“Project type is not supported by this installation” error in Visual Studio 2005

In the office recently, some of our Visual Studio machines have been having trouble opening up some web applications created by other staff.  They get greeted with the rather unpleasant (and not very useful) “Project type is not supported by this installation” message.

After som googling on the issue, I stumbled across a blog on Ira Miller‘s blog, talking about the new version of the web applications add on for visual studio 2005, which, apparently is not backwards compatible with the old.

Leaving the arguments about legacy support and upgrade paths aside, I found that an easy solution to the problem is to simply download the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 – Update to Support Web Application Projects and install it on the machine in question.  We’ve found that in 2 instances, this solved our troubles.

More information about the Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Projects, can be found here.

MsBuild Error MSB5009

In our rapid deployment strategy, we use msbuild.exe to build our .net solution files from the command line, which helps us build solutions without Visual Studio on our servers.  This has worked flawlessly for over a year now, but recently (after refactoring our solution file for efficiency) we got the infamous “Solution file error MSB5009: Error parsing the nested project section in solution file” message from msbuild.

Initially, I was stumped becasue the solution opened fine in Visual Studio – so I had no idea why VS2005 could build the solution, but msbuild could not.

After some Googling, I found this MSDN forum post, which outlined the same problem.  The solution, as outlined on the last post was supprisingly simple.

  1. In Visual Studio, add a new file to the solution (not the project), something like a text file.
  2. Save all.
  3. Remove the new file.
  4. Save all.

After I had done this, I commited the change, and tried again – and it worked great.  Obviously there was some old project references which was screwing up the works.  It now works fine and I am a happy panda once again.