SDK Beta with Visual Studio 2013 Support Released

Today we are releasing the beta update to the .NET Micro Framework SDK.  The release adds support for Visual Studio 2013, which has been a top request from the .NET MF community for some time now. The project is developed by engineers assigned to the MS Open Tech Hub with the objective of working as closely as possible with the community of developers creating IoT solutions with .NET MF and with our partners building hardware running it.

Download the .NET Micro Framework beta SDK here.


The .NET Micro Framework SDK now supports multiple Visual Studio versions

With the release the team took the opportunity to not only add support for Visual Studio 2013 but also change the method by which the .NET Micro Framework SDK is installed.  The change helps set the stage for making future updates easier.  The SDK installation is now decoupled from the Visual Studio project extensions using VSIX.  This has several benefits:

  • Support multiple versions of Visual Studio. The beta SDK release supports Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.  See note below for Visual Studio “14”.
  • Simplified support for new versions of Visual Studio.  With the old SDK installer architecture a new version of the SDK installer had to be created for each version of Visual Studio.  With the new architecture the SDK installer will support new versions of Visual studio through an update in the VSIX gallery.
  • Allow side by side installations of Visual Studio. Many of you are managing and maintaining multiple software projects some of which may require different versions of Visual Studio.  Or maybe you are an early adopter trying out the latest tools.  If your development machine has multiple versions of Visual Studio installed you can now install the .NET Micro Framework SDK for each version of Visual Studio that you have installed on the same machine.


A first glimpse at the upcoming support for Visual Studio “14”

The .NET Micro Framework team is looking ahead and we have already started to enable support for Visual Studio “14”.  The beta release that we are announcing today has preliminary support for Visual Studio “14”. In other words, you’ll be able to create a very simple “Hello World” application but that’s about it for now.  There still remains more work to do to fully support Visual Studio “14” but you can already give it a try if you are an early adopter.


Other improvements

Now that the Visual Studio 2013 integration beta is out in public, we also want to update you on the other improvements the team has been working on.


The .NET micro Framework team has also been investigating network stability issues that have been reported in the community.  We are looking at the broad range of the product's networking capabilities, including TCP, IP, UDP, and DHCP protocols.  This topic probably deserves its own blog article to go into details but in a nutshell we have been able to reproduce some of the issues reported and the team is putting together an engineering plan to resolve them.

Debug and deployment experience

The team is also investigating debugging and deployment issues that have been reported by the community. We experienced those first-hand as part of building this release.


As you may have noticed, we updated the website.  We wanted to provide a more welcoming home for the .NET Micro Framework community, with a more modern look.  We have taken the first step to update the site and plan on refreshing with additional newer content over time.  Let us know if you have a project that you would like for us to showcase on the website.  We always like to talk about the cool projects that the community has built with the .NET Micro Framework.

Note that we are directing the community to create and have discussions on our Codeplex Discussions page rather than the separate discussion forum that was being hosted on the site.  We were finding that having multiple discussion forums was confusing.  Having one discussion forum helps reduce the confusion.  We will be looking into how to best migrate and/or archive the existing discussions from the old forum into the Codeplex Discussions page.



We are happy to be making the beta release to support Visual Studio 2013.  Please try out the beta SDK
and let us know if you have any feedback by commenting, on the .NET Blog, or on the Codeplex discussion forum.


Comments (10)
  1. David Karlaš says:

    First thing that should be done in my opinion is to move to GitHub because…/latest is loading 1+ minute most of the time and most of Microsoft projects already switched(, entityframework, azure, win2d…)

  2. PepLluis says:

    IoT & NetMF & OpenTech & VS13/14 & new .NET Blog, all together sound really good 🙂

    Again in the road!

    Thanks Team,

  3. Cuno Pfister says:

    Very, very good to see.

    Thanks, to your whole team!


  4. FourT2 says:

    Glad to see this shipping, thanks for continued work on this, your efforts are truly appreciated!

  5. Rajesh says:

    Cheers to the OpenTech NETMF team.

    Thank you.

  6. Jay says:

    Kudos to you guys to finally getting this out in the open ….

  7. paolopat says:

    Great work !

    Good starting point for the new life of .Net Micro Framework ! 😉


  8. Lukas says:

    Please add support for .NET Native! NETMF is nice but the interpreter is just way too slow. No chance at all to compete with native code. With the option to pre-compile NETMF code into native code before uploading to the device, a massive speed increase would be possible. .NET Native can already compile C# code (WinRT) to native ARM code. It should not require too much work to extend this to the NETMF framework (which is also just a subset of full desktop .NET).

  9. ejeyaseelan says:

    Thanks for all the hard work!! Looking forward to more fun with .net micro

    Cheers !

  10. @David K.: A Git Repository is definitely in our plans, where it is hosted isn't determined yet. Unfortunately moving the tree as-is to a Git style repo would be a very bad idea. We really wanted to minimize the impact of this release on existing firmware (e.g. don't bump the framework version numbers requiring updates just to get this release out.) We'll be starting a new GIT repo and moving active coding into it leaving legacy code and more importantly all the binaries (over many versions) out.

    @Lukas: Totally with you on the going native part. Unfortunately the .NET Native compiler isn't able to target the Cortex-M devices at this time and there are a number of capabilities unique to small micro controllers not currently accounted for in the .NET Native work. Native code compilation is definitely a direction we'd like to go. While I can't commit to when or if we'll get there we won't be making a "big jump" to that. Rather we'll do so in a more incremental fashion. Many of the changes we are looking at making will be in the interest of getting to that end point over time.

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