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Migrating from VS2008 x86 to VS2010 x64, what problems can I expect?

Posted on 2010-09-16
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We have become very tired of the memory limitations of the x86 platform for development.  We currently use Vista 32bit,  with 4GB RAM, but still I have memory problems with VS2008, and VS2010 runs out of memory even faster.  So we want to switch up to using Windows 7 x64, with VS2010.

We have already migrated the applications from VS2008 to VS2010, and that was relatively painless.  However, I am concerned about building our 32 bit apps on the 64 bit platform.  I briefly tried this once before with Vista x64 and VS2008 x64, but had some build problems. So gave up and reverted to x86, and the memory limitations.

I am sure there are many people out there using Windows 7 64, and VS2010 64 for developeing 32 bit apps.  I just wondered if any of you guys cold give me some tips, things I must do, things I should not do, etc. To make this transistion as painless as possible.


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Question by:townsma
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by:joriszwaenepoel
ID: 33699130
Usually, when developing .NET applications, you build them for "Any CPU" which means it will run as a 32-bit application on a 32-bit OS, and as a 64-bit application on a 64-bit OS.  The version of the OS where you build the .NET application does not matter.

Only when you are referenceing specific 32-bit dll's (third party) you have to build your app as a 32-bits app.  This is still possible if you run Visual Studio on a 64 bits OS.  
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by:townsma
ID: 33699190
Thanks for the reply.   I understand we usualy build with Any CPU, and that this will build 32 and 64 bit versions.  

Can I ask if you currently build 32 bit apps on a 64 bit platform?  The reason I ask, is I understand the theory, however, when dealing with Microsoft platforms, as I have found to my disappointment, the theory and practice are seldom the same, and usually some workarounds etc. are required to make it work.

Our applications do use several 3rd party assemblies, which I assume are all 32 bit, so if this is the case, and the theory holds true, then I should just need to set all my assemblies to build for the 32 bit platform only, and all will be well with the world, and I will not develop any more grey hairs...
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joriszwaenepoel earned 500 total points
ID: 33699250
I still develop with VS2008, but on a 64-bits OS.
In a recent project, the app needed to be a 32-bits app, because a third party dll that I needed to reference was 32-bits, so I modified the settings to build only for x86, and it worked perfectly.

I haven't tried this with VS2010, but I would expect a lot of problems here.  A lot of developers are using 64-bits machines today, and I haven't heard anyone complain about this kind of problems.
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by:townsma
ID: 33714699
I have awarded a B as I was hoping for more insight into the real issues I might face, ratehr that the text book answer which I had already obtained.

But thanks for the reply.
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