Converting from Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008

I’ve just finished switching over our development environment from Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008 (except for a C++ solution that uses boost, which will take some further effort). These are the things that I needed to do, and the gotchas I encountered.

  1. Getting installed – Aside from being a lengthy experience, installing VS 2008 went pretty smoothly on our machines except for my own primary development box. The Web Authoring Component didn’t install. There is a long discussion thread of people with the same problem, apparently caused by having pre-release versions of Microsoft software. In my case, I had a prerelease version of Expression Web on my machine, and uninstalling that allowed the VS 2008 install to complete normally.
  2. Converting solutions -When you open a VS 2005 solution in VS 2008, the Conversion Wizard shows up automatically. It seemed like this was going to be an easy part, but none of the unit test projects converted correctly. This is apparently a bug, and a byzantine workaround is posted on the MSDN Forums. Fortunately, John Carneiro posted a tool that automatically applies the workaround (in the same forum thread as the workaround).
  3. Fixing unit test framework references – Part of our build process uses MSTest.exe to run our unit tests. When I first tried this, I got this error message: “The test DLL ‘Common.Tests.dll’ was built using Visual Studio 2005, and cannot be run. To resolve this issue please rebuild the test DLL using the current version of Visual Studio”. Since I had just rebuilt everything with VS 2008, this was somewhat puzzling. Eventually I figured out that by “…built using Visual Studio 2005…”, the error message was really trying to say “…built referencing the Visual Studio 2005 version of the unit test framework…”. While the instructions for upgrading the unit test projects said to fix references to Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.UnitTestFramework to reference version 9.0.0.0 instead of 8.0.0.0, John’s tool apparently didn’t do that for me.
  4. Finding a new strategy for Sgen I’ve written about generating XML serialization assemblies in the past, and how I came up with a command line to use as a post-build step. I discovered, however, that sgen.exe is not in the same place in the VS 2008 install. This led me to a better solution anyway of using the Sgen MSBuild task instead, as suggested here.
  5. Removing the /Wp64 switch – Some of my projects are C++/CLI, and had the /Wp64 switch on. This produces a warning now: “Command line warning D9035 : option ‘Wp64’ has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release”. I guess the reason for deprecating the option is that if you want to check for 64 bit compatability issues, you can just run the 64 bit compiler, according to this post. I just turned off the “Detect 64-bit Portability Issues” in the project C++ options. 

There were also some miscellaneous things that are less applicable to other development teams:

  1. We have an Ant task that builds Visual Studio solutions by invoking DEVENV.COM, and that needed to be updated to correlate the version 10 solution file format with the appropriate path to DEVENV.COM.
  2. We have a test runner application (a thin wrapper over MSTest.exe) that needed to be updated a little.
  3. We use TeamCity for continuous builds, and that needed some attention as well (still working on those details).

One thought on “Converting from Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008

  1. Many Thanks for saving me time in trying to upgrade from VS2005 to VS2008 – looks like I shall wait another year for MS to fix the bug in their conversion Wizard. This is related to the GPS Software for the Pocket PC. Many Thanks again. Robin

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