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How to: Create Custom Prototypes from Configured Applications and Endpoints 

In Application Designer, you can save and reuse configured applications and endpoints by creating custom prototypes. Custom prototypes include all the properties, configurations, and settings that these applications and endpoints include when you create custom prototypes from them.


If you only need a single copy of an application or endpoint, you can just copy it. You can also copy items between diagrams in different solutions or instances of Visual Studio. For more information, see How to: Copy Between Solutions or Instances of Visual Studio.

When you create custom prototypes, Visual Studio adds them to the Toolbox. You can also share custom prototypes with other users.


If you are running Visual Studio on Windows XP, you must have at least Power User permissions to create custom prototypes. If you are running Visual Studio on Windows Vista, you must run Visual Studio as an administrator to create custom prototypes.

For considerations and guidelines about creating custom prototypes, see Guidelines for Creating Custom Application Prototypes.

To create a custom prototype from the application diagram

  1. On the diagram, select one or more applications or endpoints.

  2. On the Diagram menu, click Add to Toolbox.

  3. In the Add to Toolbox dialog box, name the prototype.

  4. Choose one of the following:

    • To use the default bitmap (.bmp) file as the prototype icon, click OK.

    • To specify a different bitmap file, enter the location of another bitmap file and click OK.


       Optimum specifications for bitmap images are 16 x 16 pixels with 24-bit color depth and magenta color (RGB values: 255, 0, 255), which will appear as transparent. Bitmap images that do not have these specifications will be resized.

  5. In the Save File dialog box, name the prototype file, and click Save.

    Application Designer creates a file that has an .adprototype extension, saves it to the default prototype folder, and adds it to the Toolbox.


    To display the custom prototype in the Toolbox in other instances of Visual Studio, close and reopen the current instance of Visual Studio before opening those instances.

Visual Studio typically saves the .adprototype file in the default prototype folder so that the prototype appears in the Toolbox. This folder is located along the following path:

"<root>\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\Tools\DesignerPrototypes\Prototypes"

You can also share this prototype file by distributing copies of it to other users. To install new custom prototypes, see How to: Install New Custom Prototypes in the Toolbox.


Be aware that custom prototypes might store sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data in custom settings. Custom prototypes are base 64-encoded but are not encrypted. Therefore, remember this consideration before sharing custom prototypes with other users.

See Also