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MSBuild , as Microsoft Build Engine called, is one of Microsoft build tool developed, free, that is a software - tool for the creation of .NET -based applications . Microsoft's integrated development environment Visual Studio is heavily dependent on MSBuild; However, MSBuild itself does not depend on Visual Studio. This means that .NET projects can also be built with MSBuild without using Visual Studio.


MSBuild essentially consists of the msbuild.exe file and DLL files, which are also contained in the .NET Framework , and XML schemas , according to which the project files used by msbuild.exe are structured. Because of its XML-based nature, MSBuild is also classified as a markup language.

The Apache Ant and NAnt build tools were used as models for building MSBuild .


Before the 2005 version of Visual Studio appeared, applications were created by Visual Studio itself. Then Microsoft outsourced the creation process from the development environment, also so that it can be more easily adapted by the developer. The first version of MSBuild appeared in 2005 and was version number 2.0. The range of functions has been significantly expanded in the subsequent versions. MSBuild 3.5, for example, supports multiple processors , among other things . MSBuild 4.0 is the first version that can also be used to build Visual C ++ projects.

2015 Microsoft handed over the development of MSBuild to the .NET Foundation , consequently, MSBuild is under the MIT license open source on GitHub made available. In September 2015 it was announced that MSBuild would be converted to the CoreCLR runtime environment , on which the modular .NET Core framework is based.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Robin Sedlaczek: MSBuild: Microsoft provides build system under open source license , in: heise developer of March 20, 2015, accessed on December 7, 2015
  2. Robin Sedlaczek: Open Source .NET: MSBuild will rely on CoreCLR in the future , in: heise developer from 4th Sep. 2015, accessed December 7, 2015