Integrate an existing app with VS Shell (isolated mode) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have an existing winform application written in C# 2.0, and I am considering integrating it with VS Shell 2010 (isolated mode).

    1. I went through some articles on the Internet, but I haven't found anything that really covers how to hook up those two pieces. For instance, how do I call a method defined in my original app when a menu item on the VS Shell is clicked? Please let me know if I can find such resources online. Thanks.

    2. I am also wondering if my existing winform app is a good candidate for VS Shell. My app manages a main menu, toolbars, a few dockable windows, and MDI, most of which are provided by a few commercial UI libraries (100% .net code).

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:40 PM


  • It's doubtful you can merge the two without some serious changes to your application. The isolated shell is essentially the core visual studio IDE, minus various features like certain toolwindows, project systems, language services, etc.

    If your app already has a main menu, toolbars and a few dockable windows, you already have a 'shell' so to speak. So I'm wondering what specifically what sort of features of the isolated shell are you interested in.

    The isolated shell is extended through packages authored with the Visual Studio SDK. These are either .net assemblies, or COM DLLs, which proffer various services (like toolwindows, project systems, editors). You can customize or provide your own menus/commands/toolbars, but you do so using the VSCT compiler to produce a resource that the IDE can merge with it's own.

    There are a few good examples that make use of the isolated shell, and provide a pretty good tutorial/walkthrough of what all can be done to customize it. Just search on codeplex or the codegallery for IronPythonStudio and Storyboard Designer. That should pull them up.


    Ed Dore
    Wednesday, September 15, 2010 5:00 AM