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Visual Studio Shell (Isolated Mode)
Updated: July 2008
The Visual Studio Shell lets partners create unique stand-alone applications that run side-by-side with other versions of Visual Studio that are installed on the computer. Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode) is optimized for the deployment of specialized tools that have full access to Visual Studio services but also have extensive, custom appearance and branding flexibility. Visual Studio features and menu command groups can be easily turned on and off. Application titles, application icons, and splash screens are fully customizable. For a list of customizable features, see Isolated Shell Extensibility Points.
To create an isolated shell-based application, start with a Visual Studio Shell Isolated project. The Visual Studio SDK contains everything that you must have to develop and test your own isolated Shell application. When you are ready to build the Setup and deploy your application, you must get the Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode) redistributable package. For more information, see Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Shell (isolated mode) Redistributable Package on the Microsoft Download Center Web site. For more information about how to deploy an isolated shell-based application, see Walkthrough: A Basic Isolated Shell Application.
Before your isolated Shell application can run in a non-development environment, you must obtain a shell load key (SLK) and add it to the isolated Shell project. Many aspects of the user interface (UI) for your application are defined in a UI package. To enable the menu items and some of the other UI features of your application to load correctly, you must also obtain a package load key (PLK) and add it to the associated UI project. For more information about load keys, see the following topics: