Web Deploy: How to see the command executed in Visual Studio during publish

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I just saw a post on Twitter asking the question

    Is there any easy way to see the underlying MSBuild command when building in VS2010? Want to see the MSDeploy params. @wdeploy?

One thing to know is that when you publish from Visual Studio, by default we use the MSDeploy (AKA Web Deployment Tool) Object Model in order to perform the deployment. We do this for performance and other reasons. Because of this there is no real msdeploy.exe command that is being issued. You can however change that behavior. This is controlled by an MSBuild property UseMSDeployExe which is false by default. In this case since Troy wants to see the command we will need to set that property to false. There are 2 ways in which you can do this. You can set it in the project file itself, or you can define it in a .wpp.targets file. I would recommend the second approach. What you need to do is to create a file with the name {ProjectName}.wpp.targets in the same directory as the project where {ProjectName} is the name of the Web Application Project (WAP). When you do this, during a build or publish the file is automatically imported into the build process. In my example I have a WAP named WebApplication1.csproj, so I created the file WebApplication1.wpp.targets and its contents are shown below.

<?xml version=1.0 encoding=utf-8?>

<Project ToolsVersion=4.0 DefaultTargets=Build






In the snippet above you can see that I defined the property to true. Now there is one more thing to do, publish the project. Once you publish the project, in the output window you will see the MSDeploy command which is being used. In my case I published the project to localhost to the Default Web Site/Test01 application path. You may have to copy the text from the output window into Notepad and search for msdeploy.exe. The command that was issued in my case is shown below (with formatting changes for readability).

“C:Program Files (x86)IISMicrosoft Web Deploymsdeploy.exe”
 value=’Default Web Site/Test01′
 value=’Default Web Site/Test01′

So that’s it, pretty simple.

FYI, if you want more detail you can increase the MSBuild Output Window verbosity by going to Tools->Options->Projects and Solutions->Build and Run then specifying a different value for MSBuild project build output verbosity.

Note: Cross posted at: http://sedodream.com/2010/11/04/WebDeployHowToSeeTheCommandExecutedInVisualStudioDuringPublish.aspx

Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi – @sayedihashimi


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