Walkthrough: Building an Application

By completing this walkthrough, you’ll become more familiar with several options that you can configure when you build applications with Visual Studio. You’ll create a custom build configuration, hide certain warning messages, and increase build output information, among other tasks, for a sample application.

This topic contains the following sections:

Install the Sample Application

Create a Custom Build Configuration

Build the Application

Hide Compiler Warnings

Display Additional Build Details in the Output Window

Create a Release Build

You’ll use the Extensions and Updates dialog box to find and install the Introduction to Building WPF Applications sample from the Samples Gallery on the Microsoft website. The Samples Gallery provides a variety of example projects and code that you can download and review as you plan and develop your applications.

To install the sample application

  1. On the menu bar, choose Tools, Extensions and Updates.

  2. Choose the Online category, and then choose the Samples Gallery category.

  3. Specify Introduction in the search box to find the sample.

    Extensions and Updates dialog box
  4. In the results list, choose either Introduction to Building WPF Applications (Visual C#) or Introduction to Building WPF Applications (Visual Basic).

  5. Choose the Download button, and then choose the Close button.

The Introduction to Building WPF Applications sample appears in the New Project dialog box.

To create a solution for the sample application

  1. Open the New Project dialog box.

    On the menu bar, choose File, New, Project
  2. In the Installed category, choose the Samples category to display the Introduction to Building WPF Applications sample.

  3. Name the solution IntroWPFcsharp for Visual C#.

    New Project dialog box, Installed Samples

    OR

    Name the solution IntroWPFvb for Visual Basic.

    New Project dialog box, Visual Basic Sample
  4. Choose the OK button.

When you create a solution, debug and release build configurations and their default platform targets are defined for the solution automatically. You can then customize these configurations or create your own. Build configurations specify the build type. Build platforms specify the operating system that an application targets for that configuration. For more information, see Understanding Build Configurations, Understanding Build Platforms, and Debug and Release Project Configurations.

You can change or create configurations and platform settings by using the Configuration Manager dialog box. In this procedure, you’ll create a build configuration for testing.

To create a build configuration

  1. Open the Configuration Manager dialog box.

    Build menu, Configuration Manager command
  2. In the Active solution configuration list, choose New.

  3. In the New Solution Configuration dialog box, name the new configuration Test, copy settings from the existing Debug configuration, and then choose the OK button.

    New Solution Configuration Dialog Box
  4. In the Active solution platform list, choose New.

  5. In the New Solution Platform dialog box, choose x64, and don’t copy settings from the x86 platform.

    New Solution Platform Dialog Box
  6. Choose the OK button.

The active solution configuration has been changed to Test with the active solution platform set to x64.

Configuration Manager with Test configuration

You can quickly verify or change the active solution configuration by using the Solution Configurations list on the Standard toolbar.

Solution Configuration option Standard Toolbar

Next, you’ll build the solution with the custom build configuration.

To build the solution

  • On the menu bar, choose Build, Build Solution.

The Output window displays the results of the build. The build succeeded, but several warning messages were generated.

Figure 1: Visual Basic warnings

Output Window Visual Basic

Figure 2: Visual C# warnings

Output Window Visual C#

You can temporarily hide certain warning messages during a build rather than have them clutter up the build output.

To hide a specific Visual C# warning

  1. In Solution Explorer, choose the top-level project node.

  2. On the menu bar, choose View, Property Pages.

    The Project Designer opens.

  3. Choose the Build page and then, in the Suppress warnings box, specify the warning number 1762.

    Build page, Project Designer

    For more information, see Build Page, Project Designer (C#).

  4. Build the solution.

    The Output window displays only summary information for the build.

    Output Window, Visual C# Build Warnings

To suppress all Visual Basic build warnings

  1. In Solution Explorer, choose the top-level project node.

  2. On the menu bar, choose View, Property Pages.

    The Project Designer opens.

  3. On the Compile page, select the Disable all warnings check box.

    Compile page, Project Designer

    For more information, see Configuring Warnings in Visual Basic.

  4. Build the solution.

The Output window displays only summary information for the build.

Output Window, Visual Basic Build Warnings

For more information, see How to: Suppress Compiler Warnings.

You can change how much information about the build process appears in the Output window. Build verbosity is usually set to Minimal, which means that the Output window displays only a summary of the build process along with any high priority warnings or errors. You can display more information about the build by using the Build and Run, Projects and Solutions, Options Dialog Box.

Important note Important

If you display more information, the build will take longer to complete.

To change the amount of information in the Output window

  1. Open the Options dialog box.

    Options command on the Tools menu
  2. Choose the Projects and Solutions category, and then choose the Build and Run page.

  3. In the MSBuild project build output verbosity list, choose Normal, and then choose the OK button.

  4. On the menu bar, choose Build, Clean Solution.

  5. Build the solution, and then review the information in the Output window.

    The build information includes the time that the build started (located at the beginning), the order in which files were processed, and the amount of time that the process took to complete (located at the end). This information also includes the actual compiler syntax that Visual Studio runs during the build.

    For example, in the Visual C# build, the /nowarn option lists the warning code, 1762, that you specified earlier in this topic, along with three other warnings.

    In the Visual Basic build, /nowarn doesn’t include specific warnings to exclude, so no warnings appear.

    Tip Tip

    You can search the contents of the Output window if you display the Find dialog box by choosing the Ctrl+F keys.

For more information, see How to: View, Save, and Configure Build Log Files.

You can build a version of the sample application that’s optimized for shipping it. For the release build, you’ll specify that the executable is copied to a network share before the build is kicked off.

For more information, see How to: Change the Build Output Directory and Building and Cleaning Projects and Solutions in Visual Studio.

To specify a release build for Visual Basic

  1. Open the Project Designer.

    View menu, Property Pages command
  2. Choose the Compile page.

  3. In the Configuration list, choose Release.

  4. In the Platform list, choose x86.

  5. In the Build output path box, specify a network path.

    For example, you can specify \\myserver\builds.

    Important note Important

    A message box might appear, warning you that the network share that you’ve specified might not be a trusted location. If you trust the location that you’ve specified, choose the OK button in the message box.

  6. Build the application.

    Build Solution command on the Build menu

To specify a release build for Visual C#

  1. Open the Project Designer.

    View menu, Property Pages command
  2. Choose the Build page.

  3. In the Configuration list, choose Release.

  4. In the Platform list, choose x86.

  5. In the Output path box, specify a network path.

    For example, you could specify \\myserver\builds.

    Important note Important

    A message box might appear, warning you that the network share that you’ve specified might not be a trusted location. If you trust the location that you’ve specified, choose the OK button in the message box.

  6. Build the application.

    Build Solution command on the Build menu

The executable file is copied to the network path that you specified. Its path would be \\myserver\builds\FileName.exe.

Congratulations: you’ve successfully completed this walkthrough.

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