Build components

The ReadyRoll build components depend on the migration scripts created by the Visual Studio extension.

The ReadyRoll build components work with any continuous integration server (eg, VSTS/TFS, TeamCity, Jenkins, Bamboo, etc), and let you:

  • build the database alongside an application as part of a continuous integration process
  • validate the migration scripts
  • run tSQLt tests, integration tests, etc
  • create a package used by the release components


  • Any continuous integration server that can run MSBuild
  • For build-time migration script verification, then on the agents:
    1. Microsoft SQL Server Native Client (x86/x64)
    2. Microsoft Command Line Utilities for SQL Server (x86/x64)
    3. After installing the above, the machine (or agent process) must be restarted: the above installer adds the utility to the PATH system environment variable, enabling ReadyRoll to find and execute the SqlCmd utility.


The build components need to be installed on your build agents.

There are a few of options available to you. Options A and B are easier to set up and maintain, however if consistency between Visual Studio and Continuous Integration builds is a priority, Option C is recommended.

Option A - In VSTS/TFS, use the ReadyRoll build definition template

If you are building a ReadyRoll project with the build definition template provided by the ReadyRoll extension, the ReadyRoll build components will be installed to your build agent automatically using two build tasks: NuGet Tool Installer and ReadyRoll Download Build Components.

If you have a custom build definition, just add these two tasks before the Visual Studio Build task.

Some versions of TFS may not support these tasks. If you cannot find them in your version of TFS, consider options B or C.

More detailed instructions on how to set up a ReadyRoll build in VSTS/TFS can be found here.

Or, Option B – Install the ReadyRoll Visual Studio extension on each build agent:

If you have admin and remote desktop access to your build agents, you may find this to be the simpler of the two options.

Install the ReadyRoll build components on each build agent by downloading and installing the ReadyRoll Visual Studio extension (eg, via remote desktop).

Or, Option C – Use the ReadyRoll.MSBuild NuGet package:

If you don't have admin access to your build agents, or if you would like to control the versioning of your build-time dependencies, ReadyRoll also allows you to install the build components using the ReadyRoll.MSBuild NuGet package.

The below steps differ to the standard package installation/upgrade process due to the lack of support within the NuGet client for database projects. This necessitates the addition of an (otherwise empty) class library project within your solution, which acts as a placeholder for the NuGet package reference.

  1. In Visual Studio, open the solution containing database project(s) and add a new Class Library (.NET Framework) project to the solution, e.g. PlaceholderLibrary
  2. Open the Package Manager Console by clicking View then Other Windows then Package Manager Console.
  3. From the Default Project drop-down select the placeholder class library project.
  4. In the Package Manager Console, enter:

    Install-Package ReadyRoll.MSBuild
  5. In the Solution Explorer, right-click the ReadyRoll database project, then click Unload Project.
  6. In the Solution Explorer, right-click the ReadyRoll database project, then click Edit <ProjectName>.sqlproj
  7. In the .sqlproj file, add the following snippet under the root node (<Project>):

      <ReadyRollNuGetIsRestored Condition="$([System.IO.Directory]::GetDirectories($(ReadyRollNuGetBaseFolder), 'ReadyRoll.MSBuild.*').Length) != 0">True</ReadyRollNuGetIsRestored>
      <ReadyRollTargetsPath Condition="$(ReadyRollNuGetIsRestored) == 'True'">$([System.IO.Directory]::GetDirectories($(ReadyRollNuGetBaseFolder), 'ReadyRoll.MSBuild.*')[0])\tools\ReadyRoll.Data.Schema.SSDT.targets</ReadyRollTargetsPath>

    If your project was created with ReadyRoll 1.14.17 or earlier, the .sqlproj file will contain another instance of the <ReadyRollTargetsPath> element. Ensure that the element is only specified once by replacing it with the above <ReadyRollTargetsPath> definition.

    The <ReadyRollNuGetBaseFolder> element in the above snippet assumes that your solution file (.sln) is in the parent folder of the ReadyRoll database project .sqlproj file. If the solution file is not in the parent folder, then you will need to modify the relative path in the value as appropriate (that is the part that contains the sub-string "..\packages").

  8. Save the file.
  9. In the Solution Explorer, right-click the ReadyRoll database project, then click Reload Project.
  10. In the dialog box, click Yes.
  11. To confirm that the build components have been successfully installed, Rebuild Solution, then in the Output window, find the line containing "Using ReadyRoll toolpath" and check that the path to the .targets file is within your solution's packages folder.
  12. Commit the changes to source control.

    You will either need to do a NuGet restore during build, or also commit the packages folder to source control, just like with any other NuGet reference.

    You have now completed the installation of the ReadyRoll.MSBuild NuGet package.

Upgrading the ReadyRoll.MSBuild NuGet package

  1. Close and re-open Visual Studio. This is needed in order to release file locks on ReadyRoll build-time dependencies.
  2. Open the Package Manager Console by clicking View then Other Windows then Package Manager Console.
  3. From the Default Project drop-down select the placeholder class library project.
  4. In the Package Manager Console, enter:

    Update-Package ReadyRoll.MSBuild
  5. Close and re-open the solution. This is needed in order for the upgrade to take effect within the database projects.

  6. To confirm that the build components have been successfully upgraded, Rebuild Solution, then in the Output window, check that the ReadyRoll version matches that of the upgraded NuGet package.

    To locate the version number, in the output text look for the file path that follows the string  "Using ReadyRoll toolpath" . If the version number does not match the upgraded NuGet package, check that the ReadyRollTargetsPath element is defined exactly as specfied above in the project file, and that there are no other versions of ReadyRoll.MSBuild present in the packages folder.

Getting started

For details on how to get started:

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