Build Project add-in planned for release with VS2005

If you've knocked your head against the wall to come up with ways to deploy multiple web.config files for Dev, Testing, Staging, and Production servers, the answer is on the way. It takes the the form of an add-in for Visual Studio 2005 -- a Build Project Manager.

Load your solution in VS, right-click the solution title in the tree, add a new Build Project, and from there you have a GUI into a wealth of new options for the build. The last tab is my favourite, it allows you to specify a src file for the build, the contents of which will be copied into your web.config. So now you can have src files for each deployment environment, each containing connection strings and other settings specific to that environment. While it's still a bit of XML coding to use additional MSBuild features like excluding files and folders specific to a deployment, all the basic MSBuild switches are baked into the Build Manager GUI.

The plan is for this tool to be released in November 7th with Visual Studio 2005. It will be a separate download, so stop back for a link. Why not baked into VS2005? Well, this is a recent development, but the team wants it to be available as soon as possible. Since the VS2005 itself hit Visual Freeze some time ago, it wouldn't be right to disturb the bits. I don't mind how I get it, I just can't wait to start using it!

(and no, this ain't spang baby)

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