Using NAnt on creating Windows Services

Software development frequently involves doing a set of repeated actions in day-to-day life. If you take a web developer some of the activities he does frequently are building the web application and the referenced projects, running unit tests, generating documents, packaging the source files, copying the package to FTP server etc. Typically in big projects these activities occur numerous times. Many times developers end up doing these activities manually due to mostly lack of knowledge on automation and build tools. Build tools plays a crucial role in Continuous Integration where every time a developer checks-in his changes, a set of actions will take place automatically through build scripts to make sure the latest code won't create any build issues.

I recently started exploring NAnt when I was developing a couple of windows services for a client who asked me to write build scripts for those services. I was not much aware of automation and NAnt before so I thought these scripts are just going to help at the time of deployment to build the services without Visual Studio and to install them easily without much trouble. Soon I started to realise how much these scripts helps to save time and effort at the development phase. In this article I planned to explain how to take the advantages of build scripts while developing windows services.

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