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Problems with VSeWSS

I can’t really recommend VSeWSS at all.  

I’ve now lost some considerable time in trying to package up a project for deployment with this tool.   It’ll work one moment and fail the next; adding it to version control or even checking in the project seems to be enough to irretrievably break the build.

Symptoms include constantly encountering this error:

Unable to load one or more of the requested types.
Retrieve the LoaderExceptions property for more information.

I’m using the CTP release of VSeWSS 1.3 for Visual Studio 2008 although the error was also evident using version 1.2.

Update: I’ve found that adding the referenced assemblies to the GAC, resetting IIS then Clean the project in Visual Studio fixes this issue.
I can’t reclaim the hours lost but perhaps this information will help someone else.

  1. January 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Hi Dave, have you checked out stsdev? Its pretty awesome and poops on VseWSS. The codeplex guys have all sorts of great stuff around solution generation and SharePoint code engineering. SPSource is worth a look too.

  2. oidatsmyleg
    January 30, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Thanks Esther. I’ve used STSDev and WSP Builder before and they provide more control over how the WSP is built.

    Unfortunately both are command-line utilities and therefore don’t know anything about how files are organised with the Visual Studio project. We wanted to add files as links within the VS project, to prevent messy copying issues from the development to deployment projects, which forced us to use VSeWSS.

  3. Ivo Vink
    February 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I am continuously encountering this same error. Sometimes it works, then all of a sudden, a few hours later the problem reappears.
    We have several solutions that contain the same class-library-projects. They all deploy to the GAC and they all use the libraries in the SharePoint projects.
    Do you have some tips to determine what libraries we need to readd to the GAC? I think I tried them all but it still won’t work. There’s only one dll (csproj reference) referenced now in the SharePoint project, it’s one of our own and it is added to the GAC. Resetting iis has been done and devenv has been restarted, still…. NO LUCK. Any ideas??

    • oidatsmyleg
      February 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm

      I’d recommend trying the steps listed in the post and check at each stage if everything is as you’d expect.

      For example, when you attempt to deploy the solution, the first thing that happens is that any previous version is retracted and deleted. This may result in your class libraries no longer being in the GAC when the solution is rebuilt and the error being thrown. In this case, add them back in and start over again.

      Good luck. 🙂

  4. Ivo Vink
    February 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    THX, regretfully, I tried that. I can see the solution folder being build in the bin underneath my sharepoint project. All my dll’s are there. I readd them to the GAC, try to package and again, failure.

    Drives me mad.

    • oidatsmyleg
      February 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm

      Have you tried deleting the bin and obj folders? As a last resort you can try removing the pkg folder and hope the rebuild picks everything up… again, good luck.

  5. Ivo Vink
    February 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    It works!!
    Finally I copied all the assemblies from the generated solution folder to my GAC. Then I removed the bin and obj folder as you mentioned. I tried to package again and during this process I received an Access Denied on the newly generated bin folder. I tried to browse with Windows explorer and got the same access denied. Then I restarted my server, tried to browse again and got no error. Then restarted Visual Studio and the packaging worked!! Immediately I opened up another solution that had similar problems, tried to package that after deleting it’s local bin and obj folders and that worked as well.
    Makes you kind of curieus what process was running in the background that was playing with my mind….

    Again, thx a lot for your suggestions, saved me a lot of grief going into the weekend. (it’s half past 8 in the morning over here)

  6. March 17, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Hi Dave, VSeWSS doesn’t support referenced projects. We added support for referenced DLL’s in VSeWSS 1.3. Get the Feb 2009 CTP or the Mar 2009 CTP for that, I added a note in the release notes to cover this issue also.


  7. March 23, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Guys..

    You can also put the dll’s in ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SharePoint Developer Tools 9.0\svc\bin’ instead of the GAC.


  8. March 23, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    … and by the way you need to add the dll’s referenced by the dll’s that you are adding to your project. It’s really wreid but looks like use reflexion to try to check if all the clases are there. So… I’ve one dll that I’m using in my project but this dll reference anther one so I have to add both to the bin or GAC folder…


  9. pero
    June 11, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Saved the day…

  10. July 28, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Another scenario that fixed this was when you delete the “pkg” folder and then “Package” again it’ll create you two new untitled features for the two features already existing in the WSP View. Simply go to WSPView and rename these to what the existing one was and you should be back in sync again.

  11. August 25, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Without adding the referenced dll to GAC, just deleteing the bin,pkg folders did it for me.


  12. September 20, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Yeah, wiping the Bin, Obj, and Pkg folder from the site def allowed the wsp to build.

  13. Vinicius Fonseca
    January 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Hey!! It did it for me!! Thanks a lot (also lost a few hours).

  14. February 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    You might also want to check the properties on any additional libraries you are referencing. This issue can occur in the following situation: you add a reference to a 3rd-party or other external .dll before you add it to the GAC, in which case Visual Studio may set the “Copy Local” property to true. In this situation, if the .dll is also already deployed to SharePoint via the GAC or directly, VSeWSS may begin to intermittently raise this error because (I believe) it then tries to also de-and-re the 3rd party lib in the GAC.

    Punch line: make sure Copy Local is set to false for any libraries that are not specifically part of your project development.

    Note that this can also happen if you upgrade for example from System.Web.Extensions 1.x to 3.5 where you may be changing versions of related .dll references in your project. This is when we see it crop up most often — for example updating to 3.5 version of a dependent lib after updating MOSS 2007, where you may drop the 2.x .dll from the GAC to be replaced with the 3.5 version and update your project references at the same time not noticing the Copy Local property.

  15. Negar
    May 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Hey there,
    You saved me twice so far!

    Thank you for the useful post.

  16. Gareth
    September 6, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I can’t even get it working !

    I have installed VS 2008 and VSeWSS on my server. I ran Solution Builder, entered my site URL, correctly got offered the list of design elements, I chose what I wanted and clicked “finalise”.

    Then I get the error “VSS Service Error: No sharepoint site exists at specified URL :http://<&gt;.com/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?cmd=GetProjSchema. The remote server returned an error: (401) Unauthorised”

    Any ideas? it is driving me crazy ! The builder is obviously finding my site and accessing it but what extra permissions does it need and where should these be configured ?

    • oidatsmyleg
      November 4, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Sorry, it’s taken so long to reply – I’ve stopped using VSeWSS and I’d recommend that you avoid it like the plague and use WSPBuilder for building SharePoint 2007 solutions. There is a lot less auto-magic happening and you can supply custom settings with options on the command-line to handle most scenarios if the default settings don’t work for you.

  1. September 13, 2009 at 11:12 am

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