Question Web Application "Sub-Projects," VS 2005 External web.config reference?


New member
Jun 10, 2008
Programming Experience
Pardon if I'm a little vague here, but the programs I am developing are for internal use and I can't get into any specific detail about what they are or what they do.

First a little background:

We have a web project which is considered the "root" application, that is, it is deployed at the application root level under IIS. This web project has many "modules" which are deployed one level below this application root, but not in a separate IIS application root. There are at least 30 of these modules, and some modules are potentially very large. Because of this, it is not efficient for us to create a single VS "solution" containing the main project and all of its modules in a single project file. Doing that makes for a very, very, very slow VS.NET.

In order to deal with this, the main application, let's just call it "root", is contained in its own VS.NET project. Each of the modules are also contained in their own project, and when working on a single module, the "root" project and the module being worked upon are put together in a solution file, where the "root" project has a reference to the module so that its resulting .dll is published in the root project's "bin" directory.

Say I'm working on a module called "XReport". Then the published projects would be located at:

http://localhost/                 -- For the "root" project
http://localhost/XReport       -- For the "X Report" module

Now I have a few User Controls defined whose .ascx files are contained in ~/Controls and whose ASP tags are defined in the web.config file for the root project. The backend code for those User Controls are contained in an external library (to which the "root" project also has a reference.) Since the "XReport" project is not a fully-fledged web application (I'd call it a "sub-project",) it does not have a web.config file of its own (and I'd rather use a single web.config file anyway, at the "root" project level.)

With all of that said, my problem is this:

Say ~/XReport/Report.aspx has a reference to a User Control:

   <uc1:ReportList runat="server" id="ucReportList" />

And ~/web.config (contained in the "root" project) contains

          <add tagPrefix="uc1" tagName="ReportList" src="~/Controls/ReportList.ascx" />

Is there ANY way to get VS 2005 to recognize that custom ASP tag via the web.config file which defines it in the root project? Right now, the process responsible for generating the designer file fails because it doesn't recognize the <uc1:ReportList> tag, but I'd like VS.NET to look at the web.config file in the root project so that it could resolve the reference.

Sorry for being so long-winded... And thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Top Bottom