Note: If you are using this release to do VS Shell development, please see the important workaround posted on James's blog here.

The VSX team has just released the VS SDK July 2007 CTP and is now available for download for building extensions with Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2.

Below is a video clip with James Lau, lead program manager on the Microsoft Visual Studio Ecosystem team, shows how he is a nut for the Shell in this interview with Ken Levy discussing the newly released SDK for Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2.


Video: James Lau talks about the SDK for Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2

Visual Studio 2008 Shell Development

This is the first release of the Visual Studio SDK that supports development of a custom tools environment that is based on the Visual Studio 2008 Shell (isolated mode). By using this SDK, developers can create their own instance of the tools environment and include custom branded elements such as splash screen, application title, and application icon. They can also create VS Packages to extend their own instance of the tools environment. For more information, search for "Visual Studio 2008 Shell" in Visual Studio SDK Help.

Listed below are the various new and updated samples in this SDK CTP:

Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) Designer Extensibility

The IronPython sample is enriched with Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) designer extensibility. This sample provides guidance for developers who want to extend Visual Studio to integrate their .NET based languages with XAML and WPF Designer, which are introduced in Visual Studio 2008. This sample is intended to showcase these extensibility points. The sample shows how to write a basic WPF application for a managed proprietary language by using IronPython as an example. The sample also illustrates how to handle events by using EventBindingProvider.

Windows Communications Framework (WCF) Extensibility

There are three new samples that illustrate WCF extensibility. These samples demonstrate the following functionality:

  • Enumeration and manipulation of service references in a project.
  • Use of WSDL/policy import extensions, plus IWcfReceiveContextInformation.
  • Extending the "Discover" button with new drop-down items.

Expression Evaluator

Language integrators require an expression evaluator (EE) to work in the context of their programming language. We have created a new sample that shows how to write a basic EE for a managed proprietary language by using IronPython as an example.

Data Designer Extensibility (DDEX)

Five new Data Designer Extensibility (DDEX) samples illustrate implementing the following:

  • A very simple DDEX provider based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server.
  • A DDEX provider based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server that supports all common data design-time scenarios.
  • A DDEX provider based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server with "finishing touches" that make the provider integrate well into the Visual Studio design-time experience.
  • A complete, registry-based DDEX provider based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server.
  • A complete VSPackage-based DDEX provider based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server.

Integration Test Project Support

The Visual Studio Integration Package Wizard now supports the addition of an Integration Test project to the solution. The Integration Test project uses the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) host type to launch and run tests inside Visual Studio. This feature lets you automate testing for your VS packages.

Help Integration Wizard

Help Integration Wizard is now functional.

RANU (Run As Normal User) Support for DSL Tools

Support for RANU (Run As Normal User) has been added for DSL Tools. You are no longer required to log in as an administrator, and on Windows Vista you are no longer required to elevate rights and permissions. All new DSL solutions that are unfolded by the wizard are configured to run as a normal user, and you can compile, execute, and debug them without administrative rights. There is no longer any machine-wide collateral damage from experimenting with the DSL Tools to create test languages that you eventually want to discard. A guide for migrating projects that were created with earlier versions of DSL Tools can be found in the folder \VisualStudioIntegration\Tools\DSLTools\.

New Branding

All branding is changed to the official Visual Studio 2008 product release name (updated from the Visual Studio 2008 code name "Orcas").