Friday, June 08, 2007

Visual Studio Shell



If you create software development tools, you'll want to consider building on the Visual Studio 2008 Shell. A streamlined Visual Studio development environment, the Visual Studio Shell provides the core foundation so you can focus on building your application's unique features. Flexible customization options help you deliver optimized experiences for specific markets.


Key Benefits



  • Faster Development. The Visual Studio Shell accelerates development by providing a base integrated development environment that can host custom tools and programming languages.

  • A Familiar Environment. Developers can build on the Visual Studio platform and provide end users a familiar user interface, speeding the learning curve for both.

  • Optimized for Languages & Tools. Created in response to requests from our partners, the Visual Studio Shell gives you the option of integrating your tools with Visual Studio or creating an isolated, custom-branded application.


Top 10 reasons to use the Visual Studio Shell:



1. Accelerate time to market. The Visual Studio Shell can save you development time by providing the core infrastructure for your application.


2. Focus on what gives you competitive advantage. The Visual Studio Shell provides the basic foundation so you can focus on your unique application features.


3. Choose your level of integration with Visual Studio. The Visual Studio Shell gives you the option of building an isolated application or integrating with Visual Studio.


4. Gain branding flexibility. You can custom brand the Visual Studio Shell in the isolated mode or choose the integrated mode to provide developers a seamless Visual Studio experience.


5. Provide familiarity. The standardized user interface of Visual Studio speeds the learning curve for developers.


6. Leverage the ecosystem. There are over 10,000 commercial and community applications that integrate with Visual Studio and can be used to build out your application.


7. Use your existing skills. You build your extensions the same way for both Visual Studio and the Visual Studio 2008 Shell.


8. Choose your development tools. You can build your extensions using the .NET Framework, managed languages like C# and Visual Basic, or native languages like C/C++.


9. Benefit from our knowledge base. The Visual Studio Shell has a robust SDK with documentation and samples to help you extend it.


10. Discover new market opportunities. Create new solutions for the large and growing community of Visual S tudio users.



The Visual Studio Shell has two modes: integrated and isolated


Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode): Optimized for Programming Languages


Applications built on the integrated Shell will automatically merge with any other editions of Visual Studio installed on the same machine.


This is Iron Python running in the Visual Studio Shell (integrated mode):









Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode): Optimized for Specialized Tools



Applications built with the isolated Shell will run side-by-side with any other editions of Visual Studio installed on the same machine.






This is Fabrikam Home Automation Studio, built on the Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode):






FAQ:


Q: When will the Visual Studio Shell be available?

The Visual Studio Shell will be available to VSIP partners with Visual Studio 2008 beta 2 and will be available to the broader development community with the release of Visual Studio 2008. The Visual Studio Shell will be available by web download alongside the Visual Studio SDK.


Q: How much will the Visual Studio Shell cost?

The Visual Studio Shell will be freely available as part of the Visual Studio SDK starting with the release of Visual Studio 2008. Building and deploying applications based on the Visual Studio Shell will be royalty-free.

Q: How do I build on top of the Visual Studio Shell?

The Visual Studio SDK contains documentation and samples to help you get started integrating your products into the Visual Studio Shell. Developers who want a deeper technical relationship with Microsoft can also join the Visual Studio Industry Partners (VSIP) program for more focused development assistance.


Q: Can you explain the integrated mode and the isolated mode?

The integrated mode installs into the same application environment as Visual Studio, enabling developers to use the premium tools of Visual Studio alongside their custom tools. The isolated mode allows partners to create a unique application instance, isolated from other versions of Visual Studio installed on the machine. To fit the common usage scenarios of our partners, the integrated mode enables partners to build on the look and feel of Visual Studio, while the isolated mode provides the option to custom brand the application.

Q: I'm interested in using the Visual Studio Shell. How can I find more information?

To inquire about using the Visual Studio Shell in your next application, contact vsipinfo@microsoft.com .

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