Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Project Preview Available

Scott Guthrie has posted a mini-site with a download of the new Web Application Project "add-in" (the one that makes VS.NET 2005 act like VS.NET 2003 for ASP.NET Applications).
The site is here..

At this point there is a C# Tutorial ready (link on the same page as above) and a VB.NET tutorial should be ready shortly.

I'm going to spend a short amount of time on this and post some more, because I think it is an important step, er (forward?, or perhaps backward?).

Scott informs on his blog that "This preview is not a feature-complete version of the functionality. There are several important features that are not yet implemented, as well as a set of bugs that are currently active", and that "Our goal with putting this first release out is to get early feedback from the community, as well as to provide a core feature-set that enables some developers to start using this project model option immediately (with workarounds for the missing functionality which will come online in later refreshes).".

Here is a link to the tutorials page if you want to RTFM first (recommended...).

The key feature for developers to be aware of with this new ("old") option is that with the VS 2005 Web Application project model, the design-time partial class is generated and persisted on disk by VS 2005. This new design-time partial-class file has the filename naming pattern: PageName.aspx.designer.cs. If you expand any new page created within your VS 2005 Web Application project, you can see this file listed under the associated Page.aspx file along with the developer-owned code-behind file.

So the partial -class arrangement for a tool-generated/maintained file that contains the protected control field declarations and the other design-time code that Visual Studio requires is maintained (a good thing).

One other caveat that you will discover by practicing good "RTFM" techniques:

In this first preview release of the VS 2005 Web Application Project download, the feature support to automatically update .designer.cs files is not yet implemented. Appropriate .designer.cs files are generated when you add new pages, but you will be required to manually add and update the control declarations contained within them to get intellisense and compilation support within your code-behind files.

Finally, developers will be able to create re-usable libraries of user-controls that are potentially referenced and pulled-in from multiple web projects. This provides additional re-use flexibility with large-scale web-projects, and with VS 2005 Web Application Projects is now easier than it was with VS 2003. For those who've been screaming bloody murder about this issue with the RTM release of Visual Studio 2005, you can now look forward to the "Dot Net Nuke" nuclear option!

Kudos to Mr. Guthrie and his team for delivering this nice present before Christmas so that we all can get used to it during some vacation time!

BTW, if you are one of those Geeks who think Active Directory is for weenies, have a look at the drink attribute.