Web developer from Sydney Australia. Currently using asp.net, mvc where possible.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creating a NuPack package using a Build File - MsBuild Series

This post is going to walk through the steps of creating a NuPack package as part of an automated build file.
Previously we have created an automated build file to clean, version, compile, zip-binaries and zip-source code.
If you’re now familiar with creating build files then you may want to catch up by reading these:

1) NuPack Package Preparation

Before we start we need to get a few things in place.
  1. We need the NuPack.exe utility
  2. We need a directory to keep our NuPack stuff.
  3. We need a NuPack manifest file
(NB: The best way to learn how to build nuspec packages (at the moment) is to look through the examples by downloading the codeplex repository here: http://nupackpackages.codeplex.com/SourceControl/list/changesets)

Firstly we need to add the NuPack.exe utility to our tools directory. The NuPack.exe will be used to create our NuPack package. You can download this file from: http://nupack.codeplex.com/releases/view/52016
After downloading the following path should be valid:
  • [project root]\tools\nupack\nupack.exe
Next, we will create a directory for holding the input files for the NuPack package. Create the following directory:
  • [project root]\NuPack\
Inside this directory create a [projectName].nuspec file, for example:
  • [project root]\NuPack\StickyBeak.nuspec
This file needs to conform to the nuspec file format found here: http://nupack.codeplex.com/documentation?title=Nuspec%20Format
Below is a sample for the StickyBeak project:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
            <author>Mark Kemper</author>
        <description>StickyBeak is a logging utility for asp.net websites which can log every request to your site. It provides similar features as IIS log files but provides additional logging information (which just isn’t possible with IIS logs) and easy viewing of logs via a admin page</description>
Notice for now that we have hard coded the version number, later as part of the build we will replace this version number with the real version number.

Next I needed to copy some static files under the NuPack Directory. For StickyBeak I created the follow static content transforms
  • [Project Root]\NuPack\Content\NLog.config.transform”
  • [Project Root]\NuPack\Content\Web.Config.transform”
Any files you place in the Content directory will be copied to the target directory when someone installs your package.

Once you have your NuPack directory setup just how you want it, its time to build the package using a build target.

2) NuPack Target

For building the NuPack package I followed these basic steps it the build
  1. Copy everything from our “[Project Root]\NuPack” directory into “[Project Root]\Build\NuPack” . This sets up the static content required for the NuPack package.
  2. Copy the freshly built binaries from our output directory into “[Project Root]\Build\NuPack\Lib” – these files will become references when someone installs our package.
  3. Update the version number inside the Package specification file using a FileUpdate (regex) task
  4. Use a exec task to call the NuPack.exe executable and perform the packaging. NB: I set the working directory so the package will be created in the correct location.
The NuPack target is quite involved at the moment but hopefully dedicated task is created by Microsoft to help make this a little easier in the future.

The full target is shown below:
<Target Name="NuPack">
        <NuPackFiles Include="$(NuPackDestSource)\**" />
     <NuPackLibFiles Include="$(BuildOutputDir)\Bin\**" />
     <NuPackPackageFile Include="StickyBeak*nupkg" />

    <Message Text="Setting up the $(NuPackDestDir) directory will all the necessary files to create our package"/>
    <Copy SourceFiles="@(NuPackFiles)"  DestinationFiles="@(NuPackFiles->'$(NuPackDestDir)\%(RecursiveDir)%(Filename)%(Extension)')" />
    <Copy SourceFiles="@(NuPackLibFiles)"  DestinationFiles="@(NuPackLibFiles->'$(NuPackDestDir)\Lib\%(RecursiveDir)%(Filename)%(Extension)')" />

    <FileUpdate Files="$(NuPackDestDir)\StickyBeak.nuspec"
   ReplacementText="version>$(Major).$(Minor).$(Build).$(Revision)</version" />

    <Message Text="Executing the NuPack.exe packager"/>
    <Exec WorkingDirectory="$(BuildOutputDir)" Command="..\Tools\NuPack\NuPack.exe ..\$(NuPackDestDir)\StickyBeak.nuspec"/>

3) Update Our Default Build

Now we can update default build task to create our NuSpec package after each successful build.
<Target Name="Build" DependsOnTargets="Clean; VersionSolutionInfo; Compile; Zip-Source; Zip-Binaries; NuPack">
<Message Text="Clean, VersionSolutionInfo, Compile, Zip-Source, Zip-Binaries, 
That's it. We can now prepare our NuSpec package a the click of a button. The results of our build directory now look like this:


This is the forth post in the MsBuild series.

Shout it kick it on DotNetKicks.com


Unknown said...

I too believe that the NuPack using a Build File is the best option for building the MS Build Series.
If you are looking for a document generation system that you can call from .net, take a look at this dotnet document generation site. It has basic info on all the vendors. It makes for a great starting point

Matt Michielsen said...

At first I was getting the following error:
error MSB4025: The project file could not be loaded. '<', hexadecimal value 0x3C, is an invalid attribute character. Line 75, position 74.

It fixed it by changing the '<' characters to '<'.

Matt Michielsen said...

Hah, of course that happened. That would be &lt;

Unknown said...

Hey I my friends I tell you something can you give me answer The perk of deep linking 2.0 is that you will get better results on SERPs, if you manage to get the specific anchor text link on the backlink page which will be the inner page. Meaning: the backlink placed at www.onessite.com/inner_page_1 will pass more “link juice” than the one placed at www.onessite.com on the condition that both pages have the same PR and the same or almost the same amount of outbound links.
cheap link building plan