Build Automation with NAnt is a presentation I gave to the Wellington .NET user group in July 2010.

Think about the project(s) you’ve worked on in the last six months. What was involved in going from source code in development to working code in production? How many manual steps were involved? Do you have a copy of the mythical 47 step checklist for deployment into the test lab?

We developers spend much of our time streamlining and automating other peoples workflow, yet often we’re like the Cobblers children as we do things the hard way: manually. Start working smarter, not harder, and start automating your builds. NAnt is one good tool for this automation – come and see how NAnt works and discover how you might be able to use it yourself. If you’ve been considering use of psake, rake, make, nmake, msbuild (or any of their cousins) but aren’t quite sure what they’d do for you, come along to see some of what can be achieved with a little investment of time.

Top tips

  • Build scripts are code too - they deserve the same care and attention as any other code.

  • Favour small targets that do one thing well. These are also easier to test.

  • Extend your script slowly - one improvement at a time.

  • Create a Visual Studio target to install the NAnt schema so you get intellisense with Visual Studio

  • Any build automation is better than none - pick a system and get started

Other Build Systems


Audience Date
Wellington .NET User Group July 2010