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msvs2005 plugin development

How does one go about developing plugins for MS Visual Studio 2005?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Hmmm.... how about using the "Visual Studio Add-In" project template?  ;)
dood mcdoogle
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
If it's anything like Visual Studio 2003 plug-in development, it's not well documented and encrusted with COM bullshit.  I recommend looking on SourceForge or CodeGuru, because I think someone created a demo plugin on one of those sites that might provide some insight.
Meganonymous Rex Send private email
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Check out this website for more info:
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Addins for Visual Studio 2005 can basically be written in two ways:

1.  As a managed project in C#, VB.NET or whatever .NET language floats your boat, interfaced to Visual Studio using generated .NET wrappers around the native VS2005 automation interfaces.

2.  As a native (C++) project consuming the COM interfaces of the VS2005 automation interfaces directly.

Which you choose really depends on what you're project is setting out to achieve. Managed add-ins are quicker and easier to write, but can suffer from deployment restrictions (due to .NET framework in-process versioning issues) and further removed from the IDE they are interfacing to. If you're doing anything particularly machine intensive (e.g. code analysis) you may also want to think carefully before going this route.

Native add-ins offer complete flexibility (e.g. the ability to target multiple Visual Studio versions in a single binary), but their development and deployment is trickier - not least because there are virtually no native samples out there. That said, we're making a living at it so it can't be *that* hard (tip: use COM smart pointers rather than raw interfaces if you go this route).

Whichever way you go, the Add-in Wizard within VS2005 can get you started. Be warned though - the code it produces is crap (especially for C++) so be prepared for some pretty merciless refactoring once you get started.

For additional help see the MSDN forums ( and the vsnetaddin Yahoo Group (
Anna-Jayne Metcalfe Send private email
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Thanks guys and gals!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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