Yesterday, Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008.

Today the VS Ecosystem team has released the Visual Studio 2008 SDK 1.0.

We also released, for the first time, the new free Visual Studio 2008 Shell redistributable runtimes for both Isolated mode and Integrated mode.


http://msdn.com/vsx has the links to the SDK, and Shell downloads, and other resources.

A new era of VSX

The Visual Studio 2008 Software Development Kit (SDK) 1.0 includes tools, documentation, and samples for developers to design, build, test and deploy extensions for Visual Studio 2008. You can also use the VS 2008 SDK 1.0 to create custom tools environments based on the new Visual Studio 2008 Shell.

These new VSX releases set the stage for a new era of extensibility of Visual Studio. Developers and businesses can now use the VS SDK to create applications that not only extend VS, but can also distribute tools and applications license and royalty free that are based on the powerful and feature rich VS Shell IDE (integrated development environment).

This not only opens the door for those who extend VS, but also to all the VS developers worldwide who will be able to extend their existing development experience.

Below are details about these new VSX tools and components for building on the Visual Studio platform.

Visual Studio 2008 Shell (Isolated mode) overview

The Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode) provides a foundation on which you can build your own custom-branded tools environment that runs side by side with Visual Studio. By using the Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode), you can accelerate development by reusing the Visual Studio IDE in your application and focus on your core tooling problems. This download contains the redistributable runtime binaries that you can distribute with your Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode) based application. For development and testing of your Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode) based application, please download the Visual Studio 2008 SDK.

Visual Studio 2008 Shell (Integrated mode) overview

The Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode) provides the foundation on which you can seamlessly integrate tools and programming languages within Visual Studio. The Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode) does not contain any programming language, so it provides the perfect foundation to deploy a development environment for your own language. The Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode) seamlessly integrates with Visual Studio 2008 Standard and above. Any tools and programming languages that run inside the Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode) will run together with Visual Studio 2008 (Standard and above) if they are also installed on the same machine. By using the Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode), you will not need to make Visual Studio a pre-requisite on your user machines. This download contains the redistributable runtime binaries that you can distribute with your Visual Studio tools and programming languages.

Visual Studio 2008 Shell details

The Visual Studio 2008 SDK  is required for development and testing tools and programming languages that target the Visual Studio 2008 Shell. For more information about the Visual Studio 2008 Shell, visit Visual Studio 2008 Shell overview and Visual Studio 2008 Shell details.

Key new features in the VS 2008 SDK include:
 

  • Visual Studio Shell development support
     
  • Enhancements in Domain-specific Language tools
     
  • Visual Studio Package development and testing support for C++, C# and Visual Basic
     
  • Code samples and documentation covering toolbox controls integration, general IDE integration, Domain-specific Languages (DSL), Team Foundation Server extensibility, Data Designers extensibility, and other areas
     
  • Support for Windows Vista

 

Updates since the Visual Studio 2008 SDK August 2007 CTP release

 

  • Enhanced Visual Studio Shell Development Support. The Visual Studio Shell Isolated project template is now located in the Other Projects > Extensibility project node. You can now add packages to your Visual Studio Shell Isolated solution and register them with your shell project by using the “Shell Dependencies” dialog box.
     
  • Visual Basic Support. Visual Basic is now supported for VSPackage development. Almost all C# samples are now also available in Visual Basic. The VB Pack online is only required for the SDK for Visual Studio 2005 SDK since it is now included in this SDK.
     
  • Package Test Framework. The Visual Studio Integration Package wizard now provides the option of creating end-to-end integration scenario tests for your packages.
     
  • Unicode Support for MPLex. The Managed Package Lexer generator now supports Unicode characters.
     
  • Sample Cloning and Support for Windows Vista User Account Control. Users do not have to have administrative credentials to open and build most samples in the SDK. When samples are opened in the Visual Studio 2008 SDK browser, they are automatically cloned to the user’s folder so that they can be built in Visual Studio without administrative credentials. Cloned samples can also be reset to their default states by clicking “Reset the sample to its unmodified state” in the SDK browser.  
     
  • Archive Samples. All archive samples in the <Visual Studio SDK installation path>\VisualStudioIntegration\Archive\ folder have now been removed. Refer to earlier SDK releases for these samples.
     
  • Help Studio Lite. Help Studio Lite is no longer included with the Visual Studio 2008 SDK.


Updates since the Visual Studio 2005 SDK 4.0 release

  • Support for RANU (Run as Normal User). RANU support has been added for package development and domain-specific language (DSL) tools. A user is no longer required to log on as an administrator and, on Windows Vista, is no longer required to elevate rights and permissions.
     
  • Changes to Experimental hive. The Visual Studio experimental hive is no longer created under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry root. To support package development and debugging for non-administrator users, the experimental hive is now created under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER. VsRegEx.exe continues to support creation of the experimental hive under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, but all samples and packages created by the Visual Studio Integration Package wizard now are registered under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0Exp\Configuration, by default. Visual Studio 2008 SDK Setup creates the experimental hive for the user who runs the installer. Other users on the computer should create the experimental hive for their user account by clicking the Start menu and then clicking Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SDK, Tools, Reset the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Experimental hive.
     
  • Side-by-Side Support. The Visual Studio 2008 SDK does not support side-by-side installation together with other releases of the Visual Studio 2008 SDK, including CTP releases. Before you install the latest release, uninstall earlier versions.
     
  • New samples and new sample updates
     
    • Updated IronPython sample. This sample has been enriched to demonstrate 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 the WPF Designer.
       
    • New Windows Communications Framework (WCF) samples. There are three new samples in this area. 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. 
         
    • New Expression Evaluator sample. There is a new sample that shows how to write a basic Extension Evaluator for a managed proprietary language by using IronPython as an example. 
       
  • Data Designer Extensibility (DDEX) samples. There are five new samples in this area, as follows:
     
    • A very simple DDEX provider that is based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server. 
       
    • A DDEX provider that is based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server and supports all common data design-time scenarios. 
       
    • A DDEX provider that is based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server and has "finishing touches" that make the provider integrate well into the Visual Studio design-time experience. 
       
    • A complete, registry-based DDEX provider that is based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server. 
       
    • A complete VSPackage-based DDEX provider that is based on the .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server.