MZ-Tools Articles Series: PRB: ‘Can not find the installation for VS SDK’ error using MSBuild of TFS to compile Visual Studio Package

I am using Visual Studio Online since a couple of months ago to great satisfaction adopting more and more of its features. One of them is continuous integration (CI) and gated check-ins. Yesterday I tried to check-in a modification of one of my add-ins converted to a Visual Studio package for the first time and the build failed with this error:

C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\<version>\VSSDK\Microsoft.VsSDK.Common.targets (line): Can not find the installation for VS SDK.

C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\<version>\VSSDK\Microsoft.VsSDK.Common.targets (line): The “FindVsSDKInstallation” task failed unexpectedly. System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: path1 at System.IO.Path.Combine(String path1, String path2)

C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\<version>\VSSDK\Microsoft.VsSDK.Common.targets (line): The “FindVsSDKInstallation” task’s outputs could not be retrieved from the “IncludesPath” parameter. Value cannot be null. Parameter name: path1

Searching the web I found several workarounds but some of them were too involved. I have documented the most easy ones to apply:

PRB: ‘Can not find the installation for VS SDK’ error using MSBuild of TFS to compile Visual Studio Package http://www.mztools.com/articles/2014/MZ2014014.aspx