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How to: Access Automation in Console Projects

Automation members are not used exclusively in add-ins, macros, or wizards. You can use them with any Visual Studio project type. The following procedure demonstrates how to reference and use automation objects and members within a console project.

To use automation in a console application

  1. Start Visual Studio and create a new console application in either Visual Basic or Visual C#.

  2. Add references to EnvDTE, EnvDTE80, EnvDTE90, andEnvDTE100.

  3. Copy the following code into the project's module or program class, respectively.

  4. Build and run the project.

The following example demonstrates how to obtain an instance of Visual Studio, get a reference to automation's DTE2 object, and then use it to access the Solution2 object.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
using EnvDTE;
using EnvDTE80;
using EnvDTE90;
Using EnvDTE100;

namespace ConsoleApplication2
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            EnvDTE80.DTE2 dte;
            object obj = null;
            System.Type t = null;

            // Get ProgID for DTE 8.0
            // NOTE: Do not put this call in a try block because it 
            // will cause Visual Studio to fail to respond.
            t = System.Type.GetTypeFromProgID("VisualStudio.DTE.8.0", 

            // Attempt to create an instance of envDTE. 
            obj = System.Activator.CreateInstance(t, true);

            // Cast to DTE2.
            dte = (EnvDTE80.DTE2)obj;

            // Get a reference to the solution2 object.
            Solution2 soln = (Solution2)dte.Solution;

            // Now you can do what you like with it.
              ("Solution count: " + soln.Count);