I am not sure that Visual Studio 2017 is the issue but the procedure at this link http://www.dnnsoftware.com/answers/how-to-install-dnn-8-source-package states to build the dnn platform solution with VS 2015. Chris Patera's note in the post is that DNN 8 or later must use VS 2015.
I was able to build the solution after handling the error that the CE version of SQL Server wasn't referenced. This was preventing the DNN Tests DLL from installing as it was missing during the build.
Here is the procedure from the post:
1. After up zip the download, look for dnn_platform.sln file and open it with vs 2015. Run VS with administrator privilege.
2. Build the solution.
3. It will prompt the install screen to enter host password and database connection string.
Mike D -- This didn't happen. I got no errors but did try browsing directly. Browsed to the site with IIS, from a web browser (chrome) and from VS 2017. None of the methods got the install process running. When I do try to browse I get this error:
Note -- I have installed the Install version and it runs just fine. I have a separate database for the install and source versions. The source is DNN8_DEV_SOURCE and the one for install has a totally different name.
4. From the person responding to the post: "My machine has windows 10, IIS, SQL 2012 and VS 2015." Mike D -- I have Windows 10 Pro, SQL Server 2016 Express, SSMS 17, VS 2017, IIS 10.
OK -- Is VS 2017 the culprit? If I have to I can use my work MSDN subscription to download 2015 and build with it instead.
Thanks for any help.