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VSTA Debugging without Visual Studio RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was alarmed to read the following statement from the "VSTA Sample Host Integration", which comes with the VSTA 2012 SDK:

    "In standalone mode, VSTA provides your application with the means to load, compile, and run end user customizations. With Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium or Ultimate installed, VSTA extends that functionality with the means to edit and debug those customizations."

    Did VSTA 2012 really remove the ability to debug and edit add-ins on machines without Visual Studio installed?!?

    This was one of the VSTA's main features.  Allowing users to experiment with editing and debugging add-ins without having to go through the hurdles of installing and paying for the full Visual Studio is crucially important.  This change imposes a barrier for entry that will greatly affect adoption of VSTA. 

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:48 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Not really. You can always debug an add-in with WinDbg or via remote debugging. The point is that you need a debugger of some kind to debug. Typically, it is Visual Studio. The point of the statement is not to suggest that there is a restriction on debugging, but to illustrate that you can run add-ins without requiring an IDE shell to be installed. More importantly, the statement also points out that you now use standard Visual Studio products, instead of a specialized VSTA IDE, to debug and edit your projects.

    Thanks,

    Gaurav

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 4:33 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Not really. You can always debug an add-in with WinDbg or via remote debugging. The point is that you need a debugger of some kind to debug. Typically, it is Visual Studio. The point of the statement is not to suggest that there is a restriction on debugging, but to illustrate that you can run add-ins without requiring an IDE shell to be installed. More importantly, the statement also points out that you now use standard Visual Studio products, instead of a specialized VSTA IDE, to debug and edit your projects.

    Thanks,

    Gaurav

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 4:33 PM
  • Thanks for the feedback. 

    However, your response does not alleviate my concern.  My concern is that the IDE that came installed with VSTA in previous versions is not included with this latest version.  It was this built-in IDE that made VSTA such a valuable feature to add to a product.  Making it simple for users to experiment with creating and debugging VSTA based add-ins.

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 5:24 PM
  • Hi,

    There is a change in the VSTA 2012 licensing model, and the requirement you mentioned for VS 2012 Pro+ to edit and debug the customizations is only part of what the change results in. The whole message of the licensing model change is that:

    VSTA 2012 is no longer licensed as a separate entity with a separate cost; Instead, it is licensed as a component of Visual Studio. 

    It means that for the ISVs who integrate the VSTA 2012 into their products, there is no charge per seat of the sold products at all. The runtime of scripts always works regardless of whether VS is installed on the machine, but the design time of scripting requires VS2012 Pro+ to get it lighted up.

    Thanks,
    Xiaoying


    Xiaoying is a program manager in Microsoft Visual Studio Office Developer Tools team | This post is provided "as-is"

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013 10:16 PM