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Visual Studio .NET IDE can't see Aspose.Cells- but VS Build can?

I am using Visual Studio .NET 2003 on a large Solution comprised of 41 projects, the primary project being a Web Application. I just added a dependency on the Aspose.Cells dll. I created a new Class Library Project for Aspose.Cells which contains no references and only the files Aspose.Cells.dll and Aspose.Cells.xml and added this project to the solution. Next, I went to the Web Application project to add a reference to Aspose.Cells. I’ve tried the following:

1 - I added a .NET Project reference to the Aspose.Cells project. When I go to add the c# using statement for theproduct, the Aspose.Cells namespace is not present and building the web application project fails on
references to the Aspose.Cells namespace.

2 - I added a .NET reference directly to the file the Aspose.Cells.dll. Again, the IDE reports that the Aspose.Cells namespace can not be resolved. But, this time building the web application project is successful. The build success seems to suggest this is the right solution, but the IDE steadfastly holds to its contention that the Aspose.Cells namespace can not be resolved?

Interestingly, when I removed the the Aspose.Cells project from the solution, while continuing with the second approach of referencing the dll file, things appear to work properly. But, in this case, since the Aspose.Cells
project is not part of the solution, Visual Studio is not making sure that its two files are fetched from our source control repository.

What am I missing here?

The Solution file in question has other third party products treated the way I’m trying to treat Aspose.Cells, and I’ve tried to compare the Aspose.Cells project against the successful examples, but I can not find any substantive differences.

Aspose.Cells is a class library. So to use it, you just need to add reference to Aspose.Cells.dll.

I build a simple class library and use your first method to use it and it also fails.

Could you post a simple sample project to show how you use other 3rd party products?

Maybe the right approach to this issue is to ask what the right way is to accomplish our goal. The reason we have created a separate visual studio project for Aspose.Cells is so we have a good place, independent of all other projects that comprise our solution, for the Aspose.Cells.dll (and license file) to live within our CM system (which happens to be StarTeam, but I don’t think that is the issue here) within the mechanisms available in visual studio. The thought was one needs a separate project so that only those solutions dependent on Aspose.Cells need include it. The references in the various projects that make use of it do end up referencing the dll directly. But, it is my understanding that without the project the file would not actually be fetched from the CM system when checking out the solution?

The alternative would be to add the Aspose.Cells files directly to the dependent projects, but I we could end up with multiple instances that way, couldn’t we?

Can you recommend a good way to manage the Aspose.Cells files in our CM system in such a way that Visual Studio’s CM integration will do the right things when we open a solution from source control, get latest, and any other related visual studio actions?

As I know, you can just put Aspose.Cells.dll and license file in your CM system and your CM system will control them without any problem.

Of couse, since the dll file is binary file, some features in your CM system may be lost.

You can try this approach in your CM system.