Visual Studio 2008 Solution / Project File Conversions And Tricks

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut"
-- Ernest Hemingway

One thing I've learned to do pretty quickly with VIsual Studio 2008 is to make a backup of the original Visual Studio 2005 .soln and .csproj files and store them in a little .rar or .zip file in the Solution folder. This makes it easy to "go back to the future" as long as your work doesn't include namespaces that don't exist for VS 2005. Yes, I know you can choose to make a backup during the conversion. I'd just rather be safe.

I also learned that the conversion process when you load a 2005 Solution and go through the conversion wizard can be quite slow. Here's a neat way to speed it up. Devenv.exe has a /convert flag. So, make a little batch file that looks like this, and save it in your Solution / project folder:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe /convert" %1

To run this, drop into a Command prompt in your solution folder, then type convert mysolutionname.sln or convert myprojectname.csproj

This command line conversion process is humongously faster. When I say "humongously" - I mean it is WAY FASTER!

The differences between .sln files in the two Visual Studio versions are not that great. Same with project files - anything that goes wrong can usually be fixed "by hand".

Hopefully, somebody will come out with a little back-and-forth conversion utility that will retarget a converted to 2008 solution and project files back to 2005.

I'm not gonna write it, but I know somebody will - soon!

BTW, if you are having any installation issues regarding Visual Studio 2008, here is the forum to visit!

Link of the Day:

If you create code-comment documentation (and you certainly should!) then you can't live without Roland Weigelt's GhostDoc. The Visual Studio 2008 Add in is ready. Roland used some of my code (with my happy permission) in an earlier release.

Google Suggest on your Google Home Page:

Google has an experimental page that let's you set your search textbox to display Google-Suggest like matches when you type in a search. Great for SEO keyword suggestions!


  1. Anonymous4:40 PM

    /convert is unsupported in VS 2008 RTM

  2. Unsupported? Who cares if it's unsupported. It works great. Isn't that the bottom line?

  3. Anonymous10:40 AM

    OK, so I wrote the utility!

    I've just completed a utility that will allow you to convert between VS2005 and VS2008 projects. (It just edits the solution and project files... no other conversion is done).

    I'd consider it an "advanced beta", but folks are welcome to take a look at the VB2008 source code.


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