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[.net] Upgrading to 2008 Express

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Hello, I'm currently using the following: Visual Studio .NET 2003 .NET Framework 1.1 Visual C++ .NET 2003 Standard I was thinking about finally upgrading to the following: Visual Studio .NET 2008 Express .NET Framework 3.5 Visual C++ 2008 Express My primary concern is this: What functionality do I sacrifice by using the Express editions? Will I still be able to do everything that I can with my current setup? If it's titled "Express", and it's distributed free of charge, then there must be some limitations, correct? Secondly, what configuration changes can I expect in order to compile and run my old programs? How much time and pain is involved? Thanks in advance! P.S. I'm already looking through Microsoft's web site to gather as much info as they'll give me. I just wanted to hear straight up from you guys/gals. Thanks. Also, if I do upgrade, do you recommend uninstalling all previous versions first? I have so many Microsoft folders on my computer it's not even funny.

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In the case of c# and vb.net, all you lose is IDE add-on support. So no setting up ankh to access a source repository from within the IDE, for example. But, you can just use something like tortoise outside the client. It's not as convenient, but that's a small price for using a free product.

In the case of c++, the stock copy you download doesn't allow proper native windows coding. It lacks what you need for the winapi, such as windows.h. BUT you can download the platform SDK and setup your project settings to look for headers and libs there.

So if IDE add-ons are a must for you, then the express versions are a no-go. But for 90% of non-professional hobbiests, the express versions are more than adequate.

As to bringing your projects over to the new version: it has a wizard that will convert your projects for you. It may not move over 100% painlessly, but it'll be easier than recreating the projects from scratch.

As to uninstalling the previous versions, if you're not going to use them any more, there's no reason to keep them installed.

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Quote:
Original post by gharen2
In the case of c++, the stock copy you download doesn't allow proper native windows coding. It lacks what you need for the winapi, such as windows.h. BUT you can download the platform SDK and setup your project settings to look for headers and libs there.

MSVC 2008 Express doesn't require you to download the platform SDK unless you want to develop 64-bit applications.

However, the Express edition also doesn't come with MFC or ATL support, if you want to migrate apps with either of those you'll need something more than the MSVC Express edition. Also, MSVC has dropped support for the single threaded versions of the C runtime library since MSVC 2005. This is annoying but not actually a big issue.

I've had no problems running 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008 all on the same machine, so there's no real need to remove older versions. Aside from reclaiming the hard drive space anyways.

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Well I've been running VS 2005 standard, VS 2008 Pro,VB 2005 express, VB 2008 express on my development machine and the little differences I noted were:
*express versions namely vb 2005 express came with movie and screensaver starter kit templates and they are no longer included in vb 2008 express. not a big deal since I'm sure you can just download the templates from MS if necessary.
* now more importantly if you mess with database stuff is that VB 2008 express now only let's you add local sql compact database files to your project. In vb 2005 express you could actually add a full blown sql .mdf local file to your project.

VB 2008 express only let's you target 3.5 net framework by default. VB 2008 Pro version allows you to choose from .net 2.0 up to 3.5 when you start a new project.

Of course VS 2008 Pro version doesn't have database limitations and lets you add a full blown sql server file to your projects. VS 2005 standard also lets you do this. Also the Pro version has unit testing built in from what I noticed and of course support for 64bit out of the box.

Hidden Gems in Visual Basic 2008 should give you a good idea of all the other little things that have changed since VS 2003.

p.s. Also if you plan on writing any XNA stuff the 2008 versions won't be supported until march of 2008 from what I hear.
Oh if you plan on doing alot of asp.net or webstuff you have to download visual developer express to do any web sites or web services since those templates are also missing in vb/c#,etc express versions.
And in the past the standalone masm assembler ml.exe only came with the full version of Visual Studio. It's probably included in the SDK now like the 64bit compilers though.


[Edited by - daviangel on December 20, 2007 12:06:03 AM]

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Does VC++ 2008 Express support an unmanaged resource editor? IIRC, 2005 did not.

Also note that there are separate express editions per language - Visual C++ Express, Visual C# Express etc, not a single "Visual Studio Express". A consequence of this is that the Express editions do not support multi-language solutions.

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Quote:
Original post by smitty1276
The express editions also don't have the nifty installer projects. At least the old ones didn't.

Yup the only option you get is to publish which brings up the publish wizard which just basically packages your app into a setup.exe over which you have little to no control over.
Okay and I just found out trying to install a C# app I just wrote in C# 2008 express that it will automatically try to connect to internet to download .net framework 3.5 if it's not already installed!
So that something to consider if you give it to someone with a slow connection or no net connection or a firewall since first time it failed since firewall blocked internet connection attempt until I fixed that.

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The only thing I've ever missed in an express version of Visual Studio (2005) is conditional break points. Then again, all I really make use of is the compiler, intellisense, and the debugger.

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