This is the second monthly letter to the VSX community from the VSX (Visual Studio Extensibility) team at Microsoft posted on the VSX Team Blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/vsxteam). This month's letter includes information about what the VS SDK team has been working on in the past month, what's new on team blogs, VSX community news, and a preview of what's coming next month.

VS 2008 SDK August 2007 CTP released for Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2

The VSX team has been busy over the past month, as usual. We actually released two CTPs of the SDK in the past week! Actually, the August CTP of the SDK replaced the July CTP of the SDK fixing a few bugs found when creating packages for the new VS 2008 Shell. Details and download link are included in the recent blog post VS 2008 SDK August 2007 CTP released.

VSX team news, DSL Tools team joins VS Ecosystem team

The big news in the past month for the VSX team is that we grew significantly. The DSL Tools team join (merged into) the VS Ecosystem (VSX) team. James Lau included details about this in his blog post Quick Update on Ecosystem team, VS SDK, VS Shell, etc.

August VSIP Clinic and October VSIP Summit

The VSX team hosted many VSIP partner members in Redmond for our August VSIP 1:1 clinic event, where attending VSIP members get one on one access with various VS Ecosystem team members working through technical issues. Our next event is our week long VSIP Summit conference for VSIP members for Alliance and Premier members. The VSIP Summit will be in Redmond, WA in mid October (about 200 attendees expected) to see presentations and meet with the VSX team as well people from other teams. For more information about VSIP, visit http://msdn.com/vsip/.

DSL team member blogs added to VSX team blog listing   

Our VSX team member's blog listing has been updated on the VSX Team Blog home page here (http://blogs.msdn.com/vsxteam), and will be soon on http://msdn.com/vsx developer center, to include the DSL team members Gareth Jones, Stuart Kent, and Steve Cook:

Two blog links added to the Community Resource section

Two developers from Clarius Consulting who are experts in using the VS SDK and VSX in general have been to VSX team blog Community Resource listing:

VSX Team blog highlights

Here is a summary of the highlighted blog entries posted here on the VSX Team blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/vsxteam/) as well as various team member blogs over the past month:

VSX CoDe Magazine available this fall

The VSX team is sponsoring an entire Focus issue of CoDe Magazine, owned by EPS Software, on the topic of VSX. For an example of existing free CoDe Focus magazine issues over the past few years, check out http://code-magazine.com/focus. Not only are printed copies sent to various CoDe magazine subscribers, sent to various developer events, we will also get all articles in HTML as well as the entire magazine issue in PDF format online for free download. The VSX CoDe Focus issue will also be available in WPF (XAML) form for viewing the free client called Xiine also created by EPS Software. This issue is currently targeted to be about 76 pages and is targeted for completion in mid October. Below is the current TOC (table of contents) planned for this VSX focus issue of CoDe magazine, subject to change before final printing.

  • Welcome Letter from the VSX Team (Ken Levy)
     
  • History of the VS IDE (Doug Hodges)
     
  • Introduction to the VS 2008 Shell (James Lau)
     
  • How VS XML Tools use the VS SDK (Chris Lovett)
     
  • Creating and Distributing Packages with the VS SDK (Markus Egger and Claudio Lassala)
     
  • Graphical Designers and Code Generation with DSL Tools (Gareth Jones and Stuart Kent)
     
  • Extending VS with Add-ins (Rod Paddock)
     
  • Learning the VS SDK with VSSDK Assist (Pablo Galiano)
     
  • VSMessenger: Social networking extensions in VS (Michael Campbell)
     
  • XPathmania: Extending the VS XML Editor (Don Demsak)

Visual Studio Extensibility Developer Center updates

The VSX Developer Center at  http://msdn.com recently received a new UX/UI (similar to that found on some of the other tools and languages dev centers such as the VB dev center at http://msdn.com/vbasic, with the new colored top navigation menu and more technical/community focus). We have additional updates coming to the VSX Developer Center site in the next week or so, and the details of what's new and changed will be summarized here on the VSX team blog when updated and summarized in next month's letter.

VS extension tip of the month: Source Code Outliner Power Toy

The free Source Code Outliner Power Toy tool was created by the VS Core team at Microsoft and released last year. It's a VS extension that provides a tree view of your source code's types and members and lets you quickly navigate to them inside the editor. Source Outliner enables you to perform the following tasks: 1) navigate a C# or Visual Basic source file in a tree view 2) navigate to an item via the keyboard or the mouse 3) filter the tree based on the code element name 4) filter the tree based on the code element type.

Next month

The VSX team is working on adding new features and fixing issues in the Visual Studio 2008 SDK. Sometime soon, probably in late August, we will be releasing a CTP download of the Visual Studio 2008 Shell runtime components for developers to use to test Shell applications at runtime. Note that the August CTP of the SDK includes support to create packages for the VS Shell already, so the additional CTP download for the Shell will be for runtime (deployment) testing only. Expect to see various updates to content on the http://msdn.com/vsx developer center during August with a summary of what has been added and updated in next month's letter.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please send your VS SDK feedback to us via vssdkfbk@microsoft.com, or post a technical question in the MSDN Forum for VSX. For VSX community ideas and feedback, feel free email me directly via klevy@microsoft.com or using the Email link on my blog.


Ken Levy
Program Manager
Visual Studio Tools Ecosystem
Microsoft
http://blogs.msdn.com/klevy
http://msdn.com/vsx