Build - Actions
The Build - Actions dialog box is one of the pages that appears when you click Advanced... on the Package attributes pane. It allows you to specify external actions that are performed during each project build.
External build actions
External build actions are specified as command lines, much as you would enter commands in a command prompt window. At build time, InstallMate writes the build action commands to a temporary batch file, starts a command processor to execute the batch file, waits until the command processor has finished executing the batch file, then resumes the build process.
Some hints and tips:
- The build actions' commands are written to separate batch files for each stage of the build process. The batch files are written to your TEMP folder and are retained until the next project build. You can use this feature for diagnostic purposes (the contents of each batch file are also copied to the build log).
- The batch files are executed with the current directory set to the project folder, so any file names that you specify should either be fully qualified, or relative to the project folder.
- InstallMate uses the COMSPEC environment variable to determine which command processor to use. Therefore, if you have installed an alternate command processor such as JP Software's TCC, you can take advantage of their extended command syntax in the build actions if the COMSPEC environment variable is set to point to the alternate command processor.
- Command line redirection works as expected. In particular, you can use > and >> to capture output from your commands, if desired.
- You can use symbolic variables as part of the command lines. Symbolic variables that contain system information lookup (using the syntax <@...>, <%...>, or <#...>; see Variables for details) are resolved on the system on which InstallMate runs. See Build-time variables for a list of symbolic variables that are useful at build time.
- Be sure to quote any file names that include spaces. This also applies to build-time variables such as <BuildTarget>, which might expand to include spaces. If necessary, inspect the build log or the batch files that InstallMate generates if you encounter any problems in this respect.
- During the build process, InstallMate opens the build log file with read-only sharing. Therefore, your custom actions cannot write to the build log file and can only read it if they open it with read-only access. Attempts to open the log file with both read and write access (even if only to read it) will fail.
Local and global actions
The Build - Actions dialog box contains two sets of build actions: local and global.
- Local actions are specific to a particular package and are only executed if that configuration is checked or built.
- Global actions are associated with the project as a whole. They are executed at the beginning or end of the entire build process.
The order in which build actions are performed during a project build is as follows:
Global: Before any configuration Config 1: a. Before preflight b. (preflight check) c. Before each build d. (target build) e. After each build ...repeat a-e for each target of this configuration... Config 2: a. Before preflight b. (preflight check) c. Before each build d. (target build) e. After each build ...repeat a-e for each target of this configuration... ...repeat per-configuration actions for any further configurations... Global: After all configurations
Dialog fields and options
All actions should be entered as command lines, similar to the command lines that you would use in a command prompt window. See External build actions above for details.
|Before each preflight check
|(Local action) Enter the actions that you want performed before each preflight check of this configuration.
|Before each build
|(Local action) Enter the actions that you want performed before each target build of this configuration.
|After each successful build
|(Local action) Enter the actions that you want performed after each successful target build of this configuration.
|Before any configuration is checked or built
|(Global action) Enter the actions that you want performed at the very start of the build process.
|After all configurations are checked or built
|(Global action) Enter the actions that you want performed at the very end of the build process.