Custom Wizards

Visual CPP Team

My name is Martha Wieczorek; I am a Software Design Engineer in Test in Visual C++ IDE team. I am going to talk about Custom Wizards and the changes made to this wizard in Visual Studio codename Orcas.


Wizard is the name for a Visual Studio feature that facilitates the creation of new projects or items. Each of the project types listed in the New Project Dialog and Add Project dialogs is a wizard, as are each one of the items in the Add New Item and New Class Dialog. Some of the wizards create several files and may even present a user interface to allow the user further customization.  


If you want to routinely create a new project item template based on an existing type, the custom wizard can help you create your own wizards. You can copy and customize existing project and item templates or even create whole new templates from scratch.


Our team has been using custom created wizards for many purposes, such as:


·   to facilitate the creation of new IDE tests that conform to our internal testing requirements,

·   for automation standards designed to raise the quality and effectiveness of the automated testing, and

·   to make the automation easier to learn and maintain.


We pack the files into a setup project and create an msi output to be able to easily share these wizards with all members of our team.

All our shipped wizards are based on the same mechanism, making it very easy to customize or create your own versions. On MSDN you can find good documentation about the Object Models you can access, and a description of contents and uses of the new files created by the Custom Wizard. For further reference please go to: Designing a Wizard, and Inside Visual C++ Wizards

If you want to use our shipped wizards as an example you can find them under Visual Studio Install DirectoryVCVCWizards.

The Custom Wizard has been updated for Visual Studio Codename Orcas, to be able to use the wizard under the least privileged user. On previous versions, the wizard created the files in “Program Files”; now the files are created by default under the “My Documents” folder.  Visual Studio Codename Orcas will populate the New Project Dialog with custom wizard files from both locations, “Program Files” and “My Documents”.

Note that the wizards under “My Documents” will show in the New Project dialog under Wizards node.

I welcome any questions you might have about Custom Wizards or feature requests for future versions.

Martha Wieczorek
Visual C++ IDE Team

Posted in C++


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