September 28, 2006
Tips on Migrating to Visual Studio 2005 and/or the 2.0 .NET Framework
I have come to understand in the past couple of months that while Visual Studio 2005 and the 2.0 Framework have been out now on the market now for close to a year, there are many shops out there still eagerly awaiting to migrate for a number of issues and concerns.
Fortunately, there are a couple of good tools that exist (one free, one not so free) that help in different ways.
The first of these is MSBee, which is the free tool. It essentially allows you to take advantage of all the new tools in Visual Studio 2005 as an IDE yet still target a 1.1 Framework. You can't take advantage of the 2.0 language and Framework features, since under the covers you are actually compiling against the 1.1 Framework. However, at least this allows one to upgrade their IDE and if anyone has experienced working in Visual Studio 2005 for any length of time, it is quite painful to return to the legacy IDE of Visual Studio 2003.
The next tool is quite intriguing. It's a tool from Remotesoft called Salamander .NET Linker. It compiles you .NET code (including any of it's dependencies in the Framework and elsewhere) down to native byte code allowing you to 1) run the application without depending on the .NET Framework being present, and 2) completely obfuscating your code.