How to: Create Solution and Project Build Configurations

Visual Studio add-ins are deprecated in Visual Studio 2013. You should upgrade your add-ins to VSPackage extensions. For more information about upgrading, see FAQ: Converting Add-ins to VSPackage Extensions.

The Visual Studio automation model offers objects that enable you to control solution and project build configurations. A solution build configuration specifies how certain projects in a solution are to be built and, if enabled, deployed. Project build configurations, which are listed in the Project Property Pages dialog box, list all available types of project builds, such as Debug or Release, and the available platforms, such as .NET or Win32. For each combination of build and platform, there is a project configuration — a set of defined project properties and settings.

The solution build configuration objects are:

Object Name


SolutionBuild2 object

Used to build, clean, and deploy the currently active solution configuration.

SolutionConfiguration2 object

Represents a list of projects and their configurations that are to be built.

SolutionConfigurations collection

Contains all defined SolutionConfiguration objects.

SolutionContext object

Represents a project's configuration in a SolutionConfiguration object.

SolutionContexts collection

Contains all SolutionContext objects in a SolutionConfiguration object.

BuildDependency object

Represents a project that must be built before the owning project can be built.

BuildDependencies collection

Contains all projects that must be built before the owning project can be built.

The project build configuration objects are:

Object Name


ConfigurationManager object

Represents build configuration and platforms.

Configuration object

Represents a configuration, or set of build settings, within a specified platform.

Configurations collection

Contains all Configuration objects.

OutputGroup object

Contains the files that are built by the project.

OutputGroups collection

Contains all OutputGroup objects.

Using these objects you can:

  • Create, add projects to, activate, and delete solution configurations.

  • Build, run, or deploy any project in a solution configuration.

  • Obtain information about objects within a project or solution configuration.

  • Add, remove, or get information about project build dependencies.

Note Note

The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. These procedures were developed with the General Development Settings active. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Customizing Development Settings in Visual Studio.

Public Sub OnConnection(ByVal application As Object, ByVal _
connectMode As ext_ConnectMode, ByVal addInInst As Object, _
ByRef custom As Array) Implements IDTExtensibility2.OnConnection
    _applicationObject = CType(application, DTE2)
    _addInInstance = CType(addInInst, AddIn)
End Sub
Sub SConfig(ByVal dte As DTE2)
    Dim SB As SolutionBuild2 =  _
    CType(_applicationObject.Solution.SolutionBuild, _
    Dim SolCtx As SolutionContext
    Dim Proj As Project
    Dim CM As ConfigurationManager
    Dim Cfgs As SolutionConfigurations
    Dim Cfg As SolutionConfiguration2
    Dim msg As String

    ' Get a reference to the solution configurations 
    ' solution context of the first project.
    SolCtx = SB.SolutionConfigurations.Item(1).SolutionContexts.Item(1)
   CM = _applicationObject.Solution.Projects. _
    Proj = _applicationObject.Solution.Projects.Item(1)
    Cfgs = _applicationObject.Solution.SolutionBuild. _
    Cfg = CType(Cfgs.Item(1), SolutionConfiguration2)

    ' List the current solution build info.
    msg = "BuildState = "
    Select Case SB.BuildState
        Case vsBuildState.vsBuildStateNotStarted
            msg = msg & "Build has not yet started." & vbCr
        Case vsBuildState.vsBuildStateInProgress
            msg = msg & "Build is in progress." & vbCr
        Case vsBuildState.vsBuildStateDone
            msg = msg & "Build has completed." & vbCr
    End Select
    msg = msg & "Configuration Name = " & SolCtx.ConfigurationName _
    & vbCr
    msg = msg & "Platform Name = " & SolCtx.PlatformName & vbCr
    msg = msg & "Project Name = " & SolCtx.ProjectName & vbCr

    ' List the current solution configurations.
    msg = ("Configuration names are:" & vbCr)
    For Each Cfg In Cfgs
        msg = msg & Cfg.Name & vbCr
   ' Add a new solution configuration.
   Cfgs.Add("ANewConfiguration", "Debug", False)
   ' Create a new project build configuration based on the Debug 
   ' configuration.
   Proj.ConfigurationManager.AddConfigurationRow("MyNewConfig", _
    "Debug", True)
   ' Build the solution configuration.
End Sub

To compile this code, create a new Visual Studio Add-in project and replace the code of the Connect.cs or Connect.vb class with the code in the example. Before running the add-in, open a project in the Visual Studio IDE. For information about how to run an add-in, see How to: Control Add-Ins By Using the Add-In Manager.