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I want to use the Force IDE and the Salesforce Migration Tool (Ant) to manage my deployments. I am wondering if there any best practices for how to structure this project in the Force IDE.

Should I use my existing Force.com project containing my code, tests, Visualforce pages, etc. or should I create a new, empty basic project and setup my deployment artifacts there?

What might be most helpful is if anyone knows of an article/blog post that describes how to setup the project and structure in Eclipse with an end to end example.

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It will not really make any difference if you create new Project or use existing. Because during deployment anyways you need to select which components needs to be deployed. There is very good official Salesforce article on deploying using Force.com IDE here - https://developer.salesforce.com/page/Deploy_Force.com_Applications_Faster

Development life cycle: http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/dev_lifecycle/salesforce_development_lifecycle.pdf

Article on how to use ANT for deployment :
http://www.jitendrazaa.com/blog/salesforce/salesforce-migration-tool-ant/

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