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Differences Between Starter Kits and Templates

Visual Studio templates and Starter Kits are built and used in almost exactly the same way. A distinction is made between Starter Kits and a templates to provide a level of expectation to someone downloading and using them. Several key features are required to separate a Starter Kit from a template. For more information on templates, see Introduction to Visual Studio Templates. For more information on Starter Kits, see Introduction to Starter Kits.

A template is used as a starting point for a Visual Studio project. It contains the project settings, references, and files that you would need to begin a certain type of project. The Visual Basic Windows Application project available in the New Project dialog box is an example of a project template.

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, documentation, and other resources to help you learn new tools and programming techniques while building useful, real-world applications.

A template rarely includes any documentation. Project files included with the template may contain code comments to help with development, but documentation about how to develop an application with the template is very limited.

A Starter Kit contains detailed documentation explaining the different components of the project and how they work together. Alternatively, a Starter Kit can provide a starting point for a full application, with documentation that provides a step-by-step guide to completing the project.

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