"Enterprise Library 5 Assembly Set" property missing in Visual Studio 2008 Solution

Topics: Building and extending application blocks
Jun 18, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Hi,  I am facing this strange problem in a single machine on my network.

All our development machines running Windows XP SP2 + Visual Studio 2008 + SP1 has Enterprise Library installed and all of them expose the "Enterprise Library 5 Assembly Set" property in Solution Properties which we change to D:\EntLib50Src, that being the source code folder location for ENT Lib 5.0 source codes.

One of our development machines, a freshly formatted Windows XP SP2 machine with Visual Studio 2008 + SP1 installed does not expose this property even though it has Enterprise Library 5.0 installed and the source code installed as well.

The installation sequence was Visual Studio 2008 > Visual Studio 2008 SP1 > Enterprise Library 5.0 > Enterprise Library 5.0 Source Code > Enterprise Library 5.0 Source Code BUILD.

This is what I tried so far

1. Checked the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Practices\EnterpriseLibraryV5\ConfigurationEditor\EntLibV5Src registry setting.
It contains all three keys and refers to valid location, e.g. the ConfigurationUIPluginDirectory refers to D:\EntLib50Src\bin\
Checked the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Packages\{88220936-600f-4815-8f00-e9ef22a31929}\ConfigurationEditor\Microsoft Signed registry setting.
It contains all three keys and refers to valid location, e.g. the ConfigurationUIPluginDirectory refers to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Enterprise Library 5.0\Bin\

Hence the registry appeared valid.

 2. Uninstalled and Re-installed the Ent Lib 5.0 Source Code using the Ent Lib 5.0 Source Code Installer (available from Start Menu\Programs\Patterns & Practices\Enterprise Library 5.0\Enterprise Library Source Code installer. The install location remained same as D:\EntLib50Src. Checked a new Visual Studio Solution for the property. NO LUCK.

3. Uninstalled Ent Lib 5.0. Deleted Ent Lib Folders from C:\Program Files\. Reinstalled Ent Lib 5.0 Along with Source Code. Built all source code. Checked a new Visual Studio Solution for the property. NO LUCK.

4. Uninstalled Visual Studio 2008. Uninstalled Ent Lib 5.0. Installed Visual Studio 2008. Installed Visual Studio 2008 SP1. Installed Ent Lib 5.0 with Source Codes. Built Source Codes. Checked a new Visual Studio Solution for the property. NO LUCK.

This is driving me crazy. Any clues guys.

AVANADE SUPPORT? Where are you? I need you badly. :(



Jun 21, 2010 at 2:17 AM

It's the first time I've heard of this issue, it's strange indeed.  And I honestly don't have an idea yet.  Do you get though the option to edit a configuration file with the Enterprise Library Configuration Tool when right clicking on a config file?


Sarah Urmeneta
Global Technology and Solutions
Avanade, Inc.

Jun 21, 2010 at 6:39 AM

Sorry Sarah.


On other development machines I am getting the "Edit Enterprise Library V5 Configuration" option on mouse right click, on any configuration file. But I am not getting the option in the machine in question.

Did that help. I have asked my IT dept to keep the machine untouched. This is such a peculiar problem that I would love to see the end of it, with a little help and co-operation from your side.




Jun 21, 2010 at 7:31 AM

So you're not getting the entire visual studio integration.  How about when you install the 4.1 version?  In addition, didn't you encounter any problem while installing?


Sarah Urmeneta
Global Technology and Solutions
Avanade, Inc.

Jun 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your prompt support.

I did install EntLib 4.1 again on that machine after uninstalling EntLib 5.0 and deleting all relevant folders. EntLib 4.1 was installed smoothly and all integration features were available. "EnterpriseLibraryConfigurationSet" property was available at Solution Level and Config files were exposing "Edit with Enterprise Library Configuration Editor" on right mouse button click.

I then uninstalled 4.1 and again installed 5.0 with Source Code option which were auto compiled ('Build Application Blocks' was checked) at the end of the installation. But still the "Enterprise Library 5 Assembly Set" property was missing at solution level and Config files did not expose "Edit Enterprise Library V5 Configuration" option.

No problem was encountered while installing 5.0. The only thing that I noticed, don't know if it is of some importance, that the installation of 5.0 was significantly faster than 4.1 till the 'Build Application Blocks' page of the installer. Then onwards, there was not much difference.

Strange thing happening. I am at complete loss. If you need I can give you remote connection to that machine using GoToMyPC or any remote connect tool you would like.


Jun 22, 2010 at 4:15 AM

Hello Sarah,

Waiting for your reply. I am eager to resolve this.


Jun 22, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Sorry for the late reply.  Any chance that the Configuration Editor for Visual Studio was unchecked when you performed the installation? Sample image : http://bloggingabout.net/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/jpsmit.metablogapi/0841.entlib5_5F00_51_5F00_341CED06.png.  The Configuration Editor for Visual Studio is marked with X.


Sarah Urmeneta
Global Technology and Solutions
Avanade, Inc.

Jun 23, 2010 at 6:22 AM


That is something that comes checked by default and though I was 100% sure that it was left at default settings, I still went and verified again as below -

I uninstalled the Ent Lib 5.0, deleted all source code folders, deleted menu shortcuts and then re-installed Ent Lib 5.0 with "Configuration Editor for Visual Studio" and all other options checked. I also selected the "Build Application Block" option in the Source Code installer routine.

Still the problem remains.

Waiting for your reply.


Jun 23, 2010 at 7:24 AM
Edited Jun 23, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Yes, that is checked by default, just want to make sure we didn't miss out the simple probable cause of the problem.

Could you check your registry entries against this registry file?  That file is actually for a lower version of entlib so make sure to look out for the correct version number and package ids.  I can't tell why the installation didn't include visual studio integration but we may be able to find a workaround.  I'll also check my registry entries in the meantime to see if the same registry entries apply for version 5.0.

 BTW, the package id for EntLib 5.0 is {88220936-600f-4815-8f00-e9ef22a31929}

Sarah Urmeneta
Global Technology and Solutions
Avanade, Inc.

Jun 30, 2010 at 3:42 AM

Sorry for replying late. Got too busy with some other things. However, while comparing the registry entries provided by you, I managed to figure out the cause of the problem and resolve it. However, I could not ascertain why and how this thing has happened and that too on only one machine.

The cause of the problem was this registry key -


I believe this prevented the VS 2008 from loading the Ent Lib 5.0 integration package. Once I changed the setting to 0, everything started to work fine. But I couldn't figure out why and how this key was created in that particular machine.

Another strange thing is this registry key doesn't get removed while I uninstall Ent Lib 5.0. Don't you think that uninstalling an integration package should remove all references of it from whatever associations it might have created?

This issue is now resolved but the mystery remains, how the registry entry was created. Will wait for you reply, if you can throw some light into it.


Jul 1, 2010 at 3:35 AM

I actually don't know why.  Didn't you encounter a package load failure when opening Visual Studio? 


Sarah Urmeneta
Global Technology and Solutions
Avanade, Inc.

Jul 8, 2010 at 6:56 AM

Sorry for the late reply Sara.

I have checked with the dev if he had faced any such failure situations. Though he can't remember any such situation, I believe he must have faced it and may have clicked a 'Do not ask again' type of option and that it why the registry entry with 'SkipLoading' was created.

What I was unable to understand that when the package itself got unistalled (remember I had uninstalled Ent Lib 5.0) then why should the entry still remain there. I guess the registry entry might have been created by Visual Studio indicating which packages it must skip for loading. Naturally, the uninstaller for Ent Lib doesn't check that key and cannot uninstall the key.

However, if that is the case, then I must say that the resultant behaviour is extremely confusing for us. This means, I can uninstall and re-install Ent Lib or any other package, as many times as I want but the integration package will still be skipped by VS IDE until VS itself is uninstalled and re-installed. I believe not event 5% of the developers facing this situation would be able to figure out what is happening without wasting a reasonable amount of time.

I propose two approaches to this. If my assumption about the cause is correct, please take some actions from your end to get this done.

1. Ent Lib (or any other general integration package) uninstallers must check for that key and delete it if package is found there. This is a little problematic as all integration package vendors would have to take caution about including that code in their uninstallation routine.

2. VS IDE must check for the presence of the package it is skipping and may be  -
               - Delete the entry when the package is found uninstalled
               - Show a list of packages that are being skipped at startup (These generally have a 'do not ask again' option which if checked may again cause confusion)
               - Have an 'Integration Package Manager' kind of option in VS IDE where we can see that some packages are being skipped (I am not sure if this option is already available)

Thanks for your time and co-operation Sara.