Build Script Interaction with TeamCity

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If TeamCity doesn't support your testing framework or build runner out of the box, it is still possible to reap the many of benefits that TeamCity provides by customizing your build scripts to interact with the TeamCity server. This makes a wide range of features available to any team regardless of their testing frameworks and runners. Some of these features include displaying real-time test results and customized statistics, changing the build status, and publishing artifacts before the build is finished.

The build script interaction can be implemented by means of:

  • service messages in the build script
  • teamcity-info.xml file
    If you use MSBuild build runner, you can use MSBuild Service Tasks.

In this section:

Service Messages

Service messages are used to pass commands/build information to TeamCity server from the build script. In order to be processed by TeamCity they should be printed into standard output stream of the build (otherwise, if the output is not in the service message syntax, it should appear in the build log). A single service message should not contain a newline character inside it, it should not span across multiple lines.

Service messages support two formats:

  • Message and single attribute:
  • Message and multiple attribute:

Multiple attributes message can more formally be described as:

##teamcity[messageNameWSPpropertyNameOWSP=OWSP'value'WSPpropertyName_IDOWSP=OWSP'value'...OWSP]

here:

  • messageName is a name of the message. See below for supported messages. The message name should be a valid Java id (only alpha-numeric characters and "-", starting with a alpha character)
  • propertyName is a name of the message attribute. Should be a valid Java id.
  • value is a value of the attribute. Should be an escaped value (see below).
  • WSP is a required whitespace(s): space or tab character (\t)
  • OWSP is an optional whitespace(s)
  • ... is any number of WSPpropertyNameOWSP=OWSP'_value'_ blocks

For escaped values, TeamCity uses a vertical bar "|" as an escape character. In order to have certain characters properly interpreted by the TeamCity server they must be preceded by a vertical bar.
For example, the following message:

will be displayed in TeamCity as 'foo's test'. Please, refer to the table of the escaped values below.

Character Should be escaped as
' (apostrophe) |'
\n (line feed) |n
\r (carriage return) |r
| (vertical bar) ||
] (closing bracket) |]

Common Properties

Any "message and multiple attribute" message supports the following list of optional attributes: timestamp, flowId.
In the following examples <messageName> is the name of the specific service message.

Message Creation Timestamp

Timestamp format is "yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSSZ" or "yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSS", according to Java SimpleDateFormat syntax e.g.

Message FlowId

The flowId is a unique identifier of the messages flow in a build. Flow tracking is necessary for example to distinguish separate processes running in parallel. The identifier is a string that should be unique in the scope of individual build.

Blocks of Service Messages

Blocks are used to group several messages in the build log.

Block opening:

Block closing:

Please note that when you close the block all inner blocks become closed automatically.

Reporting Messages For Build Log

You can report messages for build log in the following way:

where:

  • The status attribute may take following values: NORMAL, WARNING, FAILURE, ERROR. The default value is NORMAL.
  • The errorDetails attribute is used only if status is ERROR, in other cases it is ignored.

This message fails the build in case its status is ERROR and "Fail build if an error message is logged by build runner" checkbox is checked on build configuration general settings page. For example:

Reporting Tests

As TeamCity reports tests results on-the-fly, every testing framework needs its own support for this feature to work. If TeamCity doesn't support your testing framework or build runner, it is possible to modify your build script to send this information to the TeamCity server using service messages that are sent via the standard output of the build process. This makes it possible to display test results in real-time, make test information available on the Tests tab of the Build Results page, and publish artifacts while the build is still in progress.

Here is the list of supported test service messages:

Test suite messages:

All the individual test messages should appear between testSuiteStarted and testSuitFinished (in that order) with the same name attributes.

TeamCity 3.x used testSuite* messages only for grouping of the messages in the build log. Starting from TeamCity 4.x, the test suite is included in the full test name.

Individual test messages:

Indicates that the test "testname" was run. If testFailed message is not present, the test is regarded as successful. duration attribute is optional. If omitted, the test duration will be calculated from the messages timestamps. If the timestamps are missing, from the actual time the message was received on the server.

All the other test messages with the same name attribute should appear between the testStarted and testFinished (in that order).

Please note that for proper tests reporting in TeamCity UI, the pair of test suite + test name should be unique within the build.

Optional captureStandardOutput boolean attribute can be present in the testStarted service message to identify whether to include output received between testStarted and testFinished messages as test output or not. The default value is false. If true standard output is reported as test output and standard error as test error output.

Indicates that the test "testname" is present but was not run (was ignored).

For an ignored test, report the testIgnored message between corresponding testStarted and testFinished messages.
testIgnored message can be reported without matching testStarted and testFinished messages.

Test output reporting (to be shown as the test result if the test fails). A test should have no more then one testStdOut and one testStdErr message. The messages should appear inside testStarted and testFinished messages with the matching name attributes.

Indicates that the test with the name "testname" has failed. Only one testFailed messages should appear for a given test name.
actual and expected attributes can be used for reporting comparison failure. The values will be used when opening the test in the IDE.

  • In the current TeamCity version message attribute is not used in the web UI. Please use details to report test failure description.
  • Currently, the test-related service messages cannot be outputted with Ant's echo task until flowId attribute is specified.

Reporting .NET Code Coverage Results

Since TeamCity 5.1 you can configure .NET coverage processing by means of service messages. To learn more, refer to Manually Configuring Reporting Coverage page.

Publishing Artifacts while the Build is Still in Progress

You can publish build artifacts, while the build is still running, right after the artifacts are built.
For this you need to output the following line:

And the files matching the <path> will be uploaded and visible as artifacts of the running build. <path> should adhere to the same rules as Build Artifact specification on the Build Configuration settings.

Publishing artifacts process can affect the build because it consumes network traffic and some disk/CPU resources (should be pretty negligible for not large files/directories).

Artifacts that are specified in the build configuration setting will be published as usual.

Reporting Build Progress

You can use special progress messages to mark long-running parts in a build script. These messages will be shown on the projects dashboard for corresponding build and on the build results page.

To log single progress message use:

This progress message will be shown until another progress message occurs or until next target starts (in case of Ant builds).

If you wish to show progress message for a part of a build only you can use:

The same message should be used for both progressStart and progressFinish. This allows nesting of progress blocks. Also note that in case of Ant builds progress messages will be replaced if Ant target starts.

Reporting Build Status

TeamCity allows user to change the build status directly from the build script.

You can also permanently change the build status text for your build. Unlike with progress messages, this change persists even after build has finished.

To set the status and/or change the text of the build status (for example, note the number of failed tests if the test framework is not supported by TeamCity), use the buildStatus message with the following format:

where:

  • The status attribute may take following values: FAILURE, SUCCESS.
  • {build.status.text} is an optional substitution pattern which represents the status, calculated by TeamCity automatically using passed test count, compilation messages and so on.
  • neither status, nor text attributes are mandatory
    The status, which is set using the attribute, will be presented while build is running and will affect final build results.

Reporting Build Number

To set a custom build number directly, specify a buildNumber message using the following format:

In the <new build number> value, you can use the {build.number} substitution to use the current build number automatically generated by TeamCity. For example:

Reporting Build Statistics

In TeamCity, it is possible to configure a build script to report statistical data and then display the charts based on the data. Please refer to Custom Chart for a guide to displaying the charts on the web UI. This section describes how to report the statistical data from the build script via service messages. You can publish the build statics values in two ways:

To report build statistics using service messages:

  • Specify a 'buildStatisticValue' service message with the following format for each statistics value you want to report:

The key should not be equal to any of predefined keys.
The value should be a positive integer value.

Reporting FxCop Inspection Results

TeamCity allows to import FxCop inspections results as an XML-file generated by FxCopCmd tool using the importData message.
For the message format, please refer to the FxCop build runner description page.

teamcity-info.xml

It is also possible to have the build script collect information, generate an XML file called teamcity-info.xml in the root build directory. When the build finishes, this file will automatically be uploaded as a build artifact and processed by the TeamCity server.

Modifying the Build Status

TeamCity has the ability to change the build status directly from the build script. You can set the status (build failure or success) and change the text of the build status (for example, note the number of failed tests if the test framework is not supported by TeamCity).

XML schema for teamcity-info.xml

It is possible to set the following information for the build:

  • Build number — Sets the new number for the finished build. You can reference the TeamCity-provided build number using {build.number}.
  • Build status — Change the build status. Supported values are "FAILURE" and "SUCCESS".
  • Status text — Modify the text of build status. You can replace the TeamCity-provided status text or add a custom part before or after the standard text. Supported action values are "append", "prepend" and "replace".

Example teamcity-info.xml file:

It is up to you to figure out how to retrieve test results that are not supported by TeamCity and accurately add them to the teamcity-info.xml file.

Reporting Custom Statistics

It is possible to provide custom charts in TeamCity. Your build can provide data for such graphs using teamcity-info.xml file.

Providing data using the teamcity-info.xml file

This file should be created by the build in the root directory of the build. You can publish multiple statistics (see the details on the data format below) and create separate charts for each set of values.

The teamcity-info.xml file should contain code in the following format (you can combine various data in the teamcity-info.xml file):

The key should not be equal to any of predefined keys.
The value should be a positive integer value.

The key here relates to the key of valueType tag used when describing the chart.

Describing custom charts

See Custom Chart page for detailed description.

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