|Important||This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here. ArchiveDisclaimer|
Using Projects to Build Applications
A project is defined as a configuration and a group of files that produce a program or final binary file or files. Each project contains at least two configurations — a debug configuration and a retail or release configuration.
Projects are the individual parts of your solution that address different application requirements. Solution definitions include the dependency relationships among projects. They also include information about how to deploy the projects that make up your solution. Between them, the projects in your solution make up an application.
The best way to create new projects is by using Visual C++ application wizards. For details see, Creating a Project with a Visual C++ Application Wizard.
You can always write programs without using application wizards, but because the wizards provide a complete set of project files and structure, using a wizard to begin your project allows you to proceed immediately to programming functionality. To create an empty project, use the Win32 Project Wizard. You can add your own .cpp files to this project. This method works for simple console applications.
Visual C++ provides project templates for targeting the common language runtime and the .NET Framework class library. These project templates do not provide a user interface; instead, they automatically add the essential project references and files. For more information, see Managed Extensions for C++ Projects.
After you create the framework of your project, you can use the Visual C++ code wizards to help you add items like classes, members or functions into your programs. For details, see Adding Functionality with Code Wizards.
Once you create a project and add items, you will also want to specify how your project is built and debugged. To modify your project's settings, see:
Projects also have external aspects that control how they are compiled and deployed. Projects are part of solutions, which are managed by Visual Studio. Various projects in a solution may be coded in any of the languages included with Visual Studio. Four aspects of each project are defined in the larger Visual Studio development environment: