Today morning I received an email from Patrick with a picture of Visual Studio with Intellisense on a WDF driver. Ok, I have to admit that in the beginning I thought that Patrick was using Photoshop! He's a guy, who just doesn't like GUIs in the first place! He can just go on and on about the advantages of using kd instead of windbg! He even refuses to look at the source code (even if it's available), since "he can look at the assembly"! I have to admit that until now I thought that he was doing "copy con driver.c" to write drivers... and then use edit.com from a full-screen command prompt to do additional editing. Anyway, it seems that I was wrong.
So, in order to be sure that Patrick hadn't used Photoshop (or just opened the screenshot with a hex editor and manually edited it, in order to add Intellisense!), I went to his office. Over there, indeed he showed me that it's really easy to Intellisense and help integration to Visual Studio (yay!). That's nice stuff! My next question was, if it's possible to load wudfext.dll (the UMDF windbg extension) from Visual Studio and use the UMDF extensions from the VS debugger, however it's not possible (even though there's some info on how to load windbg extensions at http://www.osronline.com/showThread.cfm?link=66160), because not all windbg interfaces are implemented by Visual Studio.
Anyway, Patrick has written a post saying that indeed he's been using Visual Studio for ever, in order to develop Windows Drivers. If more people ask him tips on how to make VS the best editor for Windows Drivers, he promised that he'll share a small part of his infinite wisdom 🙂 So, feel free to ask him and/or send him an email!
DISCLAIMER: Visual Studio is not officially supported by Microsoft for driver development. The only currently supported build environment is the command window that comes with the WDK. Any opinions expressed in this article don't affect Microsoft's policy on this issue.