Embedded support in VS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Asking a question like this, I feel like I'm ignoring an elephant in the room.

    I'm about to start programming for an ARM7 device.  And of course, like to use Visual Studio.  After digging and digging (I've learned that when you don't see an obvious Msft position, they aren't interested) all I see is that NO YOU CANT.  There is no VS compiler that support popular chips like this.  Only 3rd party tools like Keil and IAR, and Arduino.

    There are extention tools like WinGDB that compile in Linux gcc and funnel the debug info back to VS. But that is it.

    Am I missing anything? 

    If this basic attitude is explained someplace, point me at it.  Because I don't get it. And before I get upset, .NETMF is not a native C++ coding solution!


    Friday, August 23, 2013 3:05 PM


All replies

  • Hi  srihCsrihC,

    I'm trying to involve some senior engineers into this issue and it will take some time. Your patience will be greatly appreciated. We will let you know if any progress is made.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Sophia Gou <THE CONTENT IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED> MSDN Community Support Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue.

    Monday, August 26, 2013 10:24 AM
  • I'm not entirely sure I understand the actual question here.

    Microsoft Visual Studio and the toolsets it produces, logically target Microsoft systems. At the same time Microsoft has invested significant resources (architecting, documenting, testing and tech support) to ensure 3rd party vendors can extend and plug in their own build tools and utilities and debuggers into the mix (aka the VSIP program).

    While I don't speak from a authoritative position on this (I'm not a manager or spokesperson for the company), I'm pretty sure VS team is not specifically ignoring these other platforms to be spiteful. They have (and continue to) expended a very large effort to ensure the platform is extensible, so others can wire their own tools into the IDE. But to my mind, having an expectation that they produce build tools to facilitate development on systems they don't have a vested interest in seems a bit over the top.


    Ed Dore

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:24 AM
  • Thank-you for giving the matter some thought, Ed.

    I think my question/concern is relevant to the extensibility topic. VS already supports ARM embedded compilers for .NET with Compact Edition and Micro which run on a variety of ARM chips. They can't make a Windows Phone run without having done native C++ on its ARM chip. So the concept is not new, simply not extendable to the largest segment of embedded users. 

    No, probably not spite (hmm..:-), but also certainly not clearly communicating to VS users who must cross into embedded development.

    WinGDB? It isn't far off the mark.

    Look at it from my point of view. I enjoy VS coding C#, C++ and XML for the Surface, Phone and Desktop, and now .NETMF.  But .netmf can't do everything (and neither can C#.NET!) so you HAVE to go native.  But you can't.  Not with VS.

    So instantly I'm sent packing to the world of CooCox, Arduino, Eclipse, Keil, IAR etc.. For no great reason. 

    Feel my pain. Every time I get to liking VS, I'm derailed into some Mono like thing.

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:59 PM
  • I'm still a bit unclear as to what the extensibility question or ask is here.

    Are you simply requesting Native C++ support for targeting the ARM7 chip? A better mechanism for that would be the UserVoice site or VS Feedback tool. You might also want to clarify what OS said toolset would need to target.

    Much like WinGDB extension allows for debugging on other platform types, the extensibility infrastructure was purposefully architected to allow other vendors the ability to integrate tools that would target other platforms.

    I'm not trying to be obtuse here, honest. But, I'm not terribly familiar with the embedded development space. Where Microsoft has an OS offering, its in their best interest to create tools to help foster application development on those systems. But I have zero expectations that they'd go build a compiler for Lego Mindstorms, or other OS that happen to run on an ARM processor, unless they saw a really big revenue generator at the end of the tunnel.


    Ed Dore

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:14 PM
  • "Are you simply requesting Native C++ support for targeting the ARM7 chip?"

    Hardly. You don't support ARM native compiling now. Well you do.. but only for yourselves.

    You may want to visit this site to be more familiar with embedded software development. 


    I found the answer to my question...


    And look! Its even under extensibility. This is what I call the elephant in the room.

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:42 PM