Master Projects and Solutions


The majority of the time you spend working with Visual Studio will be spent inside of a project or a solution. You might edit the odd file that is not attached to a project or solution, but most files you work with will be in the context of a project or solution.

Projects can be used for many purposes, but primarily they are used to organize source code that will be compiled into a library or application.

Solutions collect a number of projects together under a single structure. The metaphor of solution works because it collects all the projects that make up your business solution. You may have five projects that make up various parts of your overall business solution. For example, you might have a data access project, business layer project, service interface layer project, presentation layer project, and web controls project. The solution groups all of these projects together and allows you to quickly move between projects and manage references between them.

The hacks in this chapter show you how to create and manage projects and solutions, manage assembly references, and dissect the formats of project and solution files. If you're not already familiar with how to work with projects and solutions, this chapter will better prepare you to get the most out of the other hacks in this book.

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