Reducing Project Build Times on Visual Studio 2015

InfoQ, December 3, 2015

By Lindsay Jeff Martin

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Microsoft has partnered with Xoreax to provide a freely installable version of IncrediBuild to users of Visual Studio 2015. IncrediBuild is designed to parallelize builds for several different project types. Previously all versions of IncrediBuild required a payment, but now developers can try using the technology with their own projects.

IncrediBuild works with the following compilers/project types under Visual Studio:

  • C/C++
  • C#
  • Clang
  • Xbox
  • Intel C++
  • Sony PlayStation

This free version of IncrediBuild will utilize up to 8 cores (previously this version only utilized 4 cores) on a developer’s machine and provides a visualization tool to monitor the progress of the build process. It includes “predicted (out of order) execution” which is intended to decrease build times by identifying and removing artificial build dependencies.

Interested developers can obtain the ‘free’ version of IncrediBuild by installing it through a new Template on the New Project menu, “Build Accelerator”. Once installed, a new menu item appears, “IncrediBuild”, which allows your project to be built immediately without any changes.

Additional performance gains are possible with the paid version which allows additional machines on a shared network to contribute to the build process. When asked by a commenter as to whether Microsoft intends to improve Visual Studio’s Build system directly, Microsoft’s Ayman Shoukry stated that the MSBuild team is having discussion as how to best achieve that. At present, nothing has been announced.