Setting the Build Configuration

In a standard Visual Studio 2005 project, there are two build configurations: debug and release.

The debug build configuration is used for testing and debugging and includes symbols used by the debugger to trace the module. Debug builds usually exclude optimizations for speed and size, so they should not be used in a production environment unless testing is performed.

The release build configuration does not include the debugging symbols and is optimized for speed and size. When the debug build of an extension has been thoroughly tested, the release build should be installed and then tested again. Occasionally, problems can be present in the release build that are not present in the debug build, so it should never be assumed that the release build will work correctly without testing. It is possible to debug a release build, but this can be done only at the assembly code level and requires advanced programming skills.

The debug or release build configuration for a project can be set by selecting Build - Configuration Manager from the Visual Studio 2005 menu. A window similar to the following figure will be displayed.

Visual Studio .NET Configuration Manager dialog box

In the Project Contexts list, select the project for which the configuration is being set, and change the Configuration column to the desired configuration. Alternatively, the Active Solution Configuration drop-down list can be used to change the configuration for all projects in the solution.

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Build date: 2/16/2009