Enough exploring, let's play! The first thing you're going to do is create an empty solution. The reason for this is to simplify things. At least, I think it simplifies things. This solution provides a single location to house all the projects it consists of. This makes it easier to find everything, and it also places everything within a single directory structure. A solution differs from a project in that a solution contains projects, whereas a project contains the elements needed to create an assembly. In the case of Managed C++, you can create an application, a library, or a Web service assembly.
This step is not mandatory, though. It is possible to create separate projects for each part of your product. A drawback of this approach is that you have to exit one project to enter another. For example, if you want to make a change in a library but you are currently working in the main application, you have to exit the main application project and enter the library project. With a solution, both projects are part of a single solution, so you don't need to exit any projects.
There are two ways of creating a new empty solution. The first is to simply click the New Project button on the Start Page. The other is to select File ➣ New ➣ Blank Solution from the main menu. Once you have executed either method, you are presented with the New Project dialog box shown in Figure 6-15.
Figure 6-15: Managed C++ class library New Project dialog box
To finish creating the empty solution, simply follow these steps:
Make sure the Blank Solution icon is selected in the Templates window.
Enter the name of the solution in the Name text box. To make things easy to find, I named the solution Chapter06, but I'm sure you can come up with something better.
Enter the location where you want the solution to be placed in the Location text box. Note that the solution name will be automatically added as a subdirectory of the location specified. I placed the solution location on my system at C:\Projects\Books\Managed C++\Source Code, but you can place it just about anywhere you want on your system.