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TFS Build template for MSI setup projects

Jan 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Out of the box TFS supports compiling and handling MSBuild projects. However we do not deliver executables to our customers, we deliver msi setups. Generating these msi setups from the TFS build server improves productivity and ensures reproducibility which is essential for quality procedures.

However TFS 2010 out of the box does not support building msi setups because they are generated from the devenv and not by MSBuild. MSBuild does not understand the .vdproj files. I cannot understand why support for setup projects is missing, especially because the right build template can add this support to TFS.

So I was looking for a TFS Build template that support .vdproj projects. I did not find one here on codeplex. I found a description how to change the standard build template on Here is used to build te setup project, so you need to install Visual Studio on the build server.

Does somebody have a build template for msi setup projects, or did I miss one here on Codeplex?

Mar 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM
Hi Pieter, sorry for the late reply. We do have an activity that wraps DevEnv called VSDevEnv. Unfortunately there is no documentation on it yet, but you can find the source code here:

So, by adding it to a build process templte you will be able to build setup projects. You will of courcse need to install Visual Studio on the build server in order for it to work. There is no way around that.