The Visual Studio 2008 Command Prompt

When you install the .NET Framework 3.5 SDK, Visual Studio 2008, or Visual Basic 2008 Express, you will end up with a number of new directories on your local hard drive, each of which contains various .NET development tools. Many of these tools are driven from the command prompt, so if you wish to use these utilities from any Windows command window, you will need to register these paths with the operating system.

While you could update your PATH variable manually to do so (which we will not bother to do here), you can save yourself some time by simply making use of the Visual Studio 2008 Command Prompt that is accessible from the Start >- Programs >- Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 >- Visual Studio Tools folder (see Figure 2-1).

EgJ Administrator Visual Studio 2008 Command Prompt

Setting environment for using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 I:\Program Fi1es\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC>

Figure 2-1. The Visual Studio 2008 command prompt

The benefit of using this particular command prompt is that it has been preconfigured to provide access to each of the .NET development tools without the need to modify your PATH variable settings. Assuming you have installed a .NET development environment, type the following command and press the Enter key:

If all is well, you should see a list of command-line arguments of the VB command-line compiler (where vbc stands for the Visual Basic compiler).

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