Tuesday, February 12, 2008

VS 2005 Intellisense in web.config files

I’ve seen a few questions about intellisense support for ASP.NET web.config files with VS 2005, and thought I’d blog a quick post to answer a few of them.

First the good news:

VS 2005 now supports intellisense for web.config files you add to your web project (yea!). It uses the new XML editor (which btw is much better in VS 2005), and has a built-in schema for all of the built-in .NET Framework settings:

Now one annoying gotcha:

There is one gotcha to be aware of, though, that can sometimes cause intellisense for the web.config file to stop working in the IDE. This happens when a default namespace is added to the root <configuration> element. For example, like so:

<configuration

xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/.NetConfiguration/v2.0">

This doesn’t cause any runtime problems – but it does stop intellisense completion happening for the built-in .NET XML elements in the web.config file.

The bad news is that the built-in web admin tool (launched via the WebSite->ASP.NET Configuration menu item in VS 2005 and Visual Web Developer) always adds this xmlns namespace when it launches – so if you use this tool to manage users/roles you’ll end up having it added to your web.config file for you.

How to fix this gotcha:

To get intellisense back when you are editing the web.config file in the IDE, just delete the xmlns reference and have the root configuration element look like so:

<configuration>

Everything will then work fine again.

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