Display Custom Build Steps in the Team Build IDE

Once you start overriding targets and creating a more complex build project, you may find that the minimal build steps provided in the build IDE get a little frustrating. There are a few samples that show how to display custom Build steps, but no usable task. I’ve written a stripped down task and am making it available for download.

To use this task, simply add the task to any sections of your TFSBuild.proj file where you would like a custom step to be displayed.


With no custom steps, the build would look like this:

By adding

<Target Name="AfterGet">
<ShowBuildStep TeamFoundationServerUrl="$(TeamFoundationServerUrl)" BuildUri="$(BuildURI)"
BuildStep="…Preparing compilation Environment"/>

…[your code]…  </Project>

you get

Remember to import the task in your TFSBuild.proj file (e.g. <Import Project="D:\BuildTools\FreeToDev.Tasks" />)

Note: This assembly is signed. When queried you should get a public key of: 10d297e8e737fe34

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4 Responses to Display Custom Build Steps in the Team Build IDE

  1. Uldis says:

    Hello! Can You give a little explain how are You done this. I want to make a little bit complex build steps reporting on runtime and try to force successful/failed status of build.

  2. Mike says:

    Hi UldisI
    will put together the code and email it to you later today, though I\’m
    not sure you will be able to use it to \’force successful/failed status
    of the build.\’RegardsFTD

  3. Unknown says:

    I\’d like to use this functionality, but I get the following error when I try to use it:The "ShowBuildStep" task failed unexpectedly.System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly \’Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Common, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a\’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.That DLL is on the server and I put it in the same folder as the FreeToDev Task DLL, to no avail. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. Uldis Karlovs-Karlovskis says:


    after 4 years I need this feature again 🙂
    Seems assembly works only on TFS 2005. Got the same exception as user “unknown”. Mike, can you send me those sources again so I`ll can recompile them for TFS 2008? 🙂

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