Web Deployment Projects (WDP) for Visual Studio 2008 - December 2007 CTP Released

Web Deployment Projects (WDP) for Visual Studio 2008 - December 2007 CTP Released

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    Based on the feedback from web development community we just released the Customer Technology Preview (CTP) of Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio 2008... This release of Web Deployment Projects (WDP) has all the features that VS 2005 WDP release has and in addition has few other enhancements which I will call out later in this post...

    We will be releasing the final version of Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio 2008 in January 2008 after incorporating all the feedback that we receive via this Dec 2007 CTP release… This CTP is a substantial milestone as it will unblock lot of Web Developers, who depended upon WDP to go ahead and use the latest and greatest features of Visual Studio 2008…

    Overview

    Visual Studio 2008 Web Deployment Projects is an add-in to Visual Studio 2008 which provides developers with advanced compilation and deployment options... A Web Deployment project is extensible, enabling web developers to create pre-build and post-build actions...

    Web Deployment Projects does not touch any shipping binaries within VS 2008… WDP neither changes the way Visual Studio 2008 Web Sites & Web Application Projects build nor does it changes the files in the source Web site project in any way... Instead, it takes an existing Web project as input and generate a precompiled Web as an output...

    Core WDP Features

    Visual Studio 2008 Web Deployment Projects preserves all the core functionalities that Visual Studio 2005 Web Deployment Projects had... You can read more about this core functionalities in the VS 2005 WDP white paper on MSDN... Also a tutorial on Web Deployment Projects VS 2005 can be found at Scottgu's blog...

    Prerequisites

    Before installing the WDP for VS 2008 CTP release ensure that .NET Framework 3.5 is installed on the machine… .NET Framework 3.5 can be downloaded from Microsoft Download Center

    Download Location

    WDP for Visual Studio 2008 - December 2007 CTP release can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=0FF6B63F-F79D-4590-B619-A2A4E06820F0&displaylang=en

    WDP for VS 2008 Enhancements

    Migration from WDP for VS 2005 to WDP for VS 2008

    We have ensured that your migration from WDP for VS 2005 to WDP for VS 2008 is as smooth as migration of your Web Site or Web Application itself… Below is a quick step by step tutorial of various scenarios that you might face while migrating…

    Scenario 1: You have installed VS 2008 and also this CTP release of WDP for VS 2008 and now want to migrate your VS 2005 Web + WDP to the latest version

    1.   When you try to open your VS 2005 Web Site with VS 2008 you will be prompted with the below dialog box to upgrade to .NET Framework version 3.5:

     

    2.   You can choose to upgrade to .NET Framework version 3.5, although it is not necessary… WDP internally uses .NET Framework 3.5 but it does not enforce your website to upgrade to 3.5 version… What this means is that you can still use great VS 2008 features even if your organization is not yet ready to move to .NET Framework 3.5… In my walkthrough I will stick with .NET 2.0 to illustrate that it still works :-)…

    3.   On clicking "No" your web site should open without WDP in it… Now you will have to go to File --> Add Existing Project option and navigate to the folder where your WDP project file is located (i.e. .wdproj file)… By default you will not see the .wdproj file as WDP is still not an intrinsic project type of VS… Although if you type "*.wdproj" in the "File Name" textbox and hit Open then you will be able to see your WDP project file from VS 2005… Select this file and hit Open…

    4.   You will now be presented with the Visual Studio conversion dialog as below:

     

    5.   Just keep cruising through this Conversion Wizard and you should have your WDP for VS 2005 project migrated to WDP for VS 2008 with all your settings and configurations preserved...

    Scenario 2: You have installed VS 2008 but not WDP for VS 2008 and have already attempt to open a VS 2005 Web which had WDP associated with it

    1.   If you try to open your VS 2005 Web + WDP in VS 2008 without installing WDP for VS 2008 then using steps 1, 2 & 3 described in the Scenario 1 will result in the following pop-up:

     

    This will block you from moving ahead from WDP standpoint, although if you download and install WDP, you should be able to proceed as described in Step 4 of Scenario 1 above…

    2.   Instead of opening a WAP or Web Site if you instead try to open your solution file (which will have reference to the WDP project already) then your solution explorer will look as below:

     

    3.   If you now install WDP for VS 2008 then you will have to close and reopen your IDE… After restarting your IDE, if you attempt to open the solution file you will be shown the same conversion wizard as described in Step 4 of Scenario 1 above…

    Although, if you have not yet opened your VS 2005 Web + WDP in VS 2008 then I will strongly encourage you to first download and install WDP for VS 2008 and then go ahead with your migration...

    Replacing WDP output only if Pre-Compilation succeeds

    Based on feedback from multiple users we have enhanced WDP so that it does not wipe out the precompiled web from previous WDP run until the current WDP does not build successfully… This is specifically useful if you have created IIS Virtual directory pointing to the output location...  Now even if your current WDP build does not succeed your web site in IIS will still continue to function… At the same time this also implies that it will be important to take a note of the WDP output in the VS output window before grabbing the deployed output for any further processing as your output folder might have the output from the previous build...

    Creating IIS Applications

    WDP for VS 2008 has an option to create IIS virtual directory for the output folder as shown in the WDP image below:

     

    This feature has been enhanced to work great with IIS7 as well… Although do note that you will need to manually set the appropriate folder permissions on the "Output Folder" you define in the "Compilation" section of WDP (e.g. Network Service for IIS6 or IIS_IUSRS for IIS7)… We will consider automating this in the future…

    Using aspnet_merge.exe version which is installed with Visual Studio 2008

    WDP uses aspnet_merge.exe to perform various merge options shown in WDP dialog below:

     

    In VS 2005 timeframe WDP for VS 2005 shipped aspnet_merge.exe in the box… With VS 2008 aspnet_merge.exe ships along with framework SDK, hence WDP for VS 2008 install does not contain aspnet_merge.exe… When you install Visual Studio 2008, aspnet_merge.exe should get automatically installed in "%Program Files%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\bin" folder… WDP will require aspnet_merge.exe to be present at the above mentioned location to function correctly...

    Feedback

    We are hoping that WDP for VS 2008 will help you with your deployment needs and make you web development experience better with Visual Studio 2008...  We are eager to hear your feedback and suggestions for improvements hence we are enabling various below mentioned ways by which you can share your experiences...

    1.   MSConnect Feedback System

    1. Click here to submit feedback via MSConnect...
    2. Sign in using your Windows Live ID or Microsoft Passport Account...
    3. On the page, click “Submit Feedback.”...
    4. Search "Feedback" to see if the issue has already been submitted. If you find an issue similar to your own, you can validate and/or vote on the issue to increase its visibility. Otherwise, continue to the next step...
    5. Click the “Submit Feedback” button found beneath the search results table...
    6. You may submit either Bugs or Suggestions by selecting the proper feedback form...
    7. Make sure that you mention “Visual Studio 2008 Web Deployment Projects” in your Description field...
    8. Fill in the rest of the form to the best of your ability, and click the “Submit” button…
    9. We will contact you via your Windows Live ID / Passport email address once we have reviewed your issue...

    2.   Web Deployment Projects Forum on http://www.asp.net

    There is an active community of WDP users on the ASP.Net forums. WDP team also regularly visits the forums so please feel free to go http://forums.asp.net/1020/ShowForum.aspx to share your feedback or ask queries…

    3.   Blog Comments

    We will be monitoring this blog comments also fairly regularly so feel free to provide your feedback and comments here...

    Notes

    • Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio 2008 are not supported for any pre-RTM versions of Visual Studio 2008 (Codename "Orcas")
    • Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio 2008 are not supported in Visual Web Developer Express Edition...

    - Vishal R. Joshi | Program Manager | Visual Web Developer Team

  • It's now clear that it was just an issue of time that the WDP was not included with Visual Studio 2008 and that it will be included with a next version of Visual Studio.

  • I'm getting the error "missing section appSettings" when I build. It looks like its putting the output into a TempBuildDir folder instead of the one I specified in the WDP.

  • Ash,

       You can send your project to me at vijoshi at microsoft... Will take a look...

    -Vishal

  • aboreham,

       Thanks for bring out the point, I can see such behavior for other config section replacements...     Investigating this issue...  Will it be possible for you to log a MS Connect bug as specified above that way you will get notified on the teams developments on this... We will also try to update the comments here...

    -Vishal

  • There is a bug in the v2005 version that prevents a web-deployment-project being used to build a web-application-project (as opposed to a filesystem-based, no-project-file one) from the command-line using MSBuild.

    That prevents us from using WAPs with WDPs in our continuous integration.  Has that been addressed in this update, or is it a problem with WAPs?

    Details:

    http://blogs.vertigosoftware.com/teamsystem/archive/2006/08/22/Web_Application_Projects_in_Visual_Studio_2005.aspx

    http://forums.asp.net/p/988775/1279716.aspx#1279716

  • 1) Will this install co-exist with the existing install of WDP for VS.NET 2005? I have VS.NET 2005 and VS.NET 2008 installed and working quite happily on the same box.

    2) Will this CTP need to be uninstalled before installing the final version in January?

    3) Does this version "understand" not to deploy files which have been excluded from the project? This is a major irritation with the current version.

  • I know a lot of folks have used web deployment projects (WDP) with Team Build. The WDP release for VS

  • Mark,

      Answers to your qustions inline:

    1) Will this install co-exist with the existing install of WDP for VS.NET 2005? I have VS.NET 2005 and VS.NET 2008 installed and working quite happily on the same box.

    A.) Yes...

    2) Will this CTP need to be uninstalled before installing the final version in January?

    A.) Yes, although your projects will work just fine with the RTW release...

    3) Does this version "understand" not to deploy files which have been excluded from the project? This is a major irritation with the current version.

    A.) We do not have the exact featue you are asking but an alternate feature to exclude the files that WDP should not consider...  Please visit http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa479568.aspx and search for "ExcludeFromBuild", it explains how to use it...

    -Vishal

  • Hi Peter,

            WDP VS 2008 works both with Web Application Projects (WAPs) as well Web Sites...

    -Vishal

  • > Thanks for bring out the point, I can see such

    > behavior for other config section replacements...    

    > Investigating this issue...

    Investigate no further. It is because WDP looks for the web.config file in whatever path you have as your output path. This will fail, since the build takes place in the "TempBuildDir" and the output dir is empty.

    If you put a valid web.config file in your OutputPath, voila, web.config replacing works.

    Except for the copying to the output path... but that is another issue.

    - sjl

  • When using an any targets (specifically an AfterBuild in my case), the web deployment projects in VS 2008 don't copy files to the specified output directory.  There is no error, it just doesn't copy the files.

    If you comment out the target, everything works fine.  Note that this worked perfectly in VS 2005.  Something in this new release wasn't tested and was broken.

  • This week my team released updates of the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit as well as the Visual Studio Web

  • Hi Scott,

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and we are currently investigating.  Just to make sure, we are seeing the same problem, are you just editing the WDP project file to perform an AfterBuild action?  Also, can you see if your files are being copied to ./TempBuildDir instead?

    Thanks,

    Alison

  • I'm experiencing the same issue as above.

    The web.config replacement doesn't work because it's looking for the replacement xml file in the output directory, which hasn't been populated yet.

    Also, I raised another issue in the forums, but it doesn't seem to be anybody else having it:

    Even if I only get up the the "web config replacement" point and then it fails, I get a few GAC dlls copied to my bin folder:

    System.Web

    System.Data

    System.Data.OracleClient

    System.EnterpriseServices

    System.EnterpriseServicesWrapper

    and System.Transactions

    Obvioulsy these shouldn't be in the bin folder, and I;m not even referencing some anywhere.

    The same project it's been running perfectly under VS 2005 for months.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  • Vishal,

    >> 3) Does this version "understand" not to deploy

    >> files which have been excluded from the project?

    >> This is a major irritation with the current

    >> version.

    > A.) We do not have the exact featue you are asking

    > but an alternate feature to exclude the files that

    > WDP should not consider

    > "ExcludeFromBuild"

    I understand about ExcludeFromBuild, but that still involves doing things twice, and editing the WDP file manually...

    E.g. if I have a folder of images, I might want to deploy only some of them today, and some different ones next week, and a combination of the two the week after that. Therefore, it's extremely useful to be able to right-click on the image file in Project Explorer and select Exclude From Project, and then when I want to include the image again, I just do the reverse. If WDP could be prevented from deploying those files which have been exluded from the project in this way, that would be incredibly useful. Would that really represent an enormous amount of development effort...?

    Mark

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