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Actions are a powerful feature of Visual Build.  Every step has several standard properties.  Each step also has an action type for performing a specific function within a build.  Every action may have one or more input screens for entering the fields that are specific to that action, and it may optionally define a custom action component for performing the custom functionality of that action.


A new step for a given action is created by:

Double-clicking an action in the Actions pane or dragging and dropping an action onto a step pane.
Dragging and dropping a filename associated with an action from Explorer onto Visual Build.  This creates the step and pre-populates the filename field.
Choosing Insert from the Edit menu to insert a new step.  This activates the Actions pane to select the action for the step.


Categories of pre-defined actions that are available:


Help Authoring
Microsoft .NET
Test Driven Development
Version Control
Virtual Machines


All actions define a custom action component or script, which will be called when the step is built to perform the custom functionality for that action.  The action will build the step and log output to the Output pane and log file if enabled.


Several advanced capabilities for actions are also available, including creation of user actions for plugging custom functionality into Visual Build.


Note: Some obsolete actions are no longer displayed by default (existing steps for these actions will still be displayed in the Step panes and will build normally).  To show all hidden actions, right-click in the Actions pane and choose Show Hidden.