Monday, September 5, 2011

Creating Continuous Integration in TFS 2010 for SharePoint 2010 projects

Setting up Continuous Integration for the code in a project is a common procedure followed in projects. The Continuous Integration (CI) becomes more important in development projects using Agile methodology or for geographically distributed teams. You can create build definitions in Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 to build your codebase.

But the important question is – how do you setup CI for SharePoint projects? Because by TFS 2010 build agent will not be able to compile SharePoint code. This is because SharePoint code refers to the SharePoint assemblies. And these SharePoint assemblies are not available in the server where the TFS is configured. You could ask why don’t we just install SharePoint 2010 on the same server as TFS 2010. Installing SharePoint 2010 on TFS 2010 server is not recommended for performance reasons obviously.

So, the easiest way to successfully compiling SharePoint 2010 code on TFS 2010 server is to copy the SharePoint 2010 assemblies on the build server. The process is well documented on MSDN. There is also a PowerShell script what will collect the SharePoint 2010 assemblies and install them on the build server.

Please go through the below steps to achieve the same.

•    Follow the procedures defined on MSDN – How to Build SharePoint projects with TFS team build

Also keep in mind that the script may not copy all the required assemblies to build server. Make sure you also consider the following assemblies for copy.

•    Microsoft.Office.Server.dll
•    Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ServerRuntime.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.Taxonomy.dll
•    Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowActions.dll
•    Microsoft.Web.CommandUI.dll

Now that your build server can compile SharePoint codebase, you have to create a build definition in TFS 2010 for CI.

Creating Build Definition – Process Overview

1.    Make sure that your VS 2010 is connected to the TFS 2010 server. Now from the team explorer select New Build Definition on the Builds node.
 2.    Give the Build Definition a name and description
 3.    In Trigger tab, select Continuous Integration – Build each check-in.
 4.    In Workspace tab, select the source of your SharePoint codebase
 5.    In Build Defaults tab, specify output files drop folder
 6.    In Process tab, specify the solutions and projects to include in the build
 7.    In Retention Policy tab, specify how long builds should be kept. By default, last 10 builds are kept.
8.    Save the build definition

9.    Now go to the newly created build definition, right click and select Queue New Build.

10.    The build explorer window will show the build activity.

Hope this article will at least serve as a reference point for configuring TFS 2010 to build SharePoint 2010 code. Configuring CI for SharePoint projects involve much more planning and research. I would suggest you to go through the links specified in the article and in the reference section below.


-    Vighnesh Bendre