Vista sidebar build monitor and PowerShell scripts for Team Build Orcas

Buck Hodges

Jason Prickett, a developer on Team Build, has written some very nice posts.  All of these posts only work with Team Build Orcas.

The first one shows a very cool Vista sidebar which Jason has fiddled with a while back as a side project and finally got around to finishing it off and making it available.  His post has a screenshot as well.

Monitoring Build Status in your Windows Vista Sidebar

So, I have been wanting to create a sidebar gadget for a while, but I also wanted it to be something useful. In this post I have attached the source code for a sidebar gadget that monitors the build status of a particular build definition.

Key Features:

  • Each instance of the sidebar gadget monitors a particular build definition.
  • An icon represents the status of the most recent build for that definition.
  • The text is a hyperlink to the build report for the most recent build.
  • It automatically polls (based on a Java Script timer) the server to get the latest info.
  • As you can see, you can create as many instances as your sidebar will hold!


Then he has two neat posts showing how to use PowerShell with the Orcas Team Build client API.  Apparently, James has got him hooked on PowerShell.

Average Build Size

So, I haven’t actually gotten a request for this, but I thought it might be useful 🙂

Let’s say you are using the new features of Team Build like drop management and continuous integration. So far you have the binaries for 12 builds sitting on your server for definition X. You notice you are almost out of disk space on that server and need to purchase some more. But how much? After looking at your drop management policy for definition X, you see that the maximum number of builds you will need to keep is 20. But how much disk space does that correspond to? You could go to the drop location and sum up the size of every folder, but is there a faster way? Of course there is!

In the following PowerShell script, I get the list of builds for definition X and then sum up the size of all files in the drop locations.


Team Build OM thru PowerShell – Example GetAffectedBuildDefinitions

Well, it’s been a long time since I have had the time (okay made the time) to blog on something interesting. To make up for that, I have a quick entry that includes all kinds of interesting tidbits.

This entry is based on Team Build’s next version which is available in a CTP release right now, and will be in Beta very soon (don’t ask, I don’t know when). In the next version of Team Build, we have included an Object Model (OM) that wraps all the functionality of the Web Services. This makes writing your own apps that need build information, much easier.

As I talk about how to use the methods and objects in the OM, I will show examples using PowerShell commands. PowerShell is an incredible recently new shell for Windows, that allows you to manipulate not just text output by command line apps, but real objects returned from any managed library. If you want to know more (and you should), goto to

So, here’s a quick example:

Problem: What Build Definitions are building this C Sharp project?



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