Overriding MSBuild variables via command line options

While working on a build script for the Pex Extensions project, I wanted to be able to specify the version of Pex which the project was built against for use within the AssemblyInfo and file names. This build script is being executed manually in order to create all the zip files to upload but I didn’t want to have to manually edit the script to set the value. I wanted to provide the version when I executed MSBuild via the command line as a command line argument.

After a bit of searching on MSDN, I found that you can override any variables created within the PropertyGroup. At the top of your build script, you generally define your variables within the PropertyGroup to specify paths, versions etc. Within my build script, my PropertyGroup looked like this:


Using the /p: command line switch, I can override the PexVersion property by executing the script as follows:

> msbuild Pex.msbuild /p:PexVersion=0.6.30728.0

If I forget to set the argument, the value set within the script will be used.

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