Extending the Visual Studio Environment

Visual Studio add-ins are deprecated in Visual Studio 2013. You should upgrade your add-ins to VSPackage extensions. For more information about upgrading, see FAQ: Converting Add-ins to VSPackage Extensions.

Although Visual Studio offers many tools and the power to accomplish almost every task, you may require an additional or finer level of control. For example, you may want to automate a task or a series of tasks that you perform regularly. Or you may have designed tools that you want to use in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE).

Visual Studio includes Automation object models, which are rich programming models for automating the IDE and also providing extensions and new features for it. Each model concentrates on a particular area of the IDE, such as the tool windows, the code editor, the various projects, and so forth.

The sections below introduce you to automation and extensibility and show you how to use them to make programming easier.

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