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Windows Phone 8.1 and MSB3774 Errors

Wednesday 23 April, 2014, 09:53 AM

During this year’s Build conference, Microsoft released a release candidate of update 2 for Visual Studio 2013, which enables you to build Windows Phone 8.1 apps (amongst other things). However, you may find that if you create a Unit Test project for a Windows Phone 8.1 Store App (i.e., using the new WinRT-based API) you get the following build errors:

C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\12.0\bin\Microsoft.Common.CurrentVersion.targets(1864,5): error MSB3774: Could not find SDK "MSTestFramework, Version=12.0".

C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\12.0\bin\Microsoft.Common.CurrentVersion.targets(1864,5): error MSB3774: Could not find SDK "TestPlatform, Version=12.0".

This happens if you did not install the Windows Phone 8.0 tools when installing Visual Studio 2013. Apparently, the Windows Phone 8.1 unit test features in Update 2 rely on these 8.0 components, and the Update 2 RC installer will not install them for you if they are missing. If you’re in this situation, Visual Studio (with update 2) still offers a ‘Unit Test App (Windows Phone)’ project template under 'Visual C# -> Store Apps -> Windows Phone Apps' in the Add New Project dialog, but sadly, that template will produce the errors shown above when built.

Fortunately, this is easily fixed. If you re-run the original Visual Studio 2013 installer (not the update installer, but the one you used to install Visual Studio 2013 in the first place) it will detect that VS is already installed, and it offers a “Modify” button. If you click that, it will let you check the box for the Windows Phone 8.0 tools.

Once you’ve got the 8.0 tools installed, WinRT-based (‘Store’) unit test apps for Windows Phone 8.1 will no longer produce these errors.

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