you have been working with VS.NET for a while, you will discover that
you often perform certain tasks over and over. The particular tasks
you need to perform will be very dependent on how you are using the
IDE, what language and project types you deploy, and your own
development style (or the development guidelines under which you are
working). This chapter is all about how to get the IDE to automate
these activities, by writing either macros or add-ins.
a snippet of VB.NET code that automates some operation in VS.NET.
Macros provide a quick and easy way to automate tasks. They are
straightforward to create, because VS.NET has built-in macro creation
and editing features.
Macros are fairly powerful, but they have their limits, so VS.NET
supports a more flexible if somewhat more complex integration
interface for building add-ins.
are COM components, which means that they take more effort to
createyou must compile and install add-ins before you can use
them. (Macros can be written and executed on a whimVS.NET
compiles them automatically, and they do not need to be installed.)
However, as well as having access to a more powerful API than macros,
add-ins offer some further advantagesadd-ins are easier to
redistribute than macros are, and there is also no danger that anyone
using your add-in might inadvertently break it when using
VS.NET's macro editor.
If you are writing functionality that you want to distribute outside
of your organization, an add-in is the way to go. It allows tighter
integration with the IDE, plus allows you to add information to the
VS.NET About dialog. However, even add-ins are not the most powerful
integration mechanism VS.NET has to offerpackages allow even
deeper integration. See Chapter 10 for more