My Thoughts & Views

Difference between Build, Rebuild & Compile

Posted on: September 8, 2008

Recently after deploying our application, our modifications were not showing up then we rebuilt the solution and it worked, till that time i did not break my head understanding what Build & Rebuild was. Here is what i found out.

Build means compile and link only the source files that have changed since the last build, while Rebuild means compile and link all source files regardless of whether they changed or not. Build is the normal thing to do and is faster. Sometimes the versions of project target components can get out of sync and rebuild is necessary to make the build successful. In practice, you never need to Clean.

Build or Rebuild Solution builds or rebuilds all projects in the your solution, while Build or Rebuild builds or rebuilds the StartUp project, “hello” in the screen shot above. To set the StartUp project, right click on the desired project name in the Solution Explorer tab and select Set as StartUp project. The project name now appears in bold. Since the homework solutions typically have only one project, Build or Rebuild Solution is effectively the same as Build or Rebuild .

Compile just compiles the source file currently being edited. Useful to quickly check for errors when the rest of your source files are in an incomplete state that would prevent a successful build of the entire project. Ctrl-F7 is the shortcut key for Compile.

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