Visual Studio Extensibility

I believe strongly in our partner strategy.  In other words, I think we are in the business of building a great developer tools platform and a set of tools.  I fully expect our partners to build additional tools on our platform so that between what our partners deliver and what we deliver, we provide the broadest tools offering to our developer customers. 


Last week, we hosted our annual conference for developers who build on our tools platform and extend Visual Studio.  This was an opportunity for product teams to educate and have a conversation with tool builders on how to integrate with our current products as well as share some of our future plans to help these partners evolve with us.  For the first time, we made the conference open to all VS Extensibility developers so the general community could learn how to extend our existing technologies. 


The conference was a huge success.  There were over 325 registered participants representing over 125 companies including two developers of high school age!  There were over 20 sessions focused on VS2008 extensibility including five sessions delivered by community speakers.


Some of the quotes we received from attendees were quite colorful and summed up the general feeling of the conference: “I received so much during this week that by figure of speech I had to rent a cargo airplane to get all the information, ideas, study material and contact data back home to Belgium. “,“I was impressed with how much information was covered.”, and “Nothing delivers the message ‘partners are important to us’ like the VSIP Summit.”  It is great to hear that these partners are getting what they need from the product teams.  We know that our success depends on the success of our partners and developers in general.


Some of the sessions were recorded as screencasts and will be available next week online from the VSX Dev Center.



Comments (11)

  1. Shai says:

    When the content of sessions (Presentations , samples, White papers , etc. ) will be available to VSX community?  

  2. Mark Gordon says:


    What about the "developer customers" that used visual basic and visual foxpro? You failed to listen to them and the 1000’s of developers that signed the various petitions and just kicked us to the curb.

    If you truely mean what you said in your blog "we provide the broadest tools offering" then you would bring back VFP and VB.  The fact of the matter is you "NOW" provide one tool Visual studio along with a bunch of uncompleted frameworks.

    There is a fundamental flow in this thought pattern, you can not build a one size fits all development tool. Visual studio is proof of that. Instead of doing anything right it sorta does alot of stuff in a "bloated fashion" unforunately all this "stuff" is infected with varying degrees of suck. That is what makes VFP and VB great… Those applications had a speciality and did it well!

  3. Publicación del inglés original : Jueves, 25 de septiembre de 2008 9:03 PM PST por Somasegar Creo que

  4. [原文地址 ]: Visual Studio Extensibility [原文发表时间 ]: Thursday, September 25, 2008 9:03 PM 我对我们的合作伙伴策略非常有信心

  5. Mathias says:


    After two and a half weeks, the screen recordings have not been uploaded yet, as announced by you. Can you help?



  6. MegP_MS says:

    Mathias – Sorry for the delay but the team has hit some snags in publishing.  We expect the recordings to be up this week.  Thanks for the patience and interest!

  7. Don Caton says:

    Soma:  Don’t know if you read these comments; if not I hope this makes its way to you somehow.

    If you are truly serious about VS extensibility, then you need to drill this into the heads of your product managers.

    We are a .NET language developer. We’ve been a VSIP premier partner for three years, and we’ve been out to Redmond several times, including the conference in Sept.

    On every occasion, the developers we’ve met with have bent over backwards to help us, and we are very appreciative of that. You have a great team of dedicated developers who always willing to help. I wish the same could be said for management.

    They’re nice enough to be sure, but all we get is the stock "we feel your pain", "we’ll look into it" and "we really appreciate your feedback" answers. In most cases it seems to just go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes we eventually get some sort of follow up, with more of the same stock answers. Rarely is there any resolution to an issue when it reaches the management level.

    Example: as language vendors, we would like to support compact device development. We would also like to be able to create VSTS test projects using our language.  Your core VS team has gone to great lengths to create a system that is highly extensible, only to have other product groups within Microsoft completely thwart that extensibility by failing to design their VS packages correctly.

    This is just as much a management issue as a technical issue, if not more so.  The product managers should make sure the developers write their VS packages so that extensibility is a reality, and not just lip service to some bullet point in a presentation.

    Your own VS core team is as frustrated with this as your language "partners" are. Repeatedly they’ve told us that the system is extensible and what we want to do should just work, but the VS packages in question are incorrectly implemented and never tested with languages other than C# and VB.

    I know the number of language vendors that integrate into VS is relatively small but vendors like us can provide solutions for those like the gentleman who posted an earlier comment about throwing Foxpro under the bus.  Our language is an xBase derivative similar to Foxpro, and we can potentially help those who want to move to .NET and prefer to use an xBase type language.

    But we can’t do it if our integration into VS is crippled by your own product groups who create packages that are not extensible.  We’re not the only language vendor in this situation, and after several years of hitting brick walls, the promise of VS extensibility is sounding a bit hollow.

    All you have to do is to get your product groups to test their VS package flavorings with your own IronPython sample.  I realize that even Microsoft has time/resource constraints, but how much of an additional burden could that be?

    If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me.

    Thanks for you time.


  8. Mathias says:

    Thank you, Meghan – everyone’s care and work on this is really appreciated a lot!

  9. Victor Stuart says:

    I can not see the graphics for this site. There must be a broken link to the location of the graphics or something.

  10. henryh says:

    Hello Victor –

    Are you still unable to see the graphics on the site?  If not, could you provide the source of one of the images that’s not working.



  11. Somasegar says:

    Hi Victor,

    It looks like the server that has the images is down for some reason.  We will look into this and hopefully be able to get it back up soon.

    Thanks for the heads-up.