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DotNetNuke, Web Application Projects and Visual Studio 2008

I have been working with Web Application projects for about a year now and when I developed the new Authentication providers I created them as Web Application Projects.  I have also been using Visual Studio 2008 for a few months (since Beta 2 was released).

With the release of the RTM version yesterday, I downloaded the iso from MSDN and this morning I installed it on my Development Virtual Machine - (I use VmWare Workstation but thats another story for another day).

Once I had Visual Studio installed, I went to open my working solution file (I had already upgraded the core solution and projects when using the Beta 2 release).  Imagine my surprise then, when I got an error message (see below):

My initial response was that maybe my Virtual Directory was not configured, but when I opened IIS Manager it was there.  If I selected "Yes" then Visual Studio would attempt to create the virtual directory - but would fail as it already existed.  Selecting "No" would stop the project from loading. 

I did manage to load the project eventually by deleting the Virtual Directory in IIS, and then selecting the "Yes" option.  The problem was that the "Web" properties were not set correctly.   In previous versions of the Web Application Project implementations (VS2005 with the add-in or VS2008 Beta 2), this did not seem to matter.  (Note: It could also be because I had elected to build my new Virtual Machine using Vista Ultimate Edition (with IIS7) rather than Windows Server 2003 (with IIS6).

Anyway, here are the settings for the project file:

The Project Url is the problem.  In my initial set-up it had been my understanding that this should point to the root of the website.  This is not quite true, and since I never used F5 or Ctrl-F5 to launch the website I never realised this.  The Project URL should actually point to the relative URL for the Project (including the DesktopModules/ etc).  The "Override application root URL" option is used to point at the application root (if different from the project root).

So, the correct settings should be:


Note - in addition I have configured the "Start Page", so that the Application launches the start page of the site when the user clicks F5 or Ctrl-F5.

Again, I am not sure if this more rigid behaviour is due to the RTM or the fact that I am using IIS7, but as we are likely to be using this combination more-and-more as we move forward, it is good to get it right.




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