Using Sandcastle on a build server without Visual Studio

Topics: User Forum
Feb 18, 2009 at 5:22 AM
What's the latest wisdom when it comes to running Sandcastle on a build server which does not have Visual Studio installed? Sandcastle has a dependency on the Help 2.0 Compiler, which has a dependency on the Visual Studio SDK, which in turn has a dependency on Visual Studio itself; and all these requirements are MSI packages that need to be installed on the system. This is rather sub-optimal when it comes to a build server - all the other tools that I use in my builds can be added to the repository, so that to get a build up and running, all I need is an SVN client, and a single invocation of my NAnt build script (even NAnt is included in the repository).

Even back in the days of NDoc, the Help 1.x compiler was a standalone product; yet for all the past few years' progress, in this scenario, we've gone backwards!

I've seen a few articles floating around on how to hack your installation for VS.NET, VS2003 and VS2005, but there's really been no activity on that front since 2007. Has anyone been able to get, for example, .NET 3.5 SP1 projects built with VS2008 documented on a build server without having to pony up for another licence?
Feb 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Sandcastle doesn't have a dependency on the Help 2 compiler, nor does SHFB unless you are producing Help 2 files as output.  If all you are building is Help 1 and/or website output.  Everything will work fine without the Help 2 compiler installed.  There's some info on installing the Help 2 compiler manually here:

Feb 18, 2009 at 8:06 PM
You're right, I should have been a bit more precise - the dependency is only there when building Help 2.0 files, it's fine for Help 1 or HTML files. Many thanks for the link, it looks to be just what I'm after - guess I need to work on my Google-fu, because I spent two days searching and never came across that article...