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Managing DLLs with VS 2010 and TFS

Posted on 2013-01-25
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We are in the process of migrating our classic ASP applications to ASP.NET.  We are using VS 2010 with TFS.  We have 3 servers all running Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard.  One server is for Development, one is for UAT and the last one is for Production.

I started creating DLLs to handle common processing among our applications.  For example I created a DLL to handle the Encryption/Decryption of our data.  With the first ASP.NET application which was not done under TFS, I copied the DLL into the Bin folder of the application in order to reference it.  This is an inefficient way of doing things so what I want to do is have my VS projects reference the DLLs on the Production Server so that each project is using the latest version of the DLL.  If the DLL changes then it only has to be updated in one place rather than copied to the Bin folder of all projects that reference it.

My question is what is the best way to do this?  Our servers are setup to have the websites on the D: drive.

1. Do I put the DLLs in a common folder on the D: drive under the websites folder?
2. Do I put the DLLs in a common folder on the D: drive outside of the websites folder?
3. Do I put them somewhere else completely?
4. How do I reference them in my VS project so that each developer doesn't have to keep a local copy of the DLL on their machine?

Any help with this is greatly appreciated in that we are just setting up these servers now so we have greater flexibility at this point.
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Question by:dyarosh
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binaryevo earned 2000 total points
ID: 38821963
Dll management can be tricky.  The way we do it is so all our developers have access to the same dlls both our own internally developed and 3rd party.  We have our dll projects as actual projects in TFS.  The dlls project allows us to place all new versions of the dlls in there.  When we pull down all the projects, we all map them locally to the same structure (ie: c:\projects ) and then in whatever app we create we just add a reference to the dlls project folders in our local project structure and lib we nees.  What does that do for you?  Well it creates an easily integrated developer collaboration & coding environment.  While I don't think this is necessarily the best way, it is a way and works well for our specific context.

Hope this helps
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Author Closing Comment

by:dyarosh
ID: 38844896
We reviewed your approach and it looks like we are going to use the same.  Thanks!
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