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What’s New in Projects, Solutions, and Items 

The following features are available for this release. For information on other new features, see What's New in Visual Studio 2005.

  • Temporary Projects   With Temporary Projects, you can create and experiment with a project without having to save it; simply create a new project and start coding.

  • Stand-alone projects   If a solution contains only one project, you will not see the solution in Solution Explorer nor do you see commands that act on solutions in the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), although the solution files will still be created.

  • Simplified Build   Provides Visual Basic 6.0-style build options for Visual Basic programmers.

  • Solution Folders   Enables users with very large, complex solutions to organize projects by grouping them in folders in Solution Explorer.

  • Project Designer   All project properties and settings are now centrally located in the Project Designer, including improved access to resources and strong-name signing within the IDE. For more information, see Introduction to the Project Designer.

  • Referencing an EXE   You can now reference .EXEs as well as .DLLs in Visual Studio. Use this feature when you would like to use classes and methods which are contained in an executable.

  • Visual Studio Conversion Wizard   Solutions or projects that were created in or upgraded to Visual Studio .NET 2002 or Visual Studio .NET 2003 must be converted to the format that is used by this version of Visual Studio before you can work with them in this version of Visual Studio. Converted solutions or projects are no longer compatible with Visual Studio .NET 2002 or Visual Studio .NET 2003. Using the wizard, you can choose whether to create a backup of the solution or project before it is converted. For more information, see Visual Studio Conversion Wizard.

  • Create Project from Existing Code Files Wizard   Use this wizard to create a Visual Studio project from existing code files. The project is created on your computer and all relevant files are added to the project. When you work with this new project in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), you have all the tools you need to design, develop, debug, and deploy your application. You can view, edit, build, and debug your code files using coding aids such as IntelliSense.

  • Solution and Project Platform Targeting   In the Configuration Manager dialog box, you can now select the platform on which to build the solution, add new solution platforms, and edit existing solution platforms.

  • Starter Kits   A starter kit is essentially an enhanced project template that can be shared with other members of the community. A starter kit includes code samples that compile, documentation, and other helpful resources to enable you to learn new tools and programming techniques while building useful, real world applications. For more information, see How to: Create Starter Kits.

  • Projects and Solutions options   A new node has been created in the Options dialog box, called Projects and Solutions, that contains separate pages for General and Build and Run options.

  • Custom Project and Project Item Templates   You can now easily create your own custom template for projects or project items or modify existing project and project items templates to better meet your development needs. Once created, these custom templates appear in the New Project dialog box and Add New Item dialog box. In addition to the project file and code files, the template includes an XML file that provides template metadata, which Visual Studio uses to define how to display the project in the development environment and, if you have specified the appropriate properties, to customize how the project is created in the development environment. All the files are compressed into a .zip file that can easily be shared with others. For more information, see Visual Studio Templates.

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