Creating Team Build Types

I was answering a question related to programmatically creating team build types today and realized there weren’t too many examples on the web.  I didn’t see any examples that included all the details I was looking for – for example:

  • Adding the solution to be built to the new build type
  • Turning on/off test execution
  • Turning on/off code analysis

An example containing these details may exist, I just didn’t come across it during my initial search.

So, with that said, I decided to post the main part of the example application I put together to test out some concepts.  The items listed above are included in the example code below.

The example code includes two methods:

  • CreateBuildType – this method accepts six arguments that can be used to programmatically create a new build type.
  • VersionControlItemExists – this is a helper method that determines whether an item already exists in version control.

Although the example below can be used to create a new build type “as is”, there is always room for improvement.  For example:

  • Add a parameter to specify the default build agent.  Currently, the first build agent returned is used as the default when creating the build type.
  • Add a parameter to control the exact placement of the build type in version control (a common pattern is used in the example below).
  • Throw exceptions instead of displaying message boxes when exceptional conditions arise.  The message boxes were used for example purposes only.

With that said, here is the source code…

using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Client;
using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Common;
using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client;
using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client;
using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Common;

private static bool CreateBuildType(string serverName, string teamProject, string buildName, string solutionPath, string dropFolder, bool runTests)
// Get a connection to Team Foundation Server
TeamFoundationServer tfServer = TeamFoundationServerFactory.GetServer(serverName, new UICredentialsProvider());

// Get a reference to a build service
IBuildServer buildServer = (IBuildServer)tfServer.GetService(typeof(IBuildServer));

// Get a list of build agents associated with the specified team project
IBuildAgent[] buildAgents = buildServer.QueryBuildAgents(teamProject);

if (buildAgents.Length == 0)
@"The specified Team Project does not have any build agents associated with it. Please create at least one build agent.",
"No Default Build Agent Found",
MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Warning);

return false;

// Create the new build type definition
IBuildDefinition buildType = buildServer.CreateBuildDefinition(teamProject);

// Specify the name of the new build type
buildType.Name = buildName;

// Specify where the new build type should be stored in version control
buildType.ConfigurationFolderPath = string.Format(@"$/{0}/TeamBuildTypes/{1}", teamProject, buildName);

// Set the default build agent
buildType.DefaultBuildAgent = buildAgents[0];

// Set the default drop location
buildType.DefaultDropLocation = dropFolder;

if (!VersionControlItemExists(tfServer, buildType.ConfigurationFolderPath))
IProjectFile projectFile = buildType.CreateProjectFile();

// Add a new solution to be built to the project
ISolutionToBuild solution = projectFile.AddSolutionToBuild();

// Set the path of the solution to build
solution.SolutionPath = solutionPath;

// Specify whether tests should be ran or not
projectFile.RunTest = runTests;

// Run code analysis if the project is setup to do so
projectFile.RunCodeAnalysis =

// Save the project file

// Save the new build type
// The specified build type already exists
"The specified Build Type already exists. Please specify a different Build Type name.",
"Build Type Already Exists",
MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Warning);

return false;

return true;
private static bool VersionControlItemExists(TeamFoundationServer tfServer, string itemPath)
string projectFilePath = VersionControlPath.Combine(itemPath, BuildConstants.ProjectFileName);

return ((VersionControlServer)tfServer.GetService(typeof(VersionControlServer))).ServerItemExists(
projectFilePath, VersionSpec.Latest, DeletedState.NonDeleted, ItemType.File);

Creating Team Build Types

by Jeff Bramwell time to read: 2 min