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How to: Use the Shell Dependencies Dialog Box

Visual Studio 2008

Updated: July 2008

Use the Shell Dependencies dialog box to identify shell dependencies, which are the projects on which your shell project relies. At build time, Visual Studio copies the output from each shell dependency to the output directory of your shell project.

Setting shell dependencies can help when it is time to deploy your isolated shell-based application. The .pkgdef and .dll files for all the packages that are part of your application must be installed on the target computer. By setting shell dependencies, you can ensure that these files are available for deployment.


The build does not update the .pkgdef file for unmanaged projects. You must make the necessary changes to the .pkgdef file for each unmanaged project in your solution.

To update the shell dependencies for your application

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the project for your isolated shell-based application, and then click Shell Dependencies.

    The Shell Dependencies dialog box is displayed. It contains a list of the other projects in the solution.

  2. Select every project that provides packages or assemblies on which your application relies, and then click OK.

    When you build your application, the assemblies and .pkgdef files for those projects are copied to the PackagesToLoad folder in the configuration folder for the solution.

When you add shell dependencies, Visual Studio also adds those projects as project dependencies of the shell project. However, if you later change the project dependencies for the shell project, the shell dependencies are not automatically updated.



Project Dependencies Dialog Box




July 2008

Rewrote topic.

Content bug fix.