AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft now available!


I'm proud to announce that AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft is now available to download from CodePlex!

This was one of those personal projects done in my "free" time, but its amazing to see how well it turned out, kudos to our extensibility team and to the amazing folks at EPAM for building a kick-ass IDE experience!


Video Demo
You can watch a video demo from TechEd Europe with me building a custom addon that uses Halo 3 game sounds into World of Warcraft here.


So what's in it?

Visual Design Surface - AddOn Studio includes a set of toolbox controls that you can drag-and-drop onto the designer to visually design the layout of your addon including popular Visual Studio features like Snap lines which enable you to visually align controls.

Lua Code Editor - AddOn Studio includes a powerful Lua code editing environment including syntax highlighting, colorization, collapsible functions, built-in IntelliSense support for Warcraft functions and events, IntelliSense Code Snippets for common Lua language constructs, code navigation features like bookmarks and Go To Declaration, and all IDE settings are customizable.

FrameXML IntelliSense - AddOn Studio provides built-in support for FrameXML schema validation for addon developers who want to manually edit and customize FrameXML markup.

Auto-Generate Table of Contents - AddOn Studio also takes the hassle out of building the Table of Contents (TOC) file by automatically building it based on what files are in your project.

Auto-Generate Lua Events - The Addon Studio property window shows all of the properties and events available for a Lua control or frame and enables one-click creation of event handlers like a button_OnClick event.
Other Goodies - AddOn Studio includes lots more features including project templates for creating Ace2 addons, automatic deployment to your Warcraft directory, Task Window, Error List for FrameXML and Lua parsing errors, TGA and MP3 file format support, powerful search-and-replace features, and its fully extensible so that developers can build additional tools and editors to improve addon development.


More to come

We're not done yet either as we have lots of ideas and I'm sure end users of the tool will have ideas as to what features to add as well as other developers who would be interested in building utilities and tools that can be integrated into AddOn Studio.

Comments (31)
  1. Who have thought? An AddOn studio for WoW . Its up on CodePlex. Amazing. (via Dan Fernandez ) Technorati

  2. Kagux says:

    This is really fantastic! Now i can actually write an addon whithout getting lost in all the tricky stuff of WoW scripting. Thanks, Dan!

  3. steven says:

    OMG great idea

    could there be a way do integrate AIM with WoW with this if so then ill officially Never use any program other than wow

  4. Greg Bryant says:

    RSS Reader,   Where can I get that Addon featured in the video?

  5. Dan says:

    Amazing, i’m going to give it a whirl asap, keep up the great work, I hope this works well 😀

    I am unsure on the reading of the lua data, I didn’t think it was realtime.

  6. Danny Tuppeny says:

    "kudos to our extensibility team and to the amazing folks at EPAM for building a kick-ass IDE experience!"

    What did EPAM do? Google suggests they’re an outsourcing company, but for something done in free time, it seems weird (but great!) if MS paid to have work done on this!

    Is all the VS stuf not written entirely in-house?

  7. ertnemz says:

    Awesome idea and great job there!

    You should announce this on and forums 🙂

  8. Pixel001 says:

    Hi there,

    what version of Visual studio is required ? vs6, Vs2003? 2005? Express?

  9. grimmeld says:

    First things first: I already had Visual Studio.Net 2005 on my computer.

    I have installed the complete package and opened the addon studio. The first run gave me problems on the enviroment settings. The import fixed it although import and export also gave problems (i have the addon studio installed on another drive, is that problematic?) and still it keeps asking for the enviroment settings.

    When i try to save a project it states: "Operation could not be completed. No such interface supported"

    Also, only the tutorials, and additional documentation (referring to the main page of WowAce or WowWiki, which has no info about Addon Studio) are avaliably in the help menu, is that normal?

    Further more, chaninging the XML code does not automatically change the addon when looking at it visually. And is it just me or does changing an object’s properties not always work quite perfect (visually)? The toc file gets no updates when the properties of the addon are changed, and changing the name of the addon results not in the change of the eventual name of build result (not the files that are already built, but the files that come after the build). Are all this paragraph’s problems the cause of not being able to save the project on my behalf or do more people experience this?

    I love this concept and i hope these problems will soon be fixed.

  10. @Pixel – No version of Visual Studio is required, it’s a completely standalone tool, just unzip and run.

  11. @Gimmeld – Yes, I’ve run into the environment settings bug you mentioned as well and we do have an open bug to remove that completely –

    As for not being able to save, I don’t know what the issue could be there, but you may want to try uninstalling and re-installing and see if that helps.

    For the documentation, yes, that’s all we currently have.

    For changing the XML code, this may be an issue with what settings you are changing as changing settings like a fontstring size to inherit from a larger font won’t change the size because we don’t have support for that, but say updating it’s position would show a change in the designer.

    If you are changing specific properties and they aren’t showing up, let us know, it may be that we don’t have designer support for them (which we can change to a feature request).

    Finally, to rename an addon, you need to rename the project. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the name and select "rename" to rename the project which, on next build will publish the addon with the new name.



  12. Visual Studio und World of Warcraft, wie passt das zusammen?

  13. In an bit of good timing for some holiday season downtime, Dan Fernandez has announced the first release

  14. dm says:

    where’s the fun in programming, the hard way is always fun

  15. In an bit of good timing for some holiday season downtime, Dan Fernandez has announced the first release

  16. Ryan says:

    How do you have in the background a screen shot of world of warcraft?

    When i make a new projsct there is only the new frame visible not the ui of WoW

  17. Hey Ryan,

    You can do this by going into Tools…Options…FrameXML Designer…Miscellaneous… and set it to a Warcraft Screenshot.



  18. Ryan says:

    Thanks Dan,

    Now i can tell where i am putting the addons on screen!

  19. . says:

    Ruby on Steel Text Edition allows Ruby developers to code using all the power of the VS IDE. The All

  20. I saw this the other day when I booted Visual Studio 2005 on my work PC. Thought it was interesting.

  21. Visual Studio und World of Warcraft, wie passt das zusammen?

  22. Thomas says:

    I find the RRS addon a bit wierd.

    The data that the addon is showing, is static. There is no way of getting new data into wow after the game is started, without shutting it down and with some 3rd party program update the lua files containing the data. And then starting wow again. (Or reloading the UI)

    All addon data is loaded into memory when wow starts up. So the RRS addon has to have some other RSS reader that saves the RSS feed to a LUA file that wow reads on startup.

    So a RSS reader or email addon for wow is pointless.

  23. Thomas says:

    oh and one last thing, apart from the RRS addon thingie 😉 This app looks awesome. By far the best IDE for creating addons I have seen so far.

  24. Zanthor says:

    When I run this and try to create a new project I get an error: "required registry access is not allowed"

    I had this same problem with Visual Studio 2005 and was able to fix by enabling and disabling UAC on Vista Ultimate, however this didn’t fix it this time…

    I’ve run the horrible global registry permissions fix thats suggested on some forums for VS and Vista and that breaks more than it fixes…

    Any help?

  25. The video its incredible !

    Very very cool… "E-mail reader inside World of Warcraft"

    Kind regards,


  26. ertnemz says:

    Hi there, any new release in future? Would be great and very helpful for the most peapol…

  27. Gamble1 says:

    Had a suggestion, is there any way to import an existing addon that was not written in Addon studio?

    if not there should be. I am actually trying to look into sections of script from a few different addons to see how they were set up and it would make it alot easier if I could just load the mod into addon studio, load the existing xml to the editor and select the elements I want to look at to see where it goes from there… Its basically a time saver ability for my education.

    Thanks for the great studio BTW!

  28. Lakimen says:

    Why I can’t download this program? Must I have Visual Studio for it?

  29. Lakimen – What specific issue are you running into? You do not need Visual Studio to download this.

  30. DragonBite says:

    World of Warcraft says: Addon incompatible. Why? I configured my project with the version 20400.

    Can anyone help me?

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