As mention previously, I’m going to use Fridays to write more a detailed tip or article about CodePlex. For those who just want to follow this weekly tip, you can subscribe to just the CodePlex Weekly Tips RSS feed (see bottom of post). Otherwise, you can continue to follow in your preferred RSS feed.

First and foremost, CodePlex is designed for 1 software application per CodePlex project. Trying to use CodePlex for anything else may not provide your users with the most optimal experience.

However, in certain situations, we find that it makes sense for certain project owners to develop and release multiple applications per one CodePlex project. I call these “umbrella” projects.

If you must have one CodePlex projects to develop and host more than one application or tool, here are a few suggestions to help visitors find what they are looking for.

Default Release as release directory

Have a Default Release that is always on the homepage.

Default Release on Homepage

Give it a name like “All Tools” or whatever best conveys “here’s where to go to view the latest of everything hosted within this project.”

On the default release page, either provide links (in the release description) to each of the latest binaries

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or upload each latest binary to this page

Downloads and Files including latest releases

Again, the idea is to create a mini-directory of the latest bits of everything hosted on your project that is discoverable from the project homepage.

Project homepage as directory

On your project homepage, make sure it represents a quick overview of each project and the link to download. Images (where possible) work great to differentiate the various tools.

Homepage listing various tools

Then create sub-wiki pages for each of the tools. These are the “homepages” for these tools. Makes sure to include the other content, like how to download, how to build, what’s needed to run, and so forth here.

Tool 1 homepage

Discussions

Each tool or application represented in the project should have its own discussion board. You can create these virtual discussion boards via tags.

Configure View on Discussions showing Tags

To create a discussion tag, a project member can go to Edit Discussion Details

Tags

Now as users create new discussion posts, they can “tag” the discussion thread for the specific tool. (or the project member can go back and update the thread as needed)

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