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Creating an Application Development Framework Using Enterprise Templates, Part 2

  • June 20, 2003
  • By Thiru Thangarathinam
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Making the template available to other users

In this step, we will instruct Visual Studio.NET to display our enterprise template in the New Project dialog box. When Visual Studio.NET displays the New Project dialog box, it basically reads entries from a file that has the extension .vsdir. The .vsdir file needs to be available in the ProxyProjects folder that is present in "<Drive Name>:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET\EnterpriseFrameworks". To make our template appear in the new project dialog box, we will create a new file named CustomDistributedAppTemplateProjects.vsdir that looks like the following.

..\Projects\CustomDistributedAppTemplate\
   CustomDistributedAppTemplate.etp|
  {AE77B8D0-6BDC-11d2-B354-0000F81F0C06}|
  CustomDistributedAppTemplate|0|
  A Custom Distributed Application Template|
  {AE77B8D0-6BDC-11d2-B354-0000F81F0C06}|125|0|
  CustomDistributedAppTemplate

Each field in the above file is delimited by the character |. The above fields determine values for properties such as RelPathName, LocalizedName, SortPriority, Description, SuggestedBaseName, and so on.

Putting It All Together

Now that we have constructed the different parts of the application, let us test our enterprise template by going to File->New Project and selecting Other Projects->Enterprise Template Projects. In the New Project dialog box, you will find CustomDistributedAppTemplate listed in the Templates pane.

As you can see from the above screenshot, our custom template is listed in the New Project dialog box. From the above dialog box, you can just select CustomDistributedAppTemplate as the template and create a new project from the template. In the created project, you will see all of the building blocks that we added earlier.

Conclusion

In Part 3 of this article, we will see how to add custom help topics to our CustomDistributedAppTemplate so that the developers can easily find help on how to use the template. We will also take a look at how to customize the Visual Studio.NET development environment.

About the Author

Thiru has six years of experience in architecting, designing, developing and implementing applications using Object Oriented Application development methodologies. He also possesses a thorough understanding of software life cycle (design, development and testing).

He is an expert with ASP.NET, .NET Framework, Visual C#.NET, Visual Basic.NET, ADO.NET, XML Web Services and .NET Remoting and holds MCAD for .NET, MCSD and MCP certifications.

Thiru has authored numerous books and articles. He can be reached at thiruthangarathinam@yahoo.com.

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