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Announcing Vsi Builder 2010, a new extension for Visual Studio 2010

I just released on CodePlex and on the Visual Studio Gallery a new extension for Visual Studio 2010 named Vsi Builder 2010, due to a good feedback coming from a previous, stand-alone version for VS 2008.

What is it about?

The new extensibility model in Visual Studio 2010 introduced the new VSIX file format and the concept of "extension" in order to share and install components for Visual Studio 2010, such as tool windows, packages and code editor extensions.

The problem is that reusable code-snippets (.snippet files) and old-style add-ins cannot be packaged and deployed via the VSIX format. In fact, they still need to be packaged to .Vsi installers, like it was back in Visual Studio 2005 and 2008.

Vsi Builder 2010 helps you build redistributable .Vsi installers for your code snippets and add-ins the quickest way, by adding an easy-to-use tool window to Visual Studio 2010.

How do I get it?

There are severaly ways to install Vsi Builder 2010. You can download it directly from within Visual Studio 2010 via the Extension Manager tool, but you can also download the VSIX installer from CodePlex or from the Visual Studio Gallery.

Source Code

The extension has been completely written in Visual Basic 2010 and the source code is available on CodePlex via the source control offered by Team Foundation Server.

How do I use it?

In order to make things easier, I've recorded a short video that you can download from the extension page on CodePlex. Also, this is a screenshot that displays how it looks like:

 Current features, future enhancements and MVVM

Currently Vsi Builder 2010 can:

  • create .Vsi packages with multiple contents of type code snippet and Visual Studio add-ins
  • add EULAs to packages
  • sign .Vsi packages with digital .Pfx certificates
  • uninstall code snippets and add-ins via a graphical tool
  • save to and load from disk the list of items you want to package (new in this version)

Actually the extension was written by NOT using the MVVM pattern. The reason is that I'm currently studying the pros, cons and behaviors of this approach in a Visual Studio extension, but if it will work successfully the source code will be updated. Also, for the future I'm thinking of adding support to drag and drop of files from Windows Explorer. Please share your feedback and enjoy Vsi Builder 2010!


Print | posted on lunedì 6 dicembre 2010 19:48 | Filed Under [ Visual Studio 2010 Visual Basic Visual Studio Extensibility ]


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