Using The Web Deployment Project 2008 CTP

Yesterday, I decided to install the CTP of the web deployment project for visual studio 2008.  I spent a good deal of time getting my projects from Visual Studio 2005 working under this new version so I thought I’d spend a little time reviewing the problems I had and the ultimate solutions.

Several months ago, I wrote an article on my consulting site that shows how to use the Web Deployment projects to build DotNetNuke Program Assemblies (PAs).  Part of this process calls for running ILMerge and Zipping files that end up the the release directory.  However, one of the primary changes to how the web deployment project works is that it does not put the files into the release directory until the build has completed.  So, you’ll need to replace all references to release, or whatever your output directory is, to TempBuildDir instead in your post build section.

The other major breaking change seems to be that your Import elements need to appear after the last PropertyGroup element and prior to the first ItemGroup element.

Finally, you’ll want to delete all of the directories under your project or you’ll get error messages telling you to do the same.  Most of the error messages seem to have little to do with the problem.  A lot like the old days of compiling with C++ or Java :) .

The way I tracked most of this down is that I started over with a new Web Deployment project and added in things until they broke.  When they broke, I just tried moving things around a bit.  The hardest one to track down was the problem with the release directory.  You’d think “AfterBuild” would mean After everything got built and the files would all be where they should be.  But, no, it means After the main build but prior to completion.

If you are having trouble, and especially if you have trouble and find a solution, I’m sure others would appreciate it if you left a comment with the issue you are having or the issue you had the the fix you found for it.

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