Home > Visual Studio > Visual Studio 2008 – Multi-targeting with .NET Frameworks

Visual Studio 2008 – Multi-targeting with .NET Frameworks

Well if you haven’t heard, Visual Studio 2008 supports Multi-targeting with .NET Frameworks 2.0, 3.0, 3.5.

  • .NET Framework 2.0 – Included with Visual Studio 2005
  • .NET Framework 3.0 – Included as part of Vista & Windows Server 2008 (includes .NET Framework 2.0), or as separate download
  • .NET Framework 3.5 – Included with Visual Studio 2008

What does this mean for me?

Well this means you can build applications targeted for a specific framework  listed above with the one Visual Studio tool/IDE. This excludes .NET Framework 1.1 and below – sorry it looks like it was a mission to go back that far!

One thing I have noticed when opening solutions created in Visual Studio 2005 with .NET 2.0, that I was prompted when opening in VS 2008 to upgrade the solution to VS 2008.  But again you can set the target to .NET Framework 2.0.

Also if you are a .NET developer you really don’t want to have multiple copies of Visual Studio on your machine (or Virtual Machine) – can’t we just have one? Well you now can if you develop from .NET Framework 2.0 and above.  Its still ok to have Visual Studio 2003 and Visual Studio 2008 installed side-by-side. But once you move to .NET 2.0 you can ditch Visual Studio 2003 off your machine – unless you still need to support older applications. If you have only just begun with .NET 1.1 then I suggest you probably should upgrade to at least .NET 2.0 so you can keep moving along.

So the great advantage I see with Multi-targeting with Visual Studio 2008 is that you can move directly to Visual Studio 2008 and continue working on your .NET 2.0 applications but now with the new IDE – now that’s cool!

Multi-targeting is limited though within the Express versions of Visual Studio.  I have been told that you do not get the dropdownlist of .NET Frameworks within the New Project Dialog Menu. So remember this.

Here is a snapshot of the New Project Dialog Menu showing the different targeted frameworks ……


(Image Size: 600×461)

Yellow Duck Guy
Greg Olsen

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Categories: Visual Studio
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