Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 and newer versions of that popular programming environment support what is called "Makefile Project". That kind of project can carry complex file trees and the rules for building, re-building and cleaning the project but in reality the file tree is just a convenience to access code and the rules are merely a set of commands to prepare calls to execute the makefiles supported by the GDAL maintainers (see previous page).
Code completion, IntelliSense?, "Go to definition”, "Go to declaration" and step by step debugging works almost as well as in a regular Visual Studio Project.
How to use
To use GDAL’s Visual Studio Makefile Projects you can use "File/Open/Project?..." to load directly makegdal71.vcproj or makegdal80.vcproj for Visual Studio 2003 and 2005 respectively. Then check the configuration and select one of the build option from the "Build" menu.
Note: You can also add those projects to existing Visual Studio Solution.
To change GDAL build options open and edit "nmake.opt" from "Solution Explorer/makegdal/Make Files/nmake.opt" and follow the instruction in the previous page.
You can change the calls to "nmake" by opening and editing "Project Properties/NMake".
You can either change the debugging option on "Project Properties/Debugging?".
The .vcproj files are not updated automatically so it is possible that the file tree could be missing a new driver or a new utility source code in GDAL (that will not affect the compilation) but if you want to generate a updated version of the project file or if you want to generate project files to a newer version of Visual Studio you can do it yourself by running the batch script “makegdal_gen.bat “ as follows:
C:\Dev\gdal>makegdal_gen Usage: makegdal_gen "MS Visual C++ version" > makegdalNN.vcproj Examples: makegdal_gen 7.10 > makegdal71.vcproj makegdal_gen 8.00 > makegdal80.vcproj