About Windows Installer, the .NET Framework, and Visual Studio.
Today we announced a new method of delivering updates using a notification system many Visual Studio developers should be familiar with: the Visual Studio Extension Manager. Developers will now be notified in Visual Studio when updates are available.
When the notification balloon is clicked, Extension Manager will open to a new node: Product Updates. Clicking the Update button will download the update so you can run it.
The update is also available on the Download Center and you can read more about what’s included for the Beta Update in KB2677574.
We’d love to hear your feedback on the Visual Studio blog post, and should you have any problems installing it on Visual Studio 11 Beta (v11.0.50214.1) please download and run our log collection utility and visit our forum or file a bug on Microsoft Connect.
How do I use VS Extension Manager for my own apps?
@tim, do you mean to distribute your extensions to VS, or to actually use it in your own applications?
In the former case, please read about extending VS at msdn.microsoft.com/.../vextend.aspx, which includes links to packaging and deploying your extensions through the Extension Manager.
In the latter case, please see msdn.microsoft.com/.../bb932572(VS.100).aspx. You can build on top of the Shell (like SQL Server Development Tools does, and other external third parties) but the Extension Manager is still intended for deployment of VS Shell extensions.
If you just want something similar for your own non-Shell-based application, I recommend reading about Atom feeds and enclosures, which are references to application bits. This is an effective way to notify applications/users of updates. Apart from that, you may want to visit our developer forums at social.msdn.microsoft.com for tips and other help to develop such a feature yourself.