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How do I add build automation to the project?


Fake is a DSL for build tasks that is modular, extensible and easy to start with. Fake allows you to easily build, bundle, deploy your app and more by executing a single command.

The standard template comes with a FAKE project by default, so this recipe only applies to the minimal template.

1. Create a build project

Create a new console app called 'Build' at the root of your solution

dotnet new console -lang f# -n Build -o .

We are creating the project directly at the root of the solution in order to allow us to execute the build without needing to navigate into a subfolder.

2. Create a build script

Open the project you just created in your IDE and rename the module it contains from Program.fs to Build.fs.

This renaming is't explicitly necessary, however it keeps your solution consistent with other SAFE apps and is a better name for the file really.

If you just rename the file directly rather than in your IDE, then the Build project won't be able to find it unless you edit the Build.fsproj file as well

Open Build.fs and paste in the following code.

open Fake.Core
open Fake.IO
open System

let redirect createProcess =
    |> CreateProcess.redirectOutputIfNotRedirected
    |> CreateProcess.withOutputEvents Console.WriteLine Console.WriteLine

let createProcess exe arg dir =
    CreateProcess.fromRawCommandLine exe arg
    |> CreateProcess.withWorkingDirectory dir
    |> CreateProcess.ensureExitCode

let dotnet = createProcess "dotnet"

let npm =
    let npmPath =
        match ProcessUtils.tryFindFileOnPath "npm" with
        | Some path -> path
        | None -> failwith "npm was not found in path."
    createProcess npmPath

let run proc arg dir =
    proc arg dir
    |> ignore

let execContext = Context.FakeExecutionContext.Create false "build.fsx" [ ]
Context.setExecutionContext (Context.RuntimeContext.Fake execContext)

Target.create "Clean" (fun _ -> Shell.cleanDir (Path.getFullName "deploy"))

Target.create "InstallClient" (fun _ -> run npm "install" ".")

Target.create "Run" (fun _ ->
    run dotnet "build" (Path.getFullName "src/Shared")
    [ dotnet "watch run" (Path.getFullName "src/Server")
      dotnet "fable watch --run webpack-dev-server" (Path.getFullName "src/Client") ]
    |> Seq.toArray
    |> redirect
    |> ignore

open Fake.Core.TargetOperators

let dependencies = [
        ==> "InstallClient"
        ==> "Run"

let main args =
      match args with
      | [| target |] -> Target.runOrDefault target
      | _ -> Target.runOrDefault "Run"
  with e ->
      printfn "%A" e

3. Add the project to the solution

Run the following command

dotnet sln add Build.fsproj

4. Installing dependencies

You will need to install the following dependencies:


We recommend migrating to Paket. It is possible to use FAKE without Paket, however this will not be covered in this recipe.

5. Run the app

At the root of the solution, run dotnet paket install to install all your dependencies.

If you now execute dotnet run, the default target will be run. This will build the app in development mode and launch it locally.

To learn more about targets and FAKE in general, see Getting Started with FAKE.