Integrating Sandcastle into your builds

Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 by

So the opportunity to write this post came up a little quicker than anticipated.

Recently I've been tinkering with using MSBuild to create full build scripts with the new view of introducing my coworkers to concepts such as Continuous Integration, one of these steps is building the documentation for our core libraries. In the olden days of .NET 1.1 I used NDoc for this but sadly it's no more so we'll be using Sandcastle. Now a quick Google search will let you download some MSBuild targets for Sandcastle, however I had no luck with them, I suspect this was because of new versions of the Sandcastle and/or incorrect piping between the different tools in Sandcastle.

So what's the easier way?

Sandcastle Help File Builder is an excellent tool akin to NDoc that allows you to graphically set up and build your Sandcastle documentation, it's also a good way to quickly verify how you want your documentation to look before introducing it to your build script.

The best part? As well as having a GUI it also comes with a Console version, and by saving your documentation preferences into one of their project files (*.shfb) it can also easily be maintained in version control. The build script Target looks something like this

<Target Name="Documentation">

  <Exec Command="$(SandCastleHelpBuilderPath) Infrastructure.Core.shfb" />



Hope this helps someone.

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