New Preview label for Visual Studio extensions
Visual Studio extensions can now be marked with a Preview label which is shown very clearly on the Visual Studio Marketplace. This gives your customers clear expectations that this version could contain issues as you are actively developing new features. You can get feedback from your users earlier, test out new code changes to improve your extension, and continue to provide a stable version for your users that may require it.
Determining the quality of an extension is today an exercise left to the extension user. If an extension isn’t recommended by a friend, coworker or other trusted person, all we can do is to look at the number of downloads, the star rating, and reviews to determine if we perceive the quality to be high enough for us to try out the extension.
The new preview label explicitly communicates some important details to the consumer about what to expect from the extension. This helps them to understand that the extension may not be feature complete and may contain bugs. It can also help to communicate to them that feedback is welcome to improve the extension before its final release and the preview label removed.
If the version of your extension is less than one (i.e. v0.5) then it will likely benefit from adding the preview label.
Add the preview label
In your extension’s .vsixmanifest file, add the new <Preview> element to the <Metadata> node.
<Identity Id="[guid]" Version="0.8" Language="en-US" Publisher="My name" />
Now upload your extension to the Visual Studio Marketplace to see the new preview label show up. If your extension isn’t uploaded but referenced by a link, then there is a checkbox you can check to add the preview label when you edit your linked extension on the Marketplace.
It’s important to note that the extension will not change behavior in any way due to the addition of the preview label.
Try it out
If you have any applicable extensions, then use the preview label to better communicate the right expectations to your users and get a better chance at higher ratings.