Tip/Trick: Optimizing ASP.NET 2.0 Web Project Build Performance with VS 2005
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Published: 22 Sep 2006
Unedited - Community Contributed
In this article, Scott examines how to optimize ASP.NET 2.0 Web Project Build Performance with Visual Studio 2005.
by Scott Guthrie
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Republished with Permission - Original Article

This posts covers how to best optimize the build performance with Visual Studio 2005 when using web projects.  If you are experiencing slow builds or want to learn how to speed them up please read on.

Quick Background on VS 2005 Web Site Project and VS 2005 Web Application Project options

VS 2005 supports two project-model options: VS 2005 Web Site Projects and VS 2005 Web Application Projects

Figure 1

VS 2005 Web Site Projects were built-in with the initial VS 2005 release, and provide a project-less based model for doing web development that uses that same dynamic compilation system that ASP.NET 2.0 uses at runtime.  VS 2005 Web Application Projects were released as a fully supported download earlier this spring, and provide a project model that uses a MSBuild based build system that compiles all code in a project into a single assembly (similar to VS 2003 -- but without many of the limitations that VS 2003 web projects had with regard to FrontPage Server Extensions, IIS dependencies, and other issues).  To learn more about VS 2005 Web Application Projects, please review the tutorials I've published on my http://webproject.scottgu.com web-site.  Note that VS 2005 Web Application Project support will be included in VS 2005 SP1 (so no additional download will be required going forward).

Both the VS 2005 Web Site Project option and the VS 2005 Web Application Project option will continue to be fully supported going forward with future Visual Studio releases.  What we've found is that some people love one option, while disliking the other, and vice-versa.  From a feature perspective there is no "one best option" to use - it really depends on your personal preferences and team dynamics as to which will work best for you.  For example: a lot of enterprise developers love the VS 2005 Web Application option because it provides a lot more build control and team integration support, while a lot of web developers love the VS 2005 Web Site model because of its "just hit save" dynamic model and flexibility.

Two articles you might find useful to decide which works best for you is this MSDN whitepaper that includes some comparisons between the two models, and Rick Strahl's Web Application Projects and Web Deployment Projects are Here article that provides a good discussion of the pros/cons of the different options.

To migrate from the VS 2005 Web Site Project model to the VS 2005 Web Application Project model, please follow this C# or VB tutorial that walks-through the steps for how to-do so.

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