TFS Build 2015 (vNext) – Custom Tasks

This post is part of a series of articles on the new TFS Build vNext System.

So I’ve talked before about how the new cross platform build system in TFS 2015 and Visual Studio Online is fully extensible and allows you to create your own custom build tasks but it isn’t immediately obvious how to do it.

I’ll would like to walk through an end to end example creating a custom vnext build task to run a SQL script as part of the build

The tasks for build vNext are open source and Microsoft is accepting contributions so if you write a really nice and useful task it could be included in every Visual Studio Online account.

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Visual Studio Online is now truly cross platform

Microsoft is doing a great job of embracing open source, cross platform technologies. Just look at the release of Visual Studio 2015, we’ve got first class support for python, node, android, iOS, cordova, the list is endless. The days of using Microsoft developer tools to develop code that only runs on Windows servers is over.

More than that, updates to Visual Studio Online made over the last few years, starting with support for GIT and now the new cross platform build system, have finally made the Visual Studio Online platform a real choice for non Microsoft developers.

Don’t believe me, well let me walk through an example how you can use Microsoft tools to create the full development infrastructure, from source control to build, test, deployment and hosting, to support a node.js project (or any other non Microsoft language actually) without ever coming across, using or interacting with a Windows Server or Windows operating system.

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Arkanoid: Learning Javascript and Node

Its been long long overdue but recently I have been learning javascript. I’ve always thought the best way to learn a new language is just to dive in and start writing something and getting the code working, so that’s that i’ve done. With the help of these tutorials, I’ve written a version of the classic Atari arcade game, Arkanoid. Its written entirely in javascript and html5, no third party libraries or frameworks.

Play the live game at or check out the source code on github,


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