I have a vb.net project that has 2 exe's that get built as well as the installer. The two exe's share a bunch of common files. I do not want to have two copies of the common files or mess around with having build events that copy things around (if possible).
My method was to create two projects in the same folder and have them point to the files they needed. This appeared to work until I tried to compile both apps at which point I get an error in a file called Application.Designer.vb. It seems that project files create this file in their folder and when I have two solutions in the same folder they conflict.
So my next effort was to create the second project in it's own folder and just add the items as needed. The problem here is that VS2010 doesn't hold a link to a file in a different folder it copies the file to the new project folder.
What is the vs2010 way to get this done?
You were almost there when you created your second project. Rather than adding the files to the second project, you need to link them.
When you add them, VS copies the source file to the current project's directory.
When you link a file, it leaves it in its current location and just adds a reference to the file to your project. This means that you are operating with a single source file instead of multiple copies.
To link a file, choose
Add Existing Item... menu item from the
Project menu, select the file(s) that you want to link, and then click the dropdown arrow next to the
Add button on the file dialog and select
Add As Link.
We have class files that are shared this way among a half-dozen projects, including Win Forms, Silverlight, ASP.Net, Services, and PocketPC.
The easiest solution would be to shove all the common stuff into a common project, and simply reference that project from your other two solutions.
Just my recommendation anyway.