A few weeks ago I decided to give Visual Studio 2008 a shot after reading all the good reviews.  I'm now using it as my primary development environment with and overall it is a nice upgrade.  Intellisense feels smarter, the IDE looks cleaner, the web designer is much nicer, and lots of other good stuff.  Unfortunately I have run into a few problems.

Web Deployment Projects - Currently web deployment projects are not supported in VS 2008.  I am a huge fan of WDP, recompiling a web application project not only makes the site load faster (at least on the initial page load) but also simplifies deployment.  It leaves me with a nice clean directory free of .vb or .cs files that I upload with having to worrying about deploying source files.  It also ensures that my aspx pages don't have any parser errors.  For VS 2005 WDP shipped as an add-in and I was hoping it would be included as part of VS 2008, just like Web Application Projects.  After some searching it look like we aren't going to get WDP in VS 2008 until after the final version ships.  Currently the top suggestion on Microsoft connect is for WDP to be included in VS 2008.  Maybe I'm wrong but it seams as if WDP isn't a very complex add-in, its just a wrapper around asp_merge.exe 

Microsoft Visual StudioBusiness Intelligence Projects - It looks like SQL Server Report Services projects (*.rptproj files) aren't supported either.  You get a lovely error message that lets you know that doesn't sound very optimistic about getting these reports to open in VS 2008.  My guess is I'll have to wait for SQL Server 2008 and will then be forced to update my sql server in order to use my development tools.

All in all I'm a VS 2008 fan, but its still in beta and it shows.  I rarely have major problems, like a complete crash, but the smaller issues can still be bothersome.   It is great thought that Microsoft is getting these beta versions in the hands of developers, hopefully in an effort to make a better final product.

Posted at 9/19/2007 11:14 PM
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