News/Tech News

Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3 Build Acceleration

Published on feb 18, 2023

Visual Studio 2022 17.5 Preview 3, released on January 18th, introduces the new build acceleration option. Build times have been improved for all SDK-style projects. There will be a greater improvement in build times for larger projects in particular. As a result of build acceleration, excess calls to MSBuild when building a dependent project are avoided.

It was the behavior of Visual Studio in versions prior to Preview 3 that sometimes caused MSBuild to be called even when there had been no changes to the code. In the event that Visual Studio needs to copy artifacts from a referenced project that is already built to an output directory, it will invoke MSBuild to re-build the project and copy the needed files to the output directory. Even when no compilation was required, additional builds were triggered.

Visual Studio will avoid calling MSBuild when just a copy of the artifacts is required, and instead will copy them to the appropriate location on its own.

By adding the AccelerateBuildsInVisualStudio property to true in a Directory.Build.props file, build acceleration can be enabled for a single project, or the same key can be added to the project file.

Visual Studio for Windows is the only application that offers this feature. It is available exclusively for SDK-style projects.

As discussed in a Reddit thread, some users believe that adding proprietary features to Visual Studio instead of the .NET SDK would imply a vendor lock-in.

The addition of this feature to the dotnet watch build tool is certainly a possibility, but according to Noakes, it would require considerable effort.

While the addition of this feature to Visual Studio for Mac was not ruled out, it does not appear to be planned for the near future.

Visual Studio’s latest preview version can be downloaded from Microsoft’s official website. The latest preview is Preview 6, which was released on February 7th.

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