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Publish or Web Deploy an Azure Web App with MSBuild

It’s taken me a day and half to get this working. We have a Web App project which needs to be pushed to Azure from Jenkins. I was following this guide, Publish an Azure Web Site from the Command Line but it wasn’t doing the publish/deploy part at all.

At one point I thought it was because I was trying to build the solution rather than the key project, but trying to build the project with MSBuild led to a lot of mess due to its dependencies.

I messed with loads of things, but the kicker was putting VisualStudioVersion=12.0 in the properties of the MSBuild call. The version number you put in here corresponds to a tools directory such as C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v12.0. Mine was defaulting to v11.0 but I didn’t have /Web or /WebApplication tooling directories in the v11.0 folder. So check you have those directories in whichever version folder you choose!

Here’s my build command (which I run from the solution directory)

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\MSBuild.exe /p:DeployOnBuild=true;Configuration=Test;PublishProfile=azure-lcws-test;VisualStudioVersion=12.0 MySolution.sln

This uses my custom PublishProfile and Configuration. It’s just here for reference.

OK, that’s all. If you have a slightly different twist on the problem and manage to fix it, post it online somewhere! :)

Written 2015-09-03