Saturday, October 29, 2005

Building Projects with NAnt

This document provides an introduction to NAnt and describes a set of guidelines for building projects with it.

NAnt is a free build tool based on .NET. NAnt has many advantages over existing build tools that make it the build tool of choice. First of all, NAnt is platform independent. It can be installed and executed on every system for which a .NET implementation exists. Then, Instead of processing configuration files containing shell-based commands, which are system dependent, NAnt processes build files where targets and tasks are described in XML, making it easier to move projects across systems.

Of course, NAnt does not implement all the functionalities available through shell-based commands, but if you absolutely need a not-implemented functionality, you can either extend NAnt by writing your own task with your preferred .NET programming language, or relay to the general-purpose task, which allows the execution of any program installed on your system.

In order to take full advantage of NAnt capabilities, how projects are structured and how build files are written makes the difference. After introducing how to get, install, and run NAnt, this document presents a set of guidelines that will help you create better projects.

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