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Using the Settings Store

Using the Settings Store

There are two kinds of settings stores:

  • Configuration settings, which are read-only Visual Studio and VSPackage settings. Visual Studio merges settings from all known .pkgdef files into this store.

  • User settings, which are writeable settings such as those that are displayed on pages in the Options dialog box, property pages, and certain other dialog boxes. Visual Studio extensions may use these for local storage of small amounts of data.

This walkthrough shows how to read data from the configuration setting store. See Writing to the User Settings Store for an explanation of how to write to the user settings store.

This section shows how to create a simple extension project with a menu command for demonstration.

  1. Every Visual Studio extension starts with a VSIX deployment project which will contain the extension assets. Create a Visual Studio VSIX project named SettingsStoreExtension. You can find the VSIX project template in the New Project dialog under Visual C# / Extensibility.

  2. Now add a custom command item template named SettingsStoreCommand. In the Add New Item dialog, go to Visual C# / Extensibility and select Custom Command. In the Name field at the bottom of the window, change the command file name to SettingsStoreCommand.cs. For more information about how to create a custom command, see Creating an Extension with a Menu Command

This section shows how to detect and display configuration settings.

  1. In the SettingsStorageCommand.cs file, add the following using statements:

    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.Settings;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Settings;
    using System.Windows.Forms;
    
  2. In MenuItemCallback, remove the body of the method, and add these lines get the configuration settings store:

    SettingsManager settingsManager = new ShellSettingsManager(ServiceProvider);
    SettingsStore configurationSettingsStore = settingsManager.GetReadOnlySettingsStore(SettingsScope.Configuration);
    

    The ShellSettingsManager is a managed helper class over the IVsSettingsManager service.

  3. Now find out whether Windows Phone Tools are installed. The code should look like this:

    private void MenuItemCallback(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        SettingsManager settingsManager = new ShellSettingsManager(ServiceProvider);
        SettingsStore configurationSettingsStore = settingsManager.GetReadOnlySettingsStore(SettingsScope.Configuration);
        bool arePhoneToolsInstalled = configurationSettingsStore.CollectionExists(@"InstalledProducts\Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools");
        string message = "Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools: " + arePhoneToolsInstalled;
        MessageBox.Show(message);
    }
    
  4. Test the code. Build the project and start debugging.

  5. In the experimental instance, on the Tools menu, click Invoke SettingsStoreCommand.

    You should see a message box saying Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools: followed by True or False.

Visual Studio keeps the settings store in the system registry.

To use a registry editor to verify configuration settings

  1. Open Regedit.exe.

  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\14.0Exp_Config\InstalledProducts\.

    Note Note

    Make sure that you are looking at the key that contains \14.0Exp_Config\ and not \14.0_Config\. When you run the experimental instance of Visual Studio, configuration settings are in the registry hive "14.0Exp_Config".

  3. Expand the \Installed Products\ node. If the message in the previous steps is Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools Installed: True, then \Installed Products\ should contain a Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools node. If the message is Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools Installed: False, then \Installed Products\ should not contain a Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools node.

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