ASP.NET 2.0 comes with a test webserver which can be run by simply pressing F5 in Visual Studio from a website project which is located on your PC. The only problem is that for reasons best known to Microsoft, it launches with the site configured in a subfolder. This isn’t always convenient, as you may have paths relative to the site root which prevent this being practical for testing.
In order to get around this problem, you need to take the following steps: –
First of all, configure Visual Studio so that you can launch the test server manually as follows: –
Under the Tools menu, select External Tools.
Add a new entry
Call it something like ASP.NET Development Server
Command is C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\WebDev.WebServer.EXE (you may need to alter the path for your local machine)
Arguments are /port:80 /path:$(ProjectDir) (note that you will need to leave a space on the end of this for it to work properly. Also, you can change the port number if you wish)
Press OK. You can now launch the development server from the new entry on your Tools menu. This will show in your system tray. You should probably remember to close it when you are done.
The next step is to configure your project to use the server. Right click on your project and click Property Pages. If an empty dialogue comes up, press cancel and repeat the process – it should work second time. Under Start Options, select Use custom server and leave the Base URL blank. You may wish to change the start action as well.
Once you are done, you can press F5 to start debugging. Don’t forget that next time you open the project you will need to start the server from the tools menu before you start debugging again, otherwise it won’t work.
Also, bear in mind that if this is a copy of a remote site, things like database connection strings may need changing. Don’t forget to be careful not to overwrite any settings when you copy back if that is the case!
If you do want to develop on a copy of the site, the Website menu has a useful option to Copy website.