Professional Visual Studio 2008 Extensibility

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9780470230848: Professional Visual Studio 2008 Extensibility
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Visual Studio is a development IDE created by Microsoft to enable easier development for Microsoft programming languages as well as development technologies. It has been the most popular IDE for working with Microsoft development products for the past 10 years.

Extensibility is a key feature of Visual Studio. There have not been many books written on this aspect of Visual Studio. Visual Studio Extensibility (VSX) can be considered a hard topic to learn for many developers in comparison with most .NET related topics. Also, its APIs are very complex and not very well written. Some may refer to these APIs as “dirty” because they do not have good structure, naming convention, or consistency.

Visual Studio is now 10 years old. It was created during the COM days for COM programming but later migrated to .NET. However, Visual Studio still relies heavily on COM programming. It was revamped when moving to the .NET platform but still contains its COM nature; this fact is what makes it harder for .NET developers to work with VSX. Because it is an older product built on two technologies, it has produced inconsistency in code. Although there are problems with the current version of VSX, the future looks bright for it. The many different teams working on the software have been moved into one umbrella group known as the Visual Studio Ecosystem team.

Throughout the past 10 years Visual Studio has continued to grow and new extensibility features have been added. Learning all of the options with their different purposes and implementations is not easy. Many extensibility features are broad topics such as add-ins, macros, and the new domain-specific language tools in Visual Studio. Learning these topics can be difficult because they are not closely related to general .NET programming topics.

This book is for .NET developers who are interested in extending Visual Studio as their development tool. In order to understand the book you must know the following material well: Object-oriented programming (OOP), the .NET Framework and .NET programming, C# or Visual Basic languages, some familiarity with C++, some familiarity with XML and its related topics, and Visual Studio structure and usage. A familiarity with COM programming and different .NET technologies is helpful.

The aims of this book are to:

  • Provide an overview of all aspects of VSX
  • Enable readers to know where/when to use extensibility
  • Familiarize readers with VS Extensibility in detail
  • Show readers the first steps and let them learn through their own experiences
  • Use examples, sample code, and case studies to demonstrate things in such a way that helps readers understand the concepts
  • Avoid bothering readers with long discussions and useless code samples

In order to use this book, and get the most out of it, there are some technical requirements. You must have the following two packages installed on your machine to be able to read/understand the chapters and test code samples:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Team System Edition (or other commercial editions)
  • Visual Studio 2008 SDK 1.0 (or its newer versions)

You will need to buy Visual Studio 2008 to register for an evaluation version. The Free Express editions of Visual Studio do not support the extensibility options. The Visual Studio SDK is needed in order to read some of the chapters in the book and can be downloaded as a free package. The operating system doesn’t matter for the content of the book, but all code was written with Visual Studio 2008 Team System Edition in Windows Vista x86.

Chapters 1, 2, and 3 will give you an introduction to the basic concepts you need to understand before you can move on to the rest of the book. Chapter 4 discusses the automation model, which is an important prerequisite for many of the chapters in the book that focus on add-ins, macros, and VSPackages. Chapters 5-14 will utilize add-in

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L'autore:

Keyvan Nayyeri is a software architect and developer who has a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics. He was born in Kermanshah, Kurdistan, in 1984.
Keyvan’s main focus is on Microsoft development technologies and their related technologies, such as markup languages. He also has a serious passion for community activities and open-source software. As a result, he has authored many well-known .NET communities and has published various articles and tutorials on them. He is also a team leader and developer for several .NET open-source projects, where he increases his knowledge in many areas, including writing code for special purposes. As an old ASP.NET developer, Keyvan is also a big fan and follower of Telligent products and holds an MVP award for Community Server as well. Before this book, Keyvan recently co-authored Wrox Professional Community Server (Wrox, 2007).
When he’s not writing code, he enjoys blogging, reading technical books, listening to music, and playing video games. You can check out his blog, which contains his thoughts about matters both technical and personal, at www.nayyeri.net.

Dalla quarta di copertina:

Professional Visual Studio Extensibility

Are you ready to extend the capabilities of Visual Studio to become more efficient and productive? Whether you want to integrate optimized builds, enhanced programming tools, or other rapid application development features, this unique resource shows you how to develop customized extensions. It not only covers the Visual Studio IDE but also provides you with an excellent reference when coding add-ins, macros, and extensions.

After a quick introduction of basic concepts, this book delves into the automation model and add-in development with the help of a case study, numerous examples, and sample code. You'll discover how to take advantage of the Add-in Wizard, manipulate solutions and projects, work with text in documents and programming code, create Tool Options Pages, and more. Next you'll gain an in-depth understanding of specific extensibility options including the Visual Studio Shell and Domain-Specific Languages Tools. After that, you will learn how to integrate your own functionality with Visual Studio with the help of VSPackage. You'll then be able to apply your knowledge to other extensibility points covered in different chapters, including debugger type proxies and visualizers, code snippets, templates, MSBuild, and macros to save time and money when developing applications.

What you will learn from this book

  • A quick overview of Visual Studio Shell and Domain-Specific Languages Tools

  • Techniques for creating, debugging, testing, and deploying your add-ins

  • Ways to work with user interface elements, Windows Forms, and controls via code in your add-ins

  • Steps for extending Visual Studio functionality using VSPackages

  • Tips for writing and managing code snippets to make your coding process easier

  • Using Visual Studio templates to save time when writing code for common projects

  • How to use MSBuild to write custom builds for Visual Studio and .NET applications

  • New techniques for recording, developing, debugging, deploying, and running macros

Who this book is for
This book is for .NET developers who are interested in extending Visual Studio 2003, 2005 and 2008. It is also for programmers who want to write highly scalable applications quickly and efficiently.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

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