Friday, November 27, 2009

Configuring an incremental build in TFS

By default, the TFS build server will execute a full build. This means that the existing workspace is cleaned up and all the source code is loaded from the TFS server. When your network connection is slow or when you have a lot of code on your build server, this can take a lot of time. To optimize this experience you can choose to execute an incremental build instead of a full build.

To specify an incremental build, you must set the SkipClean, SkipInitialiseWorkspace, and ForceGet properties in the TFSBuild.proj file.

Each of these properties configures a step to enable the incremental build experience:

  • When Team Foundation Build performs a full build, it cleans the files in the intermediate build folder and sources folder in Clean target. In an incremental build this target must be skipped because these files must be intact for the next build. To achieve this, set the property SkipClean to true.
  • As a part of a full build, Team Foundation Build deletes the old, and recreates a new workspace to clean and synchronize the sources files. In an incremental build, this target must be skipped also. To achieve this, set the property SkipInitializeWorkspace to true.

  • In the Get task, Team Foundation Build by default retrieves new source files and overwrites the existing files in the build workspace. To only retrieve the changed files, set the property ForceGet to false.

To set all of these properties, add the PropertyGroup definition to the end of the TFSBuild.proj file, before the closing </project> tag.

   1:  </ItemGroup>
   2:     <PropertyGroup>
   3:        <SkipClean>true</SkipClean>
   4:        <SkipInitializeWorkspace>true</SkipInitializeWorkspace>
   5:        <ForceGet>false</ForceGet>
   6:     </PropertyGroup>
   7:  </Project>


swordfish said...

I wonder how you could set forceget = false in TFS 2010 build since it doesn't provide the TFSBuild.proj any more in TFS 2010.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to set the NoCIOption to False and set the GetOption to Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.GetOptions.Overwrite
in order to enable Continues Integration builds.
All those properties are listed in the "Get Workspace" activity.

In addition you can disable creating Labels by setting the CreateLabel argument (open the the Arguments tab) to False