Setting up a .net build server without Visual Studio

Usually setting up a build server is a very straight forward task but not always. In case you want to build .Net applications it could be a non-trivial task because of the tight coupling of the different build tools with Visual Studio. A simplified way of dealing with this complexity is to install Visual Studio in the build server. I took that approach in the past and I didn’t want to go that way again. I don’t want Visual Studio in the build server.

In a previous post I described the approach I took to simplified the setup of the different build tools I want to integration in my build process. But that approach does not work if you don’t have Visual Studio, FxCop will not work and at the same time you will get lot of warning messages because of missing dependencies. So here is what I have to do:

  1. Get a machine with Windows Server 2012 R2
  2. Install .Net SDK 4.5.2
  3. Install Microsoft Build Tools 2015
  4. Install Windows 7 SDK and .Net 4 SDK (not the whole package but only Reference Assemblies)
  5. Install .Net 3 assemblies (it can be installed by using the Add feature option in windows, so you don’t need any additional download)

With all this stuff installed in your server, then you can use the approach I described previously and just use your build server to trigger MSBuild to take care of running all your build tasks.

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