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InfoQ Homepage News 10 Tips when Upgrading to Visual Studio 2008

10 Tips when Upgrading to Visual Studio 2008


Get a jump on upgrading to Visual Studio 2008.  Visual Studio 2008 was recently released and developers often want to be the first ones on the block to install the latest versions of their favorite developer tools.  Sometimes this comes at price when making the wrong choices during the upgrade process.  Thanks to folks like Jon Galloway ensuring the upgrade process is a smooth one and only 10 steps away.

1. Carefully Uninstall any Pre-release Bits First

This is one of the most important steps and the reason it is first.  If you have any previous versions of the .NET Framework 3.5 or Visual Studio 2008, everything must be uninstalled prior to installing the Visual Studio 2008 RTM.

It is also a good idea to close everything that can be closed first including:

    • Close all MS Office applications (Outlook, Word, etc.)
    • Close Internet Explorer (printing this first if necessary)
    • Close all open Explorer windows
    • Close everything else that you don't need open

Scott Guthrie explains the proper order to the uninstall process of pre-release bits, some may be installed and some may not:

    • Remove "MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 Beta"
    • Remove "Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5"
    • Remove "Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 Design Tools"
    • Remove "Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 for Devices"
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Performance Collection Tools"
    • Remove "Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2 for Pocket PC"
    • Remove "Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2 for Smartphone"
    • Remove "Crystal Reports 2007"
    • Remove "Visual Studio Asset System"
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component / Microsoft Web Designer Tools"
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Runtime"
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Runtime Language Pack" (non-English editions only)
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime 3.0"
    • Remove "Microsoft Document Explorer"
    • Remove "Microsoft Document Explorer 2005 Language Pack" (non-English editions only)
    • Remove "Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0"
    • Remove "Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 3.5"
    • Remove "Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 2.0 SP1"
    • Remove ".NET Framework 2.0 SDK"
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio Codename Orcas Remote Debugger"
    • Remove "Microsoft Visual Studio 64bit Prerequisites Beta" (64-bit platforms only)
    • Remove "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5"

2. Only Install What You'll Actually Use

Resist the urge to install everything from the DVD just because it's there.  The less you install, the less that has to be service packed later and the less space taken up on the hard drive.

3. Don't Get Fooled by the Early Reboot Prompt

The installation of the .NET Framework 3.5 will prompt the user to reboot halfway through the installation process.  All reboots should be postponed until after the Visual Studio 2008 installation is complete.

4. If you use Team System, install the Team System 2008 Team Explorer

If you plan to connect to Team Foundation Server you will need to install Team System 2008 Team Explorer or connecting to TFS will not be possible.

The documentation tells you to get the Team Explorer from the TFS installation media, but that download is another 3GB download. The easier way is to grab the standalone Team Explorer install, which is only 387 MB.

5. Reset your IDE Settings after the Install

If any of the IDE settings were customized in any of the pre-release builds, they should be reset.  This is accomplished by running /ResetSettings from the command line or from within Visual Studio 2008 on the menu Tools > Import and Export Settings... > Reset all settings

6. Take this opportunity to Change Your Visual Studio Theme

This is a great time to modify the theme. Visual Studio's theme system allows developers to try out a new theme and change it if they don't like it.   It's recommend to make it easy on the eyes, especially when being in the IDE for many hours a week.

7. Breaking changes to the ASP.NET ListView

Jon Galloway points out this very important point:

If you've written any code using the pre-release ASP.NET ListView, you'll need to upgrade your markup. There's one real difference, with a few different effects - container elements have been replaced by asp:PlaceHolder controls. Previous versions allowed you to use any runat="server" tag as a container element. I like the RTM behavior a lot better - the old approach was a little too "magic" at times, cramming child elements into parents depending on ID's. The new usage is more explicit, and it's more obvious what's your markup and what's being substituted in by the ListView.

Specifically, instead of an element named ItemContainer, you now need a Placeholder named ItemPlaceholder. If this is incorrect, you'll get the following error message:
An item placeholder must be specified on ListView ‘SampleListView′. Specify an item placeholder by setting a control’s ID property to “itemPlaceholder”. The item placeholder control must also specify runat=”server”.

8. Breaking changes in LINQ-to-SQL

Any pre-release LINQ-to-SQL code may need to be updated with the following:

    1. The Add and AddAll methods are now InsertOnSubmit and InsertAllOnSubmit. The Remove and RemoveAll are now DeleteOnSubmit and DeleteAllOnSubmit.
    2. Update the .dbml files encoding to utf-8 by changing
      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>
      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    3. Change the following line of web.config (note the difference in the version number):
      <add assembly="System.Data.DataSetExtensions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B77A5C561934E089"/>


      <add assembly="System.Data.DataSetExtensions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=B77A5C561934E089"/>

9. Download the updated Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 Tools Alpha for Visual Studio 2008

These tools were not ready when Visual Studio 2008 shipped so any one doing Silverlight 1.1 development should grab them.

10. Upgrading your Solutions to the Visual Studio 2008 Format

This is a pretty big one that will save you a lot of time.  Since Visual Studio 2008 uses a new format for solution and project files, opening them in Visual Studio 2008 will upgrade them.  If there are many projects to upgrade, this can be sped up by running it from the command-line with the /Upgrade switch.

These tips can help the developer get off on the right foot with Visual Studio 2008.  More information on Visual Studio 2008 can be found at Microsoft's MSDN web site and from Scott Guthrie's blog.

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