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Mastering Visual Studio .NET by Jon Flanders, Ian Griffiths, Chris Sells

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Chapter 10. Visual Studio Integration Program

In the previous few chapters, we’ve outlined various ways in which you can extend, customize, and automate the VS.NET environment. Macros provide a powerful way to automate routine tasks. Add-ins give you the power to integrate your code more deeply with the environment and to redistribute your customization. You can even write your own wizards and templates when the built-in project types don’t quite provide the starting point you require. But there is one more way you can integrate your code into VS.NET, and it involves becoming a Visual Studio Integration Partner (VSIP). Once you become a VSIP licensee, you will have access to the documentation and samples required to build your own VS.NET packages. Packages are the most powerful way of extending VS.NET—with a package, you can go beyond adding new templates for the built in project types and add new types of your own, perhaps to provide support for different languages. This chapter will give you an overview of what is possible once you have joined the VSIP program. Since to use VSIP you will need the SDK (for the necessary interface definitions, documentation, etc.) and to get the SDK you need to be a VSIP licensee, we can’t show you any sample code. Instead, this chapter will refer to the samples provided with the VSIP SDK. If you join the VSIP program, you will then have access to these samples.

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