Let’s say you have this VC++ project (or maybe more) targeting a 64-bit platform (x64 or IA64). You have the sources, everything is set. You build the solution and your project is skipped. You try again, maybe do a rebuild. The project is still skipped. You check the solution’s configuration manager, and the project is indeed checked for building. What could be wrong?

You open the project properties but the page doesn’t load. You get this error:

What’s happening?

What’s happening is that you are missing the x64/IA64 compiler and tools. You did not check them when you installed Visual Studio.



You have to go back to the setup and add this component. However, you must notice that if you have installed the service pack for Visual Studio (regardless the version and edition) you must remove the service pack first, run the original setup, add the x64/IA64 compiler and tools and then install the service pack back. Otherwise the original setup for Visual Studio will fail. The reason is the service pack installation overrides things, making the original setup unable to run again.

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A new version (1.3) of VSBuildStatus add-in for Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and 2010 is available. It allows you to configure the add-in window to automatically show up when a build/clean/deploy process starts, and/or automatically close when the operation ends.

  • To enable the automatic show of the add-in window when a build/clean/deploy operation starts, check Pop-out automatically when starting a build
  • To enable the automatic hiding of the add-in window when the build/clean/deploy operation ends, check Auto hide when the build ends
    • you can set a delay interval for the hiding, varing from 0 to 300 seconds; if the delay is 0, the window is hidden immediatelly after the build ends
    • to keep the window shown when error(s) occurred during the build/clean/deploy operation, check DO NOT auto hide when an error occurs

Here is a screen short of the properties window. It opens from the Settings button.

The add-in is available on the Visual Studio Gallery.

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I have updated my Visual Studio addin that displays the status of a build/clean/deploy action. If you get the latest version, 1.2, and are running Visual Studio 2005, 2008 or 2010 (they are all supported) on Windows 7, the progress of the build is also displayed on the Taskbar, on the item corresponding to the Visual Studio instance.

The following images show no progress, different progress steps, and an error during the build/clean/deploy, both for Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 (Beta 2).

No progress

Build progress

Build progress

Error during build

Build progress

Error during build

This was possible by using the Windows 7 Taskbar interop library available on MSDN Code Gallery here.

You can get the latest version of the addin from the Visual Studio Gallery at this link.

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If you are still using Visual Studio 2005 and need to develop WCF services you need the following:

The problem with the later is that Microsoft no longer supports it. Visual Studio 2008 is supposed to be used for developing such projects. The license for the CTP has expired on June 30th 2008. You can read more about that here. What that means is that you can no longer develop WCF applications in Visual Studio 2005 and should upgrade to Visual Studio 2008. However, as an exercise, I wanted to see if I could still install the WCF extensions in Visual Studio 2005 and have it work side by side with Visual Studio 2008.

First, I had to find the old CTP with the Visual Studio 2005 extensions. It can be downloaded from here. However, when I run it, I got the following error:

WCF Extensions for Visual Studio 2005 Setup Error

WCF Extensions for Visual Studio 2005 Setup Error

The curious thing was that .NET 3.0 was already installed on my machine. I soon realized I was having .NET 3.0 SP2, and the installer was looking for .NET 3.0. Of course, you cannot install 3.0 when a newer version (such as 3.0 SP2) is already installed. So the only option was to change the installer.

Orca is a database editor, allowing you to create and edit MSI files and merge modules. It is provided as a part of Windows Installer SDK. But you can also find stand alone downloads, such as this.

After installing Orca, you can open the MSI file. From Tools > Validate… one can run a validation on the installer. It shown the following errors:

ICE08 ERROR Component: WCFSvcConfigEditor_dll has a duplicate GUID: {714D044E-3136-457E-ADD7-AE3D0FEF021A}
ICE16 ERROR ProductName: ‘Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (WCF & WPF), November 2006 CTP’ is greater than 63 characters in length. Current length: 83
ICE77 ERROR CA_CommitHelpTransactionNoRB.3643236F_FC70_11D3_A536_0090278A1BB8 is a in-script custom action. It must be sequenced in between the InstallInitialize action and the InstallFinalize action in the InstallExecuteSequence table

I had to do the following fixes:

  • replace the first occurrence of this GUID {714D044E-3136-457E-ADD7-AE3D0FEF021A} with another one
  • trim the name “Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (WCF & WPF), November 2006 CTP” to “Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 SP2”
  • change the Sequence number of the CA_CommitHelpTransactionNoRB.3643236F_FC70_11D3_A536_0090278A1BB8 action in he InstallExecuteSequence table from 6601 to 6599 so that it is in between InstallInitialize (1500) and InstallFinalize (6600)

But then, came the biggest problem: making the installer work with .NET 3.5 SP2. It was looking in registry for the following key: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{15095BF3-A3D7-4DDF-B193-3A496881E003}. The GUID {15095BF3-A3D7-4DDF-B193-3A496881E003} corresponds to .NET 3.0. So in order to make it work with .NET 3.0 SP2 one needs to replace the GUID with {A3051CD0-2F64-3813-A88D-B8DCCDE8F8C7} for the SearchForWinFXruntimeX86Install signature in the RegLocator table.

Once those changes are made all you have to do is save. However, the “Copy embedded steams during ‘Save As'” option should be checked from Tools > Options > Database, before doing the saving. Otherwise the embedded CAB is not copied and the installation won’t work.

Running the modified installer works successfully.

Setup start page

Setup start page

Setup finished

Setup finished

If you start Visual Studio 2005 you can create a new project from one of the WCF project templates.

WCF Project Templates

WCF Project Templates

You can download the altered MSI file from here: The Visual Studio 2005 extensions for.NET Framework 3.0 SP2 (WCF & WPF) (6520).

Note: I must say this again: this scenario is no longer supported. The license for this CTP for WCF extensions for Visual Studio 2005 has expired in 2008. You should upgrade to Visual Studio 2008 to develop WCF applications.

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Yesterday I have installed Visual Studio 2010 and decided to try my VSBuildStatusAddin. It work on the first try, only with a change to the .AddIn configuration file.

Here is some screen shots in Visual Studio 2010.

VSStatusBuild in Visual Studio 2010

VSStatusBuild in Visual Studio 2010

Visual Studio 2010 about window with VSbuildStatus addin

Visual Studio 2010 about window with VSbuildStatus addin

The images above show a new version of the add-in, 1.1.0. This new version provides the following features:

  • displays the build/clean/deploy progress on a status bar
  • shows information about latest available version with link to download page
  • as already explained, works in Visual Studio 2010

The new version is available at the Visual Studio Gallery.

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I have fixed several bugs on version 1.0.4 of my VSBuildStatus add-in for Visual Studio that displays the status of a build/clean/deploy operation. The bugs were mainly about the batch builds. The new version is 1.0.5.

You can download this Visual Studio 2005 & 2008 add-in from here. If you are using a previous build I encourage you download and use the latest.

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I have modified my VSBuildStatus add-in to work with Visual Studio 2005. Basically I had to remove the LINQ stuff to break the dependency on the version 3.5 of the .NET framework.

The new version (1.0.3) that supports Visual Studio 2005 is available here. Let me know if you have any problems with it. Especially in VS 2005.

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