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Can you use StudioShell to make new VS Extensions?

Feb 4, 2014 at 3:05 AM
Sorry if this is a newb question, but I'm new to StudioShell. I haven't made a Visual Studio extension yet, but am looking to do so, and am wondering if I should go the traditional route or if I can use StudioShell to create one?

Is it possible? Is there any documentation on doing so? Could it show up in the Extensions And Updates VS gallery, or would it be limited to a NuGet package that gets installed (as I believe NuGet packages in VS are per project or solution, not for all of VS, or maybe I'm wrong)?

Even if I can't use it to make my VS extensions, I'm sure I'll still use StudioShell to automate some VS tasks :)
Mar 28, 2014 at 2:54 PM
Just as a starting point, I'll say I'm certain anyone just getting started in VS extension building would not find powershell an agreeable starting point. I'd strongly recommend getting familiar with the standard process first before jumping into something as esoteric as powershell/EnvDTE integration.

That said, as far as I know, you can't make a true VS extension with SS, but you can emulate some of the features of VS extensions using SS's autoloading of solution modules (see my recent post about a module I created to transform T4 templates when the project is built: (The trick is to figure out how to hook powershell into VS events and have it respond to them.)

As for creating menus and toolbar buttons, I think that may be out of reach for Powershell/StudioShell, but I could be wrong. I haven't dug that far into it yet, and I've found powershell capable of quite a bit that I'd originally assumed it couldn't do.

I do feel pretty certain that it wouldn't be possible to register a PS script as an extension with the VS Extensions and Updates system, because the registration and management requires the implementation of particular interfaces in an assembly.

StudioShell is becoming my first stop for automating VS project manipulation tasks, whereas my first stop used to be the Extension Gallery.
Mar 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

You can definitely use StudioShell to add Menu Items, and Context Menu Items.

I did that recently to add additional menu items to trigger psake builds for some of my solutions.