Visual Studio 2005 introduces the MSBuild tool for compiling
and building your applications. Before Visual Studio 2005, the build tools
were bundled within Visual Studio as a proprietary application. Those of us
who utilized build processes outside of an IDE were forced to use tools like
Makefile and NAnt. While tools like NAnt
are being upgraded for .Net 2.0, with the advent of MSBuild, all you need now
is the .Net framework. No additional downloads are necessary.
For the last 8 years, I have worked in corporate
environments as an Intranet developer. Most of these environments included a
Development, Quality Assurance, or Testing environment and a Production
environment. For anyone in an environment like this, an automated build
process for your application is essential.
The automated build process assures consistency for testing
custom applications. By always having a process that builds your application
the same way every time, changes are caught, files get copied to the same
directory every time, and things like unit tests and documentation can be run.
To consistently make sure that you put the build process
into each application, make sure to have "Creating the Build Process"
or something similar as a task in your project plan. Making that task part of
your project plan ensures consistent builds across your environments. You are
also forced to make deliberate changes (for instance, adding a new dll to the
gac, and other tasks that affect the server environment).
In this article, I wanted to show how to deploy your Crystal
Report application to a different environment that might not have Visual Studio
.Net Framework 2.0 and an editor (I use Visual Studio 2005)