VS Content Installer Power Toys

The first release of the VS Content Installer Power Toys are now available. You will need a recent build of VS (I tested with the August CTP, but the July version may also work) to use these tools. Remember, they are still a beta build, so not everything will work as expected. But here is what is available:

Content Builder - easily create VSI files with an easy to user wizard interface
Content Uninstaller - remove content installed through the Content Installer
Code Library Installer - install libraries for use within the Add Reference dialog box
Debugger Visualizer Installer - install debugger visualizers (both in DLL and CS form)
Help Installer - install help topics which are automatically included into the MSDN help browser
Samples Installer - install samples
Snippet Directory Installer - an extension of the the snippets installer, but gives you a bit more control in how the files are installed


The content installer also has 4 starter kits (2 for C#, 2 for VB) to help you create your own custom installers. There is also a starter kit (in C#) that will help create plugins into the content builder to automatically upload content to content hosting web sites. Unfortunately, there are no content hosting web sites that support automatic upload yet, but I am working on that - I am currently working on a starter kit to create web sites that host VSI content, just run the starter kit template and you have a full web site that supports uploading, downloading, content rating, etc. More information on this in the next few weeks.


This MSI will also place IntelliSense XML files for programming the Content Installer, unfortunately, because of a recent change in VS, this may not work as it should. But you should be able to move the xml file yourself to the correct location.


I plan on making the source code available to these tools soon.


You can download the msi to install the power toys at http://www.gotdotnet.com/workspaces/workspace.aspx?id=6b1aceda-e613-4dac-beeb-0cd8ad8f2d41

Comments (11)
  1. Ken Cox [MVP] says:

    Do we need to sign up first?

    "This is a private workspace and you do not have the rights to view this page. Please apply to join to this workspace and wait for approval before trying to view this workspace."

  2. CraigSkibo says:

    ACK! You are right, I was wondering why everybody was trying to join when there is only a binary available right now. This should be fixed now.

  3. Craig Skibo has the details

  4. Ingo Muschenetz says:

    It appears that the content builder requires a version of Microsoft.VisualStudio.Zip.dll, Version, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null. However, the version of the .dll included with the installer does not match that (Version and throws an exception during the final step. Is that correct?

  5. Gustavo Guerra says:

    Hi there,

    When we press the Finish button at the end of the wizard we get this exception:

    System.IO.FileLoadException: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Zip, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null’ or one of its dependencies. The located assembly’s manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)

    File name: ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Zip, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null’

    at ContentBuilder.Form1.OnFinish()

    at Microsoft.WizardFramework.WizardForm.OnFinishClicked(Object sender, EventArgs e)

    at Microsoft.WizardFramework.NavigationButtonBar.OnFinish(Object sender, EventArgs e)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnClick(EventArgs e)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.OnClick(EventArgs e)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mevent)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)

    at System.Windows.Forms.ButtonBase.WndProc(Message& m)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.WndProc(Message& m)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)

    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)

    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

    Do you have a fix?

    Best Regards,

    Gustavo Guerra

  6. Jeffrey Liu says:

    The content installer is failing to install controls. I’m using VS2005 RTM.

    While my content installer is running, it opens the IDE and calls the command Tools.InstallCommunityControls. I get an error message that says:

    Command "Tools.InstallCommunityControls" is not valid.

    Should the content installer work with 2005 RTM?


    – Jeffrey Liu

  7. Jeffrey Liu says:

    I got Tools.InstallCommunityControls to work. I uninstalled and reinstalled VS2005.

  8. Scratcher says:

    I can’t load every template under every language…

     Under C++, I load diferent and under C#, J# and VB diferent templates…

     For example ASP.Web Service I can load only under C++ and not under other languages..

     How can I reinstall templates, copy from one place to other.. And somehow fix it.  


  9. Rut says:

    I think this is a gr8 tool, but unfortunately I cant get the msi, as the site "gotdotnet.com" is replaced by code.msdn.com and I cannot find it there. It wud be gr8 if u can provide a link to download it here…or if u can mail me at rut_22222@yahoo.com"

    Thank You..

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