activity. There are multiple solutions out there to solve this problem. Probably the easiest one is adding the assembly to the GAC. Two other alternatives are:

  1. Adding the process template to a project and reference the assembly from this project.
  2. Adding the assembly to a location where Visual Studio will find it (e.g.  ..\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\PublicAssemblies).

If you want to know more about customizing the build process template, I can recommend the following blog series by Ewald Hofman:

  1. Part 1: Introduction
  2. Part 2: Add arguments and variables
  3. Part 3: Use more complex arguments
  4. Part 4: Create your own activity
  5. Part 5: Increase AssemblyVersion
  6. Part 6: Use custom type for an argument
  7. Part 7: How is the custom assembly found
  8. Part 8: Send information to the build log
  9. Part 9: Impersonate activities (run under other credentials)
  10. Part 10: Include Version Number in the Build Number
  11. Part 11: Speed up opening my build process template
  12. Part 12: How to debug my custom activities
  13. Part 13: Get control over the Build Output
  14. Part 14: Execute a PowerShell script
  15. Part 15: Fail a build based on the exit code of a console application

1 comment:

L. Esteban V Munoz said...

great, you saved my day. or my entire week