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Given a WP7 Express solution but want to open in YOUR VS 2010?

Mar 11

Written by:
Friday, March 11, 2011 3:48 PM  RssIcon

VS2010Are you helping someone out with a WP7 problem?  Or maybe you're brain storming on something you're working on together?  But your partner is using WP7 Express and you're using VS2010, how can you stop loading Express?  I may have a solution for you!

If you are trying to open up a WP7 solution file on a box that has VS 2010 Premium, Ultimate (or some other flavour) two things are going to happen, first you'll get pinged to get a license key (HUH? why? anyways.......) and next, once you GET that key, you'll open up the solution file in Express and thereby lose all/most of your customization.  Mostly the window layouts, I haven't tested completely if keyboard shorcuts are turfed as well?

Anyways, Aaron Stebner wrote a blog with three ways to fix this!  Awesome! 

1) Tweak the .sln file.  This is a permenant change, not so good if you're sharing the solution file with someone else cause you'll just hose your partner(s).

2) Tweak Windows to always open up VS2010 instead of the default "VS2010 version selector".  This isn't a bad option cause you don't hose your friends, but you COULD hose yourself if/when you ever upgrade to the next version of Visual Studio.  DOH!

3) Tweak the vpdexpress.exe filename so the version selector program can't find it, BUT will still try to open up the solution in VS 2010.  HHHMMM You don't hose your friends, nor yourself, besides effectively hosing the express version, this seems like the best option to me.  Hey, you have VS 2010 anyways right?  And that's the one you want to use right?  I don't see any down side here!

Ok, so what's causing this?  Here ya go.  Check out this solution file, I think you can quickly see what's the issue.

Solution with Express version

And when you double click that solution file, this is what happens (well, this is AFTER you get pinged about the Express license file, which is another gripe I have, but let's just move on shall we haah).

Opening up that Solution file

Ok, so what's the fix?  I'm going with "Door #3!" Monty!  First you need to find your "vpdexpress.exe" file.  Once you do that, rename it so the VS version selector can't find it.  You'll get two "chicken switches" (one for are you sure you want to rename it, and maybe one for the administrator option, depending on how you have your user setup).

Renaming

Chicken switch

Once you do that to the vpdexpress.exe (I also did the config file to keep things consistent), you'll be able to see this when you double click on the very same solution file again.

Opening same solution file

Notice how you're using YOUR installed version of VS 2010?  You should also notice your window layouts are the same as what you're used to, and (I hope haha) your keyboard shortcuts!

Now that you know how to open up your WP7 apps created by other people in express with YOUR version of VS, it's time to grab a coffee and get coding!

 

Resources
Aaron Stebner's Weblog: How to open a Windows Phone .sln file in Visual Studio 2010 Professional instead of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone 

Copyright ©2011 Peter Henry

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