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When a build starts, any existing macros that are marked to be added to environment variables are added. Any Set Macro steps in the build marked this way will also add/update or delete the associated environment variable for the Visual Build process when built.
Build Status and Breakpoints
During a build, [building] will be displayed in the main window caption. If the build is paused at a breakpoint, because the build has been paused, or for single step debugging, [break] is displayed in the caption. Breakpoints can be set or cleared at any time by clicking on the BP column next to the desired step, selecting a step and choosing Step|Toggle Breakpoint. In the Step Panes, the current step is also highlighted, and Building… is displayed in the Build Status column. This view will automatically scroll down to show the current step. If the window is scrolled manually, automatic scrolling is halted.
Note: a step's build status is not saved with the project file unless the associated option is set.
Steps Included in a Build
Each step is evaluated to determine whether it should be built. If the step is already marked Completed it will not be built again until its status is reset (by resetting the build or by unchecking and checking that step) or a Rebuild is performed. Next, it must also be checked in order to be built (the check mark in the Build column must be checked), and its parent steps may also need to be checked (depending on the option set in Application options). Finally, any applicable build rules are evaluated (how parent step rules are considered is also determined by application settings).
If the evaluation of the check status and build rules are successful, the step will be built; if the evaluation is false, the step will be skipped and its status updated to Skipped. When a step's repeating build rule is processed or when a step is skipped, if the logging option to log build rule when a step is skipped or repeated is checked, the details of the build rule will be logged.
Note: Conditional build rules and the checked flag are not considered when Rebuild Selected is chosen (all selected steps will be built).
Current Build Position and Logging
The current build position is always marked with a yellow right arrow indicator in the leftmost grid column. If the build is paused at a step for debugging or due to a breakpoint, the entire row background will be highlighted. To activate the current step (for instance if it has scrolled out of view or is on a different tab), use the Go | Current Step menu item to scroll it into view and select it. The Call Stack pane can be used to view the stack while stepping through a build.
Build Activity and Logging
All build activity is logged in the lower Output pane (and optionally a log file). Each step that is completed successfully is marked Completed in the Build Status column of the Step pane. For steps with repeating build rules or that use the Process Files or Loop actions, an asterisk will be displayed (Completed*) to indicate that the rule will be reevaluated and may repeat or that there are more files to be processed. The Watches pane can be used to view step and macro properties and script expressions while building.
If an undefined macro is encountered while building a step, Visual Build displays a dialog allowing the user to enter its value and choose which type of macro to create (project, global, or temporary). If the dialog is canceled, the macro remains undefined (and the step will fail unless it was marked to continue on failure).
Build Error Handling
If an error occurs processing a step and the step is not marked to continue on failure, the build stops, the failed step is highlighted, and Failed is displayed in the Build Status column. Any error messages produced by the step and the process exit code are displayed in the build log.
If failure steps are defined (on the Failure Steps pane), when an error occurs building a step, the failure steps are executed before the build stops. This can be useful for sending e-mail as notification of the failure, undoing build operations, etc. If all failure steps complete successfully, the failed step in the Project or Subroutine Steps pane will be shown; if a failure step fails, the failure step will be highlighted.
View the build output to help determine why a step failed. To quickly go to the step in the Step Panes for a failed step, double-click on a line of the step's output. If a filename or folder is displayed in the build output, it can be quickly opened in the associated application (Launch), viewed in the user-configured viewer (View), or opened in Explorer (Explore) by clicking on that line or selecting the filename and choosing View from the context or View|Shell menu. Once the problem has been identified and corrected, choosing Build will continue the build from the failed step.
Note: Rebuild Selected is an ad hoc method for rebuilding the selected steps regardless of build rules, completion status, or include in build (checked) flag, and failure steps are not executed if a build fails during a Rebuild Selected. See the Methods of Building help topic for ways to test failure steps, build rules or iterating steps.