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Project Changes in Visual Basic .NET

Projects in Visual Basic .NET are similar to projects in Visual Basic 6.0; however, there are some differences that you should be aware of.

In Visual Basic 6.0, projects used a reference-based model — the project file contained references to project items specifying their path. For example, when you added a text file to a project, the project file pointed to the location of the file; when the project was built, the text file would be loaded from that location.

Visual Basic .NET uses a folder-based model — all project items are placed in the project folder hierarchy. When you add a text file, a copy of the file is placed in the project folder; when the project is built, the text file is loaded from that copy of the file.

In Visual Basic 6.0, the Remove command removed an item from a project, but the file still remained on disk. In Visual Basic .NET, the Remove command is replaced by a Delete command, which both removes and deletes the file. The Exclude From Project command can be used to exclude a file from a project without deleting it.

In Visual Basic 6.0, multiple projects could be added in the Project Explorer; multiple projects were called Project Groups. In Visual Basic .NET, Solution Explorer replaces the Project Explorer; Project Groups are replaced by solutions. Where Project Groups could only contain Visual Basic projects, solutions can contain projects created in any combination of Visual Studio .NET languages.

In Visual Basic 6.0, project files (.vbp) and project group files (.vbg) were text files that could be edited directly in a text editor. In Visual Basic .NET, project and solution files are in an XML format; they should not be edited directly.

In This Section

Project Property Changes in Visual Basic .NET
Describes project property differences between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET.
Project Type Changes in Visual Basic .NET
Describes project type differences between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET.
Reference Changes in Visual Basic .NET
Describes differences in reference handling between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET.

See Also

Managing Projects
Describes the project system for managing your applications as you write them.
Introduction to Visual Basic .NET for Visual Basic Veterans
Describes differences between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET.