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What's New in the Visual Studio SDK

Visual Studio 2005
[This topic is pre-release documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

The Visual Studio 2005 SDK includes many new and enhanced features, which are summarized in this topic according to the release they first appeared in.

New and Updated in the February 2007 "v4" Release

  • The Visual Studio 2005 SDK 4.0 now includes an SDK Browser to enhance the overall experience with Visual Studio extensibility development and to connect users with the community and online contents.

  • The Package Load Failure (PLF) Analyzer is now included with the SDK. The PLF Analyzer can do a complete analysis of package load failures and present the diagnostic information to the user.

  • A Toolbox Control Installer is now included with the SDK. This is a redistributable package that Toolbox component vendors can include in their Setup programs to simplify the deployment of their components. A new sample (Example.InstallToolboxControls) has been included to demonstrate this functionality.

  • The IronPython sample now recognizes external line mapping comments. These come in the form of #ExternalSource(“filename”, lineNumber) and are ended with a #EndExternalSource comment. This format matches the format of the C# compiler and is used for a similar purpose. Errors reported on lines in an ExternalSource region will include file name and line number information based on the ExternalSource comment. This enables scenarios such as ASP.NET code-behind where the source code from the Web page is inserted into generated code in another file.

  • Documentation improvements include a new Visual Studio SDK Guided Tour, new Visual Studio Package Load Failure Analyzer documentation, new Command Bar Combo Box code sample documentation, a new Toolbox Controls Installer tutorial, and considerations for developing and running solutions on Windows Vista.

  • Sandcastle documentation compilers are now included with the SDK. Sandcastle is a tool that lets developers automate creating managed class library documentation. For more information, see Sandcastle Documentation Compilers for Managed Class Library. The Sandcastle tools can be found in <Visual Studio SDK installation path>\2007.02\VisualStudioIntegration\Tools\Sandcastle\.

  • Updates for Team Foundation Server extensibility include new Work Item Custom Control API and Version Control Merge APO documentation and samples, updated PcwTESample and TFS Collectibles samples, updated TFS public assemblies, an updated BiSubscribe.exe tool, and new menu IDs, group IDs, and Visual Studio Package GUIDs for Team Explorer.

  • The VSIDEHostAdapter sample, which was added in v3, is now pre-installed. This sample demonstrates how to create a host Adapter for testing.

New and Updated in the September 2006 "v3" Release

  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server samples and libraries matching the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server release now are included. The Visual Studio Team Foundation Server documentation has been enhanced and included in the Visual Studio SDK Help collection. The Visual Studio Team Edition for Testers documentation has been enhanced and includes reference material. For more information, see Team Foundation Server SDK.

  • The version 1 release of Domain-Specific Language Tools now is included and can be redistributed. By using these tools, you can create a custom graphical designer that uses your own domain-specific diagrammatic notation. You then can make custom text templates that use models created in your designer to generate source code and other files.

  • For more information about new Visual Studio Integration content, see What's New in the Visual Studio Development Environment SDK.

New and Updated in the April 2006 "v2" Release

New and Updated in the October 2005 "v1" Release


  • The directory layout and documentation contents have been reorganized to better group related extensibility technologies.

    For example, Visual Studio Integration now encompasses all IDE integration areas. These include the former Environment SDK, debugger, and data extensibility, and the System Definition Model (SDM). For more information, see What's New in the Visual Studio Development Environment SDK.

  • New Start menu shortcuts are included to reset the experimental hive and open the Visual Studio SDK documentation.

  • The SDK download page on the VSIP Members site has been updated to make it easier for developers to determine which download is appropriate.

    The Visual Studio SDK will ship approximately every four months with new content. This enables the SDK development team to provide updated samples, documentation, and enhancements regularly. Additionally, planning and review documents for each monthly Community Technology Preview are posted to enable the community to understand what is under development and to offer feedback.


  • New samples are grouped into two styles: reference implementation and example. A reference implementation shows the Microsoft-approved set of tasks that satisfy a scenario. An example showcases how to perform a single task. New reference implementation samples include Package, Service, MenuAndCommands, and ToolWindow samples for both managed and native code. New examples include ProjectHierarchyTraversal and F1-Help. All new samples include overviews, class diagrams, full commenting, and unit tests.

Library Improvements


  • Data Designer Extensibility (DDEX) SDK provides documentation, samples, and resources to help you implement Data Designer Extensibility (DDEX) providers and Data Source Reference (DSRef) objects.

    DDEX providers let you expose third-party data source objects in Visual Studio. DSRef objects let you transfer metadata from Server Explorer or another data source to the clipboard or your own application.

  • The Visual Studio SDK now includes the Visual Studio Team System Extensibility Kit. The Extensibility Kit includes new samples and documentation about how to create, package, and install new test types in Visual Studio Team Edition for Testers. For more information, see Visual Studio Team Edition for Testers.

  • SDM is used to create models of distributed systems by defining system building blocks and capturing data pertinent to the development, deployment, and operations of the system. For more information, see What's New in the Visual Studio Development Environment SDK and Using the System Definition Model (SDM) SDK.

  • Help integration has changed. Innovasys HelpStudio Lite replaces Help Workshop.

  • You can use Domain-Specific Language Tools to construct custom graphical designers for your specific problem domain. For example, you might use a specialized language to describe user interface interaction logic, a business process, a database, or the flow of information. The toolkit includes text template transformation tools, which, among other things, can be used to generate code and other text artifacts from models produced by your own designers.

See Also

Community Additions

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