The ASPC IDE supplies an user interface for creation of
so called projects. The project consist of project settings, file
list with options for each file, version information (optional),
and (optional) Compile Time Scripts attached to some of the files.
The settings dialog
allows you to configure:
- The external objects/namespaces. The list
contains the namespaces available for the script. In ASP they
will be Request, Server, Response and so on. In WSH (Windows
Scripting Host) it will contain only WScript. You can
add/delete namespaces and thus define your script context.
For example you can put here custom namespaces supported by a
custom script host (many products support active scripting and
you may want to compile your scripts for them). Or you may
want to delete unused namespaces - for example if your ASP
pages do not use Application object you can delete it from the
list ant thus minimize the project size and complexity. Also
if you are planning deployment on a non-IIS platform this
platform may not support some of the namespaces and you will
need to compile without them.
- Paths. There are 3 paths in the dialog box. All of them can
be specified relative or as full paths. If you enter relative
paths they will root in the directory containing the ASPC
project file - that's why IDE asks you to save the project as
soon as possible.
Source site root: ASPC expects all the source files to
be found in a single directory tree under the folder specified
in this edit box. All the virtual includes will be resolved as
like the folder is the WEB site root. You will receive an
error in compile time if some of the source files are not
under the specified root. This may happen if you moved the
project file without the directory tree or if you changed the
save location. In such a case you will need to correct the
path to point to the actual source root or keep it "as is", but
copy the files with the entire tree under the location
specified in the edit box.
Destination site: This is the output directory. ASPC
will create it and all the required directories under it if
the corresponding sub-directory does not exist. All the non-VB output files will
be stored under this directory. ASPC will put them in
directories corresponding to the structure found in the source
site - i.e. the source site will be recreated but with the
output files. Depending on the file processing options output
files can be "loader" files, converted files
or just copied.
VB project directory: This directory will contain the
VB project files after successful compilation. All the files
are stored in the same directory and the VB project can be
easily copied or archived.
- Project name: Project name is very important. It
becomes the first part of the COM classes ID. Thus you should
pay attention to select the project name. You can use the same
project name for several projects but only if you are sure the
resting part of the class IDs will not be repeated. See Program
IDs and ClassName
directive for details.
- Compile-Time scripting (CTS):
CTS is defined per each file but if most of the files in the
project will use the same script it can be configured in the
project settings and then treated as "default" CTS
script. See Compile Time Scripting
chapters for more information on CTS.
- Compiler variables: Set of named custom textual
variables that can be inspected by the Compile Time scripts.
These variables allow the developer to pass information to the
compiler extensions. This information is used by the CTS to
determine certain settings or adjust their behaviour. For
example you may have script that places the company name in
the file - then it may inspect certain compiler variable and
get the name from it or, another example, a CTS may need to
"know" if it must perform certain operation or not -
then a compiler variable may change its behaviour as needed.
The compiler variables specified in the project settings are
global for the entire project, another set of variables can be
specified for each file.
- Misc. settings. The project settings also include:
- Save full paths option
- Debug build
- Compile-Time script global directory.
- Translate ASP tags in option.
File list is displayed in the "Files" window. You can
add/remove files from it and set their processing options. You can
do so using the toolbar, menu and the context menu (right mouse
Files listed in this window are the files that will be passed
to the compiler for processing. The columns in the table specify
details about every file - file name, processing type, path
and description for the processing option selected. Clicking
a column header will sort the files.
Processing options: ASPC selects automatically how to
process a file depending on its file name extension. For some files the
extension is not enough informative and you may need to change the
processing options by opening the file options dialog box.
To do so - select a file and choose file options from edit menu or
right click on a file icon and select "file options"
from the context menu. In the dialog box you can change the
processing type of the file, exclude the
file from the build (useful for debugging and error tracing
purposes sometimes), attach and configure a Compile Time Script to
the file, set specific compiler variables for the file and place
short notes for your convenience.
To add a file activate the "Files" window and select
"Add file" from the edit menu or just right click
anywhere in the files window and select the same menu item. Then
browse to the file and click open. You can select more than one
file in the open file dialog box. Note that the file must
be under the source root specified in the project settings. To
allow the IDE to check it automatically save the project before adding any files
- it will show a warning message if the file is not under the source root
Removing the file from the list means - it will not be
processed and not actually removing the file from the disk. You can
remove file from the project by selecting it and choosing
"Remove file" from the Edit menu.
All the above actions have a corresponding toolbar button and
Windows OS supports version information for DLL and other
executable modules. If you want to sign your DLL with your company
name specify version and additional details you can do it by using
the "Version information" dialog box. Open it
from the project menu and fill the desired fields. All the fields
are optional. You may need accurate version information if you are
going to pack your DLL in a setup which will have a chance to
replace older versions of the same DLL. Then version numbers are
used to compare the files and selection which file to be kept and
which to be replaced. For details read the VB help or MSDN version
Creating project - Step by step
- Open the ASPC IDE. It will show the dialog box with the
project settings. If you have it already opened then choose
"New project" from the file menu.
- In the Project settings dialog box specify the settings
described on the left side of this page.
- By default IDE will apply namespaces for ASP. If you are
going to compile an WSH project select the WSH and apply
the appropriate namespaces. Or if you want to add/remove
some of the namespaces shown - do it before continuing
- Enter the source path. Browse to the directory or enter
it manually. You can use relative paths to the directory
where you are going to save the project.
- Enter the destination directory. It will be better to
place it outside the source directory - in a separate
location in order to avoid mistakes later.
- Enter the VB project path - where the VB project files
will be generated.
- Choose a name for the project. Select something readable
but not too long (limit it to approx 20-25 characters).
Select something based on the project purpose or/and your
company name and remember it will be good to not repeat
the same name in another ASPC projects without additional
care and directive usage.
- Click ok and then save the project. If at least one
relative path is entered ASPC will ask you to do it if not
select "Save project" from the file menu. If you
are using relative paths - find the appropriate location
and click "Save".
- Now you must add files to your project. Activate the
"Files" window and using the Edit menu or the
toolbar add the files which will be compiled. Don't forget -
they all must be under the source root directory and its
subdirectories (see the left side of the page for
details). File dialog box for file adding supplies
useful file filter - use them to simplify your work.
- Check if the processing options selected automatically are
the correct and if not. Edit the file options for these files
- Select the desired processing (see the left side of the page
for details). Click here to read about the different
- Now you need to save the project.
- And you can build it. Select "Build" from the
project menu or the toolbar and look at the output window for
the compiler responses.
- Output window will be filled with various messages -
informative and error/warning messages. See the "Output
window" for more information on how to use them.
- The output finishes with a success or failure message placed
after all the other compiler messages. If the build is
successful - without fatal errors - depending on the general
settings VB will be automatically opened or you will be
allowed to start it using the toolbar button or selecting
"Open VB" from the project menu.
- In VB select make xxxx.DLL from the file menu - where xxxx
is the project name you entered in the project settings. If
there are errors VB will display them in a message box. In
this case better review the ASPC output window for warnings
before trying to search the output files. Almost all of the
possible error are trapped by ASPC and warning/error
description will give you general directions on how to
- If everything is ok - all the errors are corrected and the
DLL was build you can proceed with the application deployment
and testing. (see Deployment of the resulting components).
VB automatically registers the DLL thus you can test the
application easily by creating a virtual directory or virtual
site mapped to the output directory of ASPC if you are running
your WEB server on the same machine. OR alternatively you can
download ALP and
test it in-place if it is compatible with it. Of course
depending on the other requirements you may need to set-up
data sources and so on.
What to read for details over the particular actions:
See the project settings dialog box description.
See the processing options topic.
See the "Output window" topic.
See the errors and warnings reference.
See the ASPC directives if you feel something goes wrong and
you need more control over the compilation process - such as class
name collisions, problems with some variables etc.
See Execution contexts for details about the
differences between the script execution and the component
execution. This may help you to improve application or solve some
difficult problems. If you are using classes it is strongly