Getting Started


Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1

Console add-ins in Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) enable customers and partners to create extensions for the VMM console. These extensions are presented as ribbon button entries. When you click the buttons, they do specific actions or display custom views in the console. Add-ins let you extend the VMM console with functionality that is specific to your needs.

What is an add-in?

Virtual Machine Manager add-ins are defined by manifest files. Manifest files are XML files that describe what your add-in will do and how it will be presented in the VMM console. If your add-in has custom code, the custom code must be provided by a Microsoft .NET 4 DLL that is packaged within the manifest file.


A manifest defines your add-in for the VMM console. It contains basic information, such as authorship, description, and version. Additionally, it defines each piece of your add-in, such as ribbon button entries and views. If your add-in only provides ribbon buttons that either browse to URLs or start external applications, you do not have to provide a DLL.

For more information, see Manifests.

Custom code

If an add-in defines new pivot views or custom actions for the ribbon, you must create and package a DLL along with the add-in manifest file. The DLL is a Microsoft .NET 4 library using the System.Addin namespace. Depending on the base class that is used by your code, you can define what your add-in will provide to the console, and how it will operate when it is invoked.

For more information, see Base Classes.

Required assemblies

When you create an add-in that has custom code or a view, you will have to reference the add-in assemblies that are provided by the VMM console. These assemblies are located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\Virtual Machine Manager\bin folder. The following VMM assemblies are generally required to create add-ins:

  • Errors

  • Remoting

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.VirtualMachineManager

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.VirtualMachineManager.UIAddIns

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.VirtualMachineManager.UIAddins.ContextTypes

To install add-ins

  1. Compress the add-in into a .zip file.

  2. In the VMM console, select the Settings workspace.

  3. Select the Console Add-Ins node and click the Import Add-In button. An import wizard will be presented to the user to let them choose the .zip file that contains the add-in.

For more information, see Managing Add-ins Overview.

See Also

Virtual Machine Manager Add-in SDK
Using the Add-in Example Project
An Example of Creating a New Add-in
Architecture Concepts
Creating a Simple Add-in
Extending the User Interface
Managing Add-ins
Virtual Machine Manager Add-in Reference