C/C++ Building Reference
Visual C++ provides two ways of building a C/C++ program. The easiest (and most common) way is to build within the Visual C++ development environment. The other way is to build from a command prompt using command-line tools. In either case, you can create your source files using the Visual C++ source editor or a third-party editor of your choice.
If your program uses a makefile rather than a .vcxproj file, you can still build it in the development environment as an external project.