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Builds During Application Development

A solution and its individual projects are typically built and tested in a Debug build. Developers will compile a Debug build repeatedly, at each step in their development process. Debugging is a two-step process. First, compile-time errors are corrected. These errors can include incorrect syntax, misspelled keywords, and type mismatches. Next, the debugger is used to detect and correct such problems as logic errors and semantic errors that are detected at run-time.

When a project or solution is fully developed and sufficiently debugged, its components are compiled in a Release build. By default, a Release build employs various optimizations. Builds that are optimized are designed to be smaller and run faster than builds that have not been optimized.

Use the Configuration Manager Dialog Box to define project configurations, which are sets of properties for each supported combination of build and platform (for example, Release Win32). You can create your own special builds, such as a QA build configuration for testers, or a personal build configuration to try out some preliminary code. You can then use the Project Designer to modify the settings for each combination of build and platform. For more information, see Introduction to the Project Designer.

Use the Solution Property Pages dialog box to define properties for your solution. The common properties include settings for the startup project and project dependencies. The configuration properties include drop-down menus listing kinds of project configurations and platforms available, and check boxes for selecting those projects to be built and (if enabled) to be deployed. The combination of project configuration and the platform chosen determines the project build configuration to be used. For more information, see Solution Property Pages Dialog Box.

Use the Solution Configurations drop-down list in the Standard toolbar to select the active solution build configuration, and to open the Configuration Manager dialog box. You also can access the Configuration Manager by selecing Configuration Manager from the Build menu.