Archive for the ‘Visual Studio Addin’ Category

VisualStudio TechnologyExplorer : Generate a graph of your solutions(.sln) & projects (.csproj)

Download: You can download the TechnologyExplorer here.
TechnologyExplorer Example
I’m developing with .NET since version 1.1 which was Visual Studio 2003 released in 2003. Since, 5 .NET framework have been released (2, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5) with 4 VisualStudio (2005, 2008, 2010, 2012).

I have a lot of applications (web, console, windows service and WindowsForm) that used different libraries. I wanted to know the .NET version of every library/application, the VisualStudio version of every applcation and to see the dependencies between the libraries and the applications.

To see the dependencies, you can use the ArchitectureExplorer available in VisualStudio Ultimate. But you can’t extract the .NET version and the VisualStudio version with this tool.
I wanted to use the Graph layout capabilities of VisualStudio so I don’t have to program a algo to place the nodes and reduce the overlap between the links.


To display graphs, VisualStudio use DGML that is a xml file. So you can create manually or by a program a dgml that you can open in VisualStudio.
The specs are available at

Determine the VisualStudio version

The VisualStudio version is available in the sln file:

Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 12.00
# Visual Studio 2012


Determine the .NET Framework version

The .net framework version, is available in the csproj under the node TargetFrameworkVersion.


I wrote a application, the TechnologyExplorer, given a base folder, navigate in thew folder and it’s subfolders to extract the .NET version and the VisualStudio version of the applications and libraries.
It generate a dependency graph that shown the applications and the libraries and their dependencies.

  • The background color indicate the type: web application, application or library
  • The outline indicate the .NET framework version
  • For applications, the text color indicate the VisualStudio version

The output is a DGML file that you can open in VisualStudio to see the graph.

TechnologyExplorer Example

The TechnologyExplorer also generate a Legend file also in a DGML format:
TechnologyExplorer Legend


The TechnologyExplorer.xml contains a configuration where you indicate the output folder.

  • The outputPath attribute specify the folder where the dgml files will be generated.
  • Each Include node specify a folder to traverse.
  • Each Exclude node specify a folder, and sub-folders, to not traverse.

TechnologyExplorer - Microsoft Visual Studio



One the xml file configured, just launch the TechnologyExplorer.exe!

TFS: Visual Studio Power Tools

Go to the TFS Content Page

As described in the MSDN page, Visual Studio Power Tools are a set of enhancements, tools and command-line utilities to TFS.

I used a lot the Process Editor while I was customizing my Work Item process. Some of the features are:

  • Create and edit fields definition
  • Customize the Work Item layout
  • Add States and edit the states transition workflow

You can see the full description and download it at:

Categories: TFS, Visual Studio Addin

VisualStudio Addin deploy

Here is a link about VisualStudio Addin deploy. It explain how to create a setup to install the addin that you have developped.

Categories: Visual Studio Addin

Quick File Open addin for VisualStudio

November 23, 2008 1 comment
QOpen main form

QOpen main form

When developping with VisualStudio, I waist a lot of time, searching the file to open in the solution explorer. To reduce it, I wrote a VisualStudio 2008 addin: QOpen

By default, the QOpen Addin is mapped to the Ctrl+Shift+N shortcut in VisualStudio.

When started, QOpen open dialog displaying all the files contained in the currently opened solution.

The Search for TextBox allow to filter the files displayed in the list.

You can use a space to match more than one part in the file name. For example, imagine that you want to open the TestMFCDoc.h file. You can write ‘mfc’ in the search for textbox, but more than one files will by listed. Add a space and the word ‘doc’ and the word ‘.h’. So you write: mfc do .h

Here is the example:

To open the selected file, just hit Enter. If it’s a form, you can press the Designer button or F6 to open it in Designer View.

The Clear (Ctrl+N) button clear up the Search for textbox to began a new search.

The up and down arrows, home, end, PageUp and PageDown keys can be used to navigate quickly in the files results list and choose a specific file.

You can also double-click on a file to open it!


Source code