Building F# Solutions in Visual Studio 11

On November 25, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Dan Mohl

I, as well as my fellow Fresh Brewed Coders, love to learn about new technology, seek to continually improve, and always look for ways to make things easier. I then do all that I can to share the knowledge, code, and/or tools that help to achieve these goals. One of the ways that I have done this is through the creation of a number of Visual Studio project and item templates. Over the last several days, there have been updates to almost all of these templates. In this post I’ll describe the changes that have been made–most of which have been implemented to allow support for the Developer Preview of Visual Studio 11 and F# 3.0.

I’m sure that you have used Visual Studio Gallery by now, but just in case you haven’t yet had the chance, see http://bloggemdano.blogspot.com/2010/08/f-templates-now-on-visual-studio.html for how to get started. A screenshot of the Online templates view from the Developer Preview of Visual Studio 11 is shown below:

ASP.NET MVC:

F# and C# ASP.NET MVC3 - This project template generates the standard ASP.NET MVC 3 template output with separate projects for the view (ASPX in a C# project) and controllers/models (in a F# project). The latest release (version 1.3) adds support for Visual Studio 11 and F# 3.0. You will need to install the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update (see http://www.asp.net/mvc/mvc3 and make sure to download/install the correct version for Visual Studio 10 or Visual Studio 11) to use this template.

F# C# MVC 3  - This is a dynamic project template that generates an empty ASP.NET MVC 3 solution with separate projects for view (C# – either ASPX or Razor), core (F#), and an optional F# project for unit tests. The template is based on the MSDN Magazine article entitled “Authoring an F#/C# VSIX Project Template” which can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/hh456399.aspx. You will need to install the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update (see http://www.asp.net/mvc/mvc3 and make sure to download/install the correct version for Visual Studio 10 or Visual Studio 11) to use this template. Version 1.1 adds support for Visual Studio 11 and F# 3.0.

WPF:

F# Windows App (WPF, MVVM) – This project template generates a F# WPF solution with logical separation between View, ViewModel, Model, and Repository. The latest release (version 1.8) resolves a few bugs and adds support for Visual Studio 11 and F# 3.0.

F# and C# Windows App (WPF, MVVM) - This is a project template that generates a WPF solution with separation between View (C#), ViewModel (F#), Model (F#), and Repository (F#). The latest release (version 1.7) resolves a few bugs and adds support for Visual Studio 11 and F# 3.0.

 Web Service:

F# and C# Web Service (ASP.NET, WSDL) - This is a project template that generates a Web Service (WSDL) solution with separate projects for web (C#), services (F#), and contracts (F#). The underlying technology is Windows Communication Foundation. Version 1.5 adds support for Visual Studio 11 and F# 3.0.

Silverlight:

F# C# Web App (Silverlight) - This project template generates a Silverlight solution with separate projects for View (C#) and Core (F#).  The Core project includes logical separation between ViewModel, Model, and RemoteFacade. You should install the Silverlight 4 developer tools and/or the Silverlight 5 developer tools plus the April 2011 F# CTP. Version 1.2 adds support for Visual Studio 11 and includes a template wizard dialog that allows selection of Silverlight version 4 or 5. The determination of whether to display the wizard dialog is triggered off of the installed F# Silverlight client version. It will only display if both 4 and 5 are installed. Note: There are not yet F# 3.0 Silverlight DLLs. Because of this, the current version only support F# 2.0.

F# Web Application (Silverlight) - This F# project template generates a Silverlight project with logical separation between View, ViewModel, Model, and RemoteFacade. You should install the Silverlight 4 developer tools and/or the Silverlight 5 developer tools plus the April 2011 F# CTP. Version 1.4 adds support for Visual Studio 11 and includes a dialog that allows selection of the desired Silverlight Version 4 or 5 (depending on installations). Note: There are not yet F# 3.0 Silverlight DLLs. Because of this, the current version only support F# 2.0.

F# Empty Web Application (Silverlight) – This project template is similar to the F# Web Application (Silverlight) template; however, it does not include all of the example code. You should install the Silverlight 4 developer tools and/or the Silverlight 5 developer tools plus the April 2011 F# CTP. Version 1.1 adds support for Visual Studio 11, removes the C# host application, adds support to generate an HTML test file, and provides functionality to select the desired Silverlight version 4 or 5 (depending on the installation). Note: There are not yet F# 3.0 Silverlight DLLs. Because of this, the current version only support F# 2.0.

F# 2.0 Silverlight Library (for Visual Studio 11) – This is a project template that generates a F# 2.0 Silverlight project. It targets Visual Studio 11 only and will only be needed temporarily. You can read more about this template at http://bloggemdano.blogspot.com/2011/11/f-silverlight-library-template-in.html. Note: There are not yet F# 3.0 Silverlight DLLs. Because of this, the current version only support F# 2.0.

XAML Item Templates:

F# XAML Item Templates – This Visual Studio Extension provides a number of item templates that make working with F# XAML based projects (i.e. the WPF, Silverlight, and/or Windows Phone 7 project templates) much easier. Without these item templates adding new XAML files to one of these projects is a bit of a pain. You have to create a text or xml file, change the extension to .xaml, manually add the default XAML code, and change the Build Action for the .xaml file to Resource. Version 1.1 adds item templates for Windows Phone 7 (I’ll talk more about this in a future post) and adds support for Visual Studio 11.

Project Templates That Do Not Currently Support Visual Studio 11:

Since the Developer Preview of Visual Studio 11 does not currently support Windows Phone 7 development, the Windows Phone 7 templates (i.e. C# WP7 with Caliburn.Micro, F# and C# Win Phone App (Silverlight), F# and C# Win Phone List App (Silverlight), and F# and C# Win Phone Panorama) have not yet been updated to support Visual Studio 11. This will be added as soon as a release of Visual Studio 11 is provided that does include this support.

F# and C# Web App (ASP.NET, MVC 2) - There is not currently an ASP.NET MVC 2 install for Visual Studio 11 and I don’t anticipate one to ever be provided. Because of this, I have not (and do not intend to) add support for Visual Studio 11 to this project template.

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