Writing extensions just got easier

Mads Kristensen

In collaboration with the open source community, we’re introducing a new toolkit for writing Visual Studio extensions. Extensions used to be difficult to write, but the new toolkit makes it easier than ever. The toolkit consists of brand-new tooling inside Visual Studio as well as new APIs to code against. It’s all included in the free Extensibility Essentials extension.

The community of Visual extenders are in a unique position to help create the tooling inside Visual Studio that they themselves would like to use. This toolkit is made by the community – for the community.

Getting started

The best way to getting started with the toolkit is to visit the VSIX Cookbook. It’s a website with guides, documentation, and recipes designed to help jump start extension development. It’s for beginners and advanced extenders alike. For short video walkthroughs on a bunch of extensibility topics using the toolkit, head on over to the VS Fundamentals: Extensions playlist.

It would be cool if…

Ok, so we made it easier to get started, but where do you get ideas for what extensions to write? When I’m out of ideas, I often browse through the open feature requests logged by Visual Studio users. That’s my favorite go-to place for inspiration and I always find ideas I can use. My test is that if the idea can successfully finish the sentence: It would be cool if…, then it’s a good one.

Happy coding!