Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Check in comment to dynamically enable or disable CI builds.

I just got done adding in some custom MSBuild changes to automatically check in a Jar file to another build type (i.e. MainBuild in this example) after the Jar file build type (i.e. CommonBuild in this example) is finished.

Buck showed me a really cool way to "enable" or "disable" continuous integration (CI), which is turned on for us, in the MainBuild. That is, when CommonBuild checks in the Jar file to MainBuild, we can control whether we want to fire off a MainBuild.

First we set a Property called ExecuteMainBuildCIBuild to true|false. If true, we set the check in comment equal to /comment:"AUTO CHECKIN FROM TFS FOR COMMON JAR BUILT IN $(BuildNumber)". If false, we set the check in comment to /comment:"$(NoCICheckinComment)". $(NoCICheckinComment) resolves to the string ***NO_CI*** which tells Team Build to not fire a CI build.

End users can also use ***NO_CI*** if they want to control the CI build behavior. For example, if you're wishing to check in a change and not execute a CI build, you can simply put ***NO_CI*** in the Comments section. I'm not sure if management will enjoy us sharing this back door, however I've found it to be a valuable tool for solving some unique problems.


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