Visual Studio Build Tools: A Developer’s Powerhouse
As a curious developer, having a remarkable array of tools in your arsenal comes in handy for constructing quality software efficiently. One of these powerful and popular tools that have gained significant traction among the development community is the Visual Studio Build Tools; its developers has made it a must-have for building, testing, and deploying applications across various platforms.
What are Visual Studio Build Tools?
Visual Studio Build Tools stands out as a free, stand-alone tool-set that comes with a treasure trove of resources and components enabling developers to create applications for Linux, Windows, macOS platforms, and more.
Included in this tool-set are essential components such as compilers, linkers, libraries, and other necessities needed for coding, testing, and deploying your application. The Visual Studio Build Tools toolset is designed to work seamlessly with Visual Studio, Visual C++, .NET Core; however, developers who prefer command-line interfaces can also use it as a stand-alone toolset.
Getting started with Visual Studio Build Tools
Before you begin to harness the power of Visual Studio Build Tools, you need first to download and install it. The installation process is quite easy and comes with a few steps to set up.
Steps to install Visual Studio Build Tools:
Step 1 – Download the Visual Studio Build Tools installer: Go to the Microsoft website and locate the Visual Studio Build Tools download page. The installer package size is about 3GB with varying-sized components.
Step 2 – Run the installer: after downloading the installer, run the executable file.
Step 3 – Select the components: in the installer, select the components you want to install. Choose the components that are suitable for your application.
Step 4 – Start the installation: Once the component selection process is complete, click on the Install button to commence the installation process. The installation process may take a few minutes, depending on the components you chose to install.
After completing the installation process, your Visual Studio Build Tools tool-set is completely set up and ready for use.
Using Visual Studio Build Tools
Using Visual Studio Build Tools is an excellent way to compile your code from the command line without the full-blown Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). Below are the basic steps to use Visual Studio Build Tools:
Steps to use Visual Studio Build Tools:
Step 1 – Create a project: Create a project in C++, .NET Core or C# using any preferred text editor or Visual Studio IDE.
Step 2 – Open the command prompt: Open the command prompt to use Visual Studio Build Tools. The command prompt can be easily accessed by pressing Windows + X and selecting the Command Prompt or PowerShell.
Step 3 – Navigate to the project folder: Navigate to the folder containing your project using the cd command followed by the folder path.
Step 4 – Build the project: To build the project, use the msbuild command and include the name of the project file, like:
This command compiles your code and produces your executable file.
Step 5 – Run the project: Once the project is compiled, navigate to the output folder and use the command prompt to launch the executable file.
Benefits of using Visual Studio Build Tools
There are several benefits that come with making use of the Visual Studio Build Tools in your development workflow. Here are a few of them:
- Platform compatibility: Visual Studio Build Tools allows you to compile your application for various platforms ranging from Linux, Windows, and macOS.
- Command-line interface: Visual Studio Build Tools comes with a command line interface that makes it possible for developers to utilize their preferred text editor and still compile code efficiently.
- Multiple language support: This tool-set is designed to support different programming languages like C++, C#, F#, and .NET Core.
- Improved performance: The compilers of Visual Studio Build Tools optimize your code and significantly reduce build time, significantly improving the overall performance.
Visual Studio Build Tools is a formidable toolset that has become a must-have for developers needing to create their applications expeditiously. The toolset comes laden with many benefits, including platform compatibility, a command-line interface, language support, and improved performance.
It may take you some time to learn how to utilize Visual Studio Build Tools effectively. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the basic workflows, and soon enough, you’ll love yourself for having this toolset at your fingertips.