Thursday, March 26, 2009

Visual Web Developer 2005 and ASPNETDB.DBF

I've decided to initiate my .Net journey with the free Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, mainly because the couple of books I have are for Visual Studio 2005 and the .Net 2.0 framework. I choose SQL Server 2005 Express as well for the database backend.

I'm not sure how easy it is to get VWD-2005-ED anymore. Microsoft released VWD-2008 about 6 monmths agao and it's all that's available from the official .Net website. I had a CD with it that had come with the Dummies book I bought a few years back. I bet you could find it on PirateBay or some other torrent sharing site though. It's free, so that's not stealing AFAIC.

It's taken me some time to figure out the nuances of getting a new web site project up and running. The main issue I was having was with VWD-2005-ED creating the membership database the way is was supposed to. Sometimes the membership database got created and sometimes it didn't.

After much trial and error, I hit on a sequence of actions that seems to work. I assume you have VWD-2005-ED and SQL Server 2005 Express installed, and have started the VWD program. Do:

File-->New WebSite-->ASP.Net Web Site - I'm working in C# and using the File System as the location

Once the program has created the site:

Build-->Build Website

Once the site has been built, hit control (Ctrl) F5 to launch the site preview in Internet Explorer. Close the browser after it finishes launching and then, back in VWD:

Website-->ASP.Net Configuration

This brings up the browser again with the configuration stuff loaded. It might take a minute or two. Once it's done, the ASPNETDB.DBF should have been created.

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