ASP.NET – The name xxx does not exist in the current context

I recently converted a Web Site to a Web Application project, and as it had been a while I tripped up on a few things. 

First of all I made the mistake of creating a new Web Application and pasting all the web files in there (I was intending to split some of the site into another Class Library), and I wanted to port to another file structure.  I mistakenly thought it would be easier to do this ‘before’ changing to the WAP.

I then of course got a gazillion compiler errors (well – 1436 to be exact) on the new project.  The vast majority of which were ‘The name xxx does not exist in the current context’.  Yes it does! (I protested).  Well.  That showed mistake number 2.

If you want to convert then use the ‘Convert to Web Application’ option on the Web Site properties (or on the individual pages if necessary).  This does a number of things:

  1. Sorts out your project structure
  2. Changes ‘CodeFile’ to ‘CodeBehind’ and other directives
  3. Adds a designer file for pages and controls
  4. Other stuff that you shouldn’t bother yourself with etc…

The compiler errors were due to the fact that the WAP model expects pages to be structured in a certain way, and although the ‘code’ looks fine (and Resharper was green all the way) it won’t compile ‘cos the designer files are missing and hence so are the definitions the compiler’s looking for.

See Steven Smith’s post on some other tips for converting projects.

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