Chapter 4. Macros and Visual Studio Extensibility


Visual Basic .NET Unleashed
By Paul Kimmel
Table of Contents
Part I.  Introducing Visual Basic .NET

In This Chapter

  • Automating Repetitive Tasks

  • Using the Macro Explorer

  • Exporting the Macro

  • Using the Macro IDE

  • Creating a Macro Project

  • Managing Visual Studio from the Command Window

  • Responding to IDE Events

  • Customizing Visual Studio

  • Creating Add-InsCreating Add-Ins

  • Creating Wizards

  • Visual Studio Integration Program (VSIP)

  • Summary

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the idea of automating repetitive tasks in your development environment. Macros are pretty common and many nonprogrammers are familiar with them. Most programmers know what macros are for and can figure out how to use them fairly easily.

Extensibility, however, is another subject. Extending an IDE like Visual Studio generally falls into the advanced camp. Visual Studio .NET, meaning Visual Basic .NET too, has purposefully introduced an extensibility model that provides you with access to the IDE, allowing you to extend and customize more easily as you see fit.

Unfortunately, if you fall into the beginner-programmer camp, extensibility might seem out of your grasp for now. I assure you it is not impossible , although if you are a new programmer, you might understand extensibility better after you have read the first 10 chapters of this book. However, macros are readily available even to moderately skilled programmers.

What is the motivation for this chapter being introduced so early, then? This chapter is intentionally introduced early in the book to get you to begin thinking about automating repetitive tasks, so that before you even finish the book, you will be able to put automation into action. You will probably find macros familiar and easy, but you might find extensibility and writing add-ins a bit more challenging. If that is the case, skim through the second half of this chapter on extending the Visual Studio .NET IDE, and return to it when you have finished the first 10 chapters or when you have an automation task to perform.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced programmer, you will find automation approachable and very useful. It is unlikely that you will spend a considerable amount of time writing macros and add-ins, but when you do, those customizations should make your life easier. Anything that might make life easier is something we want to know about. After reading this chapter, you will have a better idea of the kinds of automation that are available and how you can exploit them.


Visual BasicR. NET Unleashed
Visual BasicR. NET Unleashed
Year: 2001
Pages: 222 © 2008-2017.
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