Last week we launched the newest update to the Visual Studio Gallery, the one stop shop for finding Products & extensions for Visual Studio.  With this release we’ve added enhancements that make finding & sharing extensions on the Visual Studio Gallery even easier.  We’ve also added features that will light up Visual Studio 2010 with content from the Gallery.  All of this is built on the MSDN platform so we can continue to bring valuable content and information together and surface it up to Visual Studio users in the right place.

With this release of the Visual  Studio Gallery we focused on navigating the growing number of products that extend Visual Studio, lighting up Visual Studio 2010 with content from the Gallery, and hosting extensions to deliver a great experience.

Navigating the growing number of Visual Studio products and extensions.  The Visual Studio Gallery has grown to over 1000 extensions in just a year’s time.  The new Visual Studio Gallery lets users navigate departments of popular extensions including Tools, Controls, & Templates.  As the ecosystem of extensions continues to grow we’ll add new departments to the site.  The new VSIX technology for deploying Visual Studio 2010 extensions allows us to automatically extract information from the extension’s metadata making extensions easier to upload & share.

Lighting up Visual Studio 2010 with content from the Gallery.  With this release of the gallery we have all the pieces in place so Visual Studio will start surfacing new content from the Gallery as soon as we ship Beta 1.  The Gallery services built into Visual Studio allow us to query for specific types of extensions so now we can surface context specific extensions based on what users are doing?  Now Visual Studio users can find all online project templates right from within the New Project Dialog and other teams can start using these services when they are ready to get on board.

Hosting extensions to deliver a great experience.  Contributing to the Visual Studio Gallery doesn’t just mean uploading a link to the extension you host on another server anymore.  Now you can upload your extensions to the Gallery and make sure they’ll always be available for Visual Studio users.  If you are uploading extensions on behalf of Microsoft make sure you follow policies for publishing binaries & source code online.  Uploading your extension to an existing contribution even lets you keep your existing ratings & reputation.

Other great features in the new Visual Studio Gallery.

  • The integration with MSDN now gives users a chance to take advantage of a shared profile across all MSDN properties.  Contributing to the gallery enhances your MSDN reputation giving high quality contributors the recognition they deserve.
  • Visual Studio Gallery contributions can now enable an optional discussion board to separate reviews from comments and give contributors an opportunity to post updates, response to feedback, & discuss bugs.
  • All contributions with an upload now track usage data and provide charting to give contributors a sense of which of their products are getting the most traffic on the Visual Studio Gallery.

You can start creating new contributions on the Gallery right away by downloading the SDK to build your first extension.