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Web Access Methods

Visual Studio .NET 2003

You can choose two ways for Visual Studio to manage the files in your ASP.NET Web application:

  • FrontPage Server Extensions access - All files are managed using the HTTP protocol.
  • File-share access - All files are managed using Windows-based file management commands. This option requires LAN access to the server, but it can be slightly faster because there is less management overhead. In addition, file-share access provides superior support for source-code control.
    Note   If you create your Web application using FrontPage access on a server with a FAT or FAT32 partition, you will not be able to use source control. This is because the FAT partition does not allow for full security functionality, so all operations are performed in the context of the same guest account. All source control operations are performed in the context of this anonymous user (IUSR_Machinename). This can incorrectly cause your files to appear to be exclusively checked out to another user when you attempt to perform check-in or check-out operations. To resolve this problem, convert your FAT partition to NTFS file system.

Choosing the Best Access Method

There are two primary items to consider when choosing the appropriate Web access method. First, you need to consider the location of the server you plan to use. File share requires that you have sufficient access rights on the server to create a file structure. If you do not have access to a shared folder on the Web server, you cannot use the file share access method. For this reason, file share is more appropriate for creating applications on the local intranet. FrontPage Server Extensions are a better choice for developing projects on the Internet, because they use reference pointers to the server.

Second, you need to consider the source control model you prefer to use. When you create a Web project with FrontPage as the access method, only one copy of the Web project exists and all developers work in this single project. Each developer checks out a file exclusively, meaning that only one developer can edit a file at a time. In addition, developers can only access the project using FrontPage Server Extensions.

Note   Using FrontPage Server Extensions as your access method is not recommended for a multiuser development environment.

A project using the file share access method behaves similarly to local projects under source control. Developers check out copies of the project files from source control and then check their changes back into the same source control system.

When to Specify the Web Access Method

The default access method for Web projects is file share. However, before you create a new Web project, you can set the preferred Web access method in the Web Settings page of the Project node in the Options dialog box. For more information on creating a new Web project, see Creating Web Projects.

After a Web project is created, the Web access method is stored and used the next time the project is opened. If there is a problem, you can switch access methods by using the Web Access Failed dialog box. For more details on the information in this dialog box see Web Access Failed Dialog Box.

You can change a Web project's access method in the Project Property Pages dialog box as long as the Web project is not under source control. Visual Studio will use the new access method the next time the Web project is opened. For more information about choosing a different access method, see Changing Web Project Access Methods.

See Also

Changing Web Project Access Methods | Web Access Failed Dialog Box | Compilation and Deployment of Web Projects | Creating Web Projects | Opening Web Projects | Managing Project Web References | Visual Basic and Visual C# Projects