MS have now released the 1.0 version of the Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Projects model:

The Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Project model uses the same project, build and compilation semantics as the Visual Studio .NET 2003 web project model:

  • All files contained within the project are defined within a project file (as well as the assembly references and other project meta-data settings). Files under the web's file-system root that are not defined in the project file are not considered part of the web project.
  • All code files within the project are compiled into a single assembly that is built and persisted in the \bin directory on each compile.
  • The compilation system uses a standard MSBuild based compilation process. This can be extended and customized using standard MSBuild extensibility rules. You can control the build through the property pages, for example, name the output assembly or add pre- and post-build actions.

Part of me wishes we'd had this option from Day One, it would have made our upgrade of six applications from VS2003 to VS2005 much easier. But then the other part of me thinks "no pain, no gain", and in retrospect I'm glad to have been forced to learn much about the new Web Project model.

As you might expect, Scott Guthrie has lots more info on this subject.