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ASP.NET MVC: Error after switching on compilation of views

Its always a good idea to compile your Razor views. The reason being that errors within a view file are not detected until run time.

To let you detect these errors at compile time, ASP.NET MVC projects now include an MvcBuildViews property, which is disabled by default. To enable this property, open the project file and set the MvcBuildViews property to true, as shown in the following example:



After enabling MvcBuildViews I started seeing unseemly errors like so:

error ASPCONFIG: It is an error to use a section registered as allowDefinition='MachineToApplication' beyond application level.  This error can be caused by a virtual directory not being configured as an application in IIS.

I couldn't figure it out but a colleague soon pointed out the following resource: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5161511/mvc3-strange-error-after-switching-on-compilation-of-views

Turns out that this problem occurs when there is web project output (templated web.config or temporary publish files) in the obj folder. The ASP.NET compiler used isn't smart enough to ignore stuff in the obj folder, so it throws errors instead.

The fix was a modification to the MVC Project File as shown below:



Under the <Target Name="MvcBuildViews" AfterTargets="AfterBuild" Condition="'$(MvcBuildViews)'=='true'"> node, add the following :

<ItemGroup>
  <ExtraWebConfigs Include="$(BaseIntermediateOutputPath)\**\web.config" />
  <ExtraPackageTmp Include="$([System.IO.Directory]::GetDirectories(&quot;$(BaseIntermediateOutputPath)&quot;, &quot;PackageTmp&quot;, System.IO.SearchOption.AllDirectories))" />
</ItemGroup>
<Delete Files="@(ExtraWebConfigs)" />
<RemoveDir Directories="@(ExtraPackageTmp)" />

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