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…


    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...


    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...


    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...


    • 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

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  • Please add 5 and 1 and type the answer here:
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  • Solution to the problems with:

    Target Name="AfterBuild"


    Tested and it works

    Thx Laurent.

  • Lars,

    That's the same workaround that has been posted on the forums, but it doesn't work for everybody (not for me, at least).


  • 【原文地址】ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit and Web Deployment Project Releases for VS 2008

  • Just wanted to let you guys know I'm running the Devember 2007 CTP and I'm also having a problem with config section replacements in web.config. I've defined release-web.config and pointed my WDP config to use config sections from it. However, when building I'm getting the error that release-web.config cannot be found in the build directory. Looks like WDP is looking for the replacement file in the wrong folder.


  • Hi Juan,

    Yes, the web.config replacement problem you are seeing sounds like the same as above.  We will be fixing the issue for the final release.  I haven't run into your GAC dlls problem before.  Did you migrate your project?  Is there anything special about your solution that might help us repro?  If you prefer, we can continue on your forum post if you let us know the link.


  • Hi Alison, thanks for your response.

    I'm glad that you identified the replacement issue and fix it in the release version.

    About the .dlls issue, there is probably no too much I can add, I just have a Solution composed by one local IIS WebSite and one Web Deployment Project.

    In Visual Studio 2005 it's been working flawlessly since almost WDP for VS2005 was released.

    Then, I converted the whole solution in VS2008, with WDP already installed, and every time I try to deploy it, the mentioned dlls are added to the bin folder,

    but there is nothing special I can mention about it to help you reproduce.

    As a note, I can assure you that the Project file has ToolsVersion set to 3.5 and it's pointing to the right MsBuild version (9.0).

    Here is the link to my post in the forums, I've just seen that another user is having the same problem.



  • Hi Juan,

    I've been using File System websites.  I'll see if I can repro with an IIS web. I'll follow up with you in more detail on the forums.



  • Hi,

    I love WDP. Does it will be support with Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition?


  • Hi Sambo,

    WDP is not supported on VWD2008 Express Edition.  The supported editions are:

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition

    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite

    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Architecture Edition

    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Developer Edition

    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Edition



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  • It's important to note I think that in WDP 2005, the AfterBuild target was not implemented by MS.  In 2008, the change of using the TempBuilDir, and then cleaning it up in the AfterBuild target has caused many an upgrader problems.

    I'm no MSBUILD expert, but it seems like the MS provided AfterBuild target shoud be chained to what is in the project's AftetBuild target, or just implement that cleanup internally in Microsoft.WebDeployment.targets.  To have everybody copy from the MS version to the local project file seems like a hack.

  • Ryan,

        You are correct in identifying the problem area and we will be taking care of the AfterBuild issue in the RTW of WDP in Jan 2008 timeframe, till that time the work around that you suggested should work...


  • Hi

    I've been using aspnet_compiler.exe for quite a while to precompile a website. The project has grown quite large and as a consequence it is now taking a very long time to precompile. We are currently at 10+ minutes and the site will only grow bigger in the future. If we need to sync a quick bug-fix, 10+ minutes is actually becomming an issue.

    I have not tested the 2008 version, so I don't know if you have made any performance improvements.

    With the 2005 version we have tried upgrading the compile server (which is now a dual dual-core xeon, 4 GB memory and 15K rpm Raptor disks), but with no considerable performance improvement.

    Actually we have gone so far as to look at the classes in System.Web.Compilation and are considering writing a multithreaded version (I believe this is possible, if we accept some compilation overhead - CPU usage does not seem to be the issue, so this may be worth it), however before we take it thus far, I would like to hear if you are considering serious performance improvements yourself?

  • Hi Frenz,

       What are the command line options that you are providing to the aspnet_compiler.exe...  Are you trying to compile the entire site everytime?

       Are you changing something in your app_code folder as that may cause the entire site to get compiled every time...

       Also multi-threaded option might not always work great due to the fact that compilation needs to follow a specific order to work correctly...  

       Feel free to send me an email at Vishal dot Joshi at microsoft dot com and we can discuss this further...  I can perhaps put you in touch with the right folks...

    -Vishal R. Joshi

  • As I mentioned last month , VS 2008 fully supports building applications for .NET Framework 2.0... This

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