Build .Net 3.5 code with Nant, MsBuild on build server without installing VS2008

If you don’t have enough space to install Visual Studio 2008 on your build machine to build .Net 3.5 solution you can do the following. Most likely you will run into the same obstacles as I did, maybe others as well.

First download Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5

When you install you can skip the documentation and samples, it will bring the install down from 2.4GB ! down to about 525MB, not bad.

If you get the following error when you set the framework to Net-3.5 from Nant

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at NAnt.Core.FrameworkInfo.get_Version()

You have a certain version of Nant around 0.86 that has old version of the path for the SDK. In your nant.exe.config under net-3.5 look for this section

        hive=“LocalMachine” />

        key=“SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\WinSDKNetFxTools\InstallationFolder”
        failonerror=“false” />

    <property name=“frameworkDirectoryV35” value=“${path::combine(installRoot, ‘v3.5’)}” />
    <fail if=“${not(directory::exists(frameworkDirectoryV35))}”>The Framework directory for .NET 3.5 does not exist.</fail>
    <property name=“referenceV35” value=“${environment::get-folder-path(‘ProgramFiles’)}/Reference Assemblies/Microsoft/Framework/v3.5” />
    <fail if=“${not(directory::exists(referenceV35))}”>The Reference Assemblies directory for .NET 3.5 does not exist.</fail>

change the sdkInstallRoot key v6.0A value to the following
key=”SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.1\WinSDKNetFxTools\InstallationFolder”

If you get the following as well
MY.Web.csproj(364, 11): error MSB4019: The imported project “C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v9.0\WebApplications\Microsoft.WebApplication.targets” was not found. Confirm that the path in the declaration is correct, and that the file exists on disk.

No problem, copy the content of your v9.0 directory from your dev box under C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v9.0 to your build server, these are just configuration files.

Then if your using the Microsoft test extensions you might get this one as well
App\DataAccess\CaseDataAccessTest.cs(5, 17): error CS0234: The type or namespace name ‘VisualStudio’ does not exist in the namespace ‘Microsoft’ (are you missing an assembly reference?)

We will simply solve this one by copying the MS test dll’s from the dev machine and install them in the Gac on the build machine.
C:\tmp>gacutil /i Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.Resource.dll
C:\tmp>gacutil /i Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.UnitTestFramework.dll

Now you should be good to go and ready to build on the build server without the heavy VS2008 install.

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