In this chapter, we will learn how ASP.NET Core solution items are organized in the Visual Studio and on the file system.
Table of Contents
ASP.NET Core Solution Structure
We created an ASP.NET Core solution in the Previous Tutorial using the Empty Template.
The solution contains three folders Dependencies, Properties and wwwroot. It contains two files in the project root program.cs and startup.cs
The Properties folder contains a file called launchSettings.json. This json file contains all the project specific settings needed to launch the application.You will find debug profile, environment variables that should be used etc in this file
The wwwroot folder is treated as the root of your website. The Url http://yourDomainName.com/ points to wwwroot.
All files are served from the wwwroot folder or a subfolder under it. Place only those files which you want to serve. This is called whitelisting. Files placed in other folder are automatically blocked.
The Code files should be placed outside of wwwroot. That includes all of your C# files, Razor files, configuration files etc.
This folder contains all the Dependencies of the project.
The Visual studio now uses NuGet Packages for all the server-side dependencies. for the Client Side dependencies, the Bower is used. This is a deviation from the previous versions where NuGet is used for both for Server & Client side dependencies.
Under Dependencies folder, we have NuGet folder, which contains NuGet Packages and SDK Folder, which contains Microsoft.NETCore.App. This is the .Net Core runtime that we are targeting in our project.
The Bower folder is created, when we install the Bower packages
Files in your file System are now part of your Project
The project file (.csProj) has gone under a lot of changes in Visual Studio 2017. It has become lot simpler now.
There is a direct correlation between the files in the solution folder and what is displayed in the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio. The files you add to the solution folder automatically becomes the part of the Project.
To demonstrate this, we will add a file to the file structure in the File Explorer and see it show up in the Solution Explorer in real-time.
Open notepad and paste the following code
public class test
Now, save this to the HelloWorld project folder.
This file is automatically picked by the visual studio and added to the Project.
New Project system
The project.json, which was introduced along with ASP.NET Core 1.0 is discarded from the .NET Core 2.0
The installed NuGet packages are now listed in the .csproj file.
The .csproj files can be opened and edited directly from Visual Studio.
We can now right-click on the project and edit the .csproj file. There is no need to unload the project before doing this.
The new csproj file contains very few elements compare to what it was in older versions of ASP.NET
<Folder Include="wwwroot\" />
<PackageReference Include="Microsoft.AspNetCore.All" Version="2.0.0" />
The TargetFramework is netcoreapp2.0 which you modify it here
You can also change the TargetFramework from the Project Property ( Select Project -> Right-click and select Property). Any things that changed in Project Property is updated in the .csproj file
There are three ways you can add NuGet Packages to the Project
- Modifying the .csproj file
- Using NuGet Package Manager
- Via Package Manager Console
Modifying the .csproj file
Select the project and Right-click and click on Edit HelloWorld.csproj
Add the following code and save the file
<PackageReference Include="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights" Version="2.4.0" />
The NuGet Package Manager downloads and installs the dependency as soon as you save the .csproj file. The Yellow cautionary sign appears next to the assembly and it disappears when the installation is complete.
Using NuGet Package Manager
Select the Project and right-click and click on Manage NuGet Packages to install/remove NuGet Packages.
Right Click on Project folder and click on Manage Bower Packages as shown in the image above. This opens up the Manage Bower Package page, where you can add/remove bower packages.
Installing the bower packages creates a folder name bower under dependencies folder
In this tutorial, we learned few things about the ASP.NET Core Solution Structure. The Visual Studio Team has made lots of improvements over the older system.