VS SDK Tech Preview Now Available

Been wondering what I've been up to for the last few months?  Well, reengineering the development process for the VSIP SDK.  It is now called the VS SDK.  In the future it will be the one place to get all of the SDK's for Visual Studio related platforms (like Visual Studio Team System, Help Integration, Debugger, Project Systems, etc).  If it comes out of Visual Studio and is used as an extensibility mechanism it will be included in the VS SDK.

What we've achieved to this point is:

  1. Reinvented the setup MSI
  2. Converted all existing samples to MSBuild
  3. Included one sample that shows how to make managed resources for you package's resources (including the package load key, help about resources, etc)
  4. Made the TextIntepreter sample work
  5. Started a Visual Studio Library (VSL) for native code (kind of like ATL for VS)
  6. Write unit tests for the VSL and some of the custom MSBuild build tasks we created (one that ships with the SDK is related to the managed resources)
  7. ...There's probably a whole lot more I'm missing

The good news is that you can download and try a preview of this new setup. 

There's bound to be bugs, but getting your feedback to fix them is vital.  We've pounded on it for a while, but the real test is when you try it on your system.

Here are some things you need to know:

  • Don't install to a non-default directory (help won't be installed)
  • The new VS SDK installation will uninstall your old VSIP (after you confirm this is ok)
  • The SdmSDK, DataSDK and Help Integration components are missing from the new SDK.  (They are on their way, though; eventually they'll make it in there.)
  • The new VS SDK only works with VS Beta 2.  Earlier (Beta1 or CTP's) or later builds (CTP's) of VS will not work with this SDK.
  • The documentation is the most recent doc we have (better than what shipped in Beta 2 and the doc update just after Beta 2)
  • Remember, this is a preview - use at your own risk.

Here's the location of the download.  Here's link to the download directly.

If you can try this out, please provide feedback.  You can use the VS Extensibility Forum or the MSDN Product Feedback Center.