I’ve blogged previously about why I like the approach CRM Solution Manager uses for authoring web resources in Visual Studio. While I think CRM Solution Manager is a fantastic tool, there are ways to get some of the benefits of it’s approach to web resource authoring with a couple other free Visual Studio addins. The first tool is CRM 2011 Web Resource Linker/Publisher. This tool provides the ability to map a file in a Visual Studio project to a web resource in CRM. Because of this, I can organize my scripts in a folder structure which aligns with the relative path naming convention that’s recommended in the CRM SDK. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg309536.aspx for more details. In the picture below, I just started with an empty web app and added the dkdt_ structure below:
Then, I simply link/publish the files:
Here’s an example of what initial linking looks like:
Notice that you can also create a new web resource right from the linker dialog. Once you’ve linked the files, you can do things like multi-select in Solution Explorer and deploy/publish just the files you care about:
So, for me, I’ve stopped using the Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Create and Deploy Web Resources because many of these things I talk about don’t work with the supplied template. Furthermore, the Developer Toolkit forces you to deploy all of your web resources every time and it doesn’t publish. You have to do that manually. I’ve found the approach I lay out in this post to be the most productive way of using Visual Studio to develop web resources. However, I still use the Developer Toolkit to Create and Deploy Plug-ins and Create and Deploy Workflow Libraries.