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In Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 you’ll see that we have included the popular NuGet package manager by default and customized it to include a Windows 8 packages feed that presents you a filtered list of NuGet packages for use in developing your Windows Store apps.
In case you haven’t heard of NuGet - it’s a package management tool that simplifies discovering, integrating, and managing external dependencies throughout the lifetime of your project. In the most basic scenario – you can use it to search a repository of packages (e.g. libraries like Entity Framework or knockoutjs) and install them in your project. This helps you get up and running quickly without requiring you to go through different websites and installation processes for libraries. Over time, NuGet will also help you keep track of version updates to the different libraries and allow you to update when you’re ready.
Because it so dramatically simplifies the process of managing dependencies for a project, NuGet has become widely used throughout the .NET development community. As a result, we’ve included NuGet in all versions of Visual Studio 2012 – including Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8. This will provide Windows Store app developers with the same access to components and streamlined integration that has become common for .NET application developers.
The Windows 8 feed isn't limited to Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 so we’ll show you below how you can add this to other editions of Visual Studio 2012 as well.
With Windows 8, the build and reference model has changed from the model used by other managed project types; we made the decision early on to provide a filtered view of the NuGet package library. This provides 2 high level benefits:
Within Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8, the NuGet client is configured to point to the curated feed as its default source (though you can switch back to the non-filtered feed if you want to). To download packages from NuGet:
Now you’ll see the following dialog; from here you can search for packages via the search field, or browse the list of all packages. When you find a package you want to install in your project, click the Install button next to the package name.
If you’re using Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate you’ll notice that the Windows 8 Packages feed isn’t included by default. If you’d like to add it, just do the following:
Now, with a project open, right-click on the project name and choose Manage NuGet Packages… and you’ll see the Windows 8 package source as an option under the Online category.
Because we want to ensure that the Windows 8 filtered feed is quickly up to date in terms of the packages contained, we have a very lightweight inspection/approval process for including packages into the feed. The process works as follows:
We’re really excited about integrating NuGet and the NuGet community into the Windows 8 application development experience and hope that you are as well. Moving forward, there are a couple different areas where we would love to see you get involved:
Howard Dierking – Program Manager, Web Platform & Tools team
Short Bio: Howard joined the Web Platform & Tools team in 2011 after having previously worked on WCF and serving as Editor-in-Chief for MSDN Magazine. He is currently the Program Manager for NuGet and for the Web optimization framework.