Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goodbye Visual Studio macro’s, we will miss you…or not

For the people who have missed the news:

In the next version of Visual Studio(Visual Studio 11) the macros automation feature is taken out. This includes macro record/replay, macro projects and the Macros IDE. Based on some usage data that showed that less than 1% of Visual Studio developers use this feature, they decided to not invest in this feature anymore and focus on other improvements instead.

So starting from VS 11, if you want to automate some behavior in Visual Studio, you’ll have to create a Visual Studio extension.

You have the following extension options at your disposal:

  • Visual Studio Package: This is used for the older VSPackage style pugin-ins.
  • Editor Classifier: Used for creating your own syntax highlighting
  • Editor Margin: Used to adorn the margins in an editor window
  • Editor Text Adornment: Used to adorn text within an editor window
  • Editor Viewport Adornment: Used to place editor visuals relative to the editor’s visual surface
  • [VB/C#] Item Template
  • [VB/C#] Project Template
  • VSIX Project: This is the newer plug-in model that is most commonly seen in the Visual Studio Gallery
  • Windows Forms Toolbox Control
  • WPF Toolbox Control

In addition to the language specific templates there is a generic extensibility folder containing:

  • Visual Studio Add-In: This is a wizard that lets you create add-ins using C#, VB, C++ ATL, or C++ CLR.
  • Visual Studio Package: This is another wizard that lets you choose between C#, VB, and C++.
  • Visual Studio Shell Isolated: This lets one create applications based on the Visual Studio IDE itself. An early example of this is the AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft.

More information:


San Diego Guy said...

"Based on some usage data that showed that less than 1% of Visual Studio developers use this feature"

As compared to what percentage of Visual Studio developers that were using add-ins or extensions?

Sergey Vlasov said...

A simpler alternative to reuse existing Visual Studio macros and create new commands to automate Visual Studio is now available with the Visual Commander extension.

Anonymous said...

Macro has been dropped out in recent VS versions. An extensive extension for VS 2008/2010/2012/2013 may deserve a try, Visual Smarter:
It has already more than 200 widgets and coders.