The Feature Builder Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010

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UPDATE: The bits on the Visual Studio Gallery have been updated to Feature Builder v1.0.1 (just minor updates)

Welcome to the Feature Builder  Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010 - Release 1.0 for Visual Studio 2010 RTM.


Feature Builder is an official Power Tool from the Architecture Tools team within the Visual Studio Product Group enabling the rapid construction of Visual Studio Extensions (VSIXs) that combine VS Extensibility (menus, etc.) , Project/Item/T4 templates and step-by-step guidance/documentation.


The output VSIX, called a Feature Extension, delivers all these things, including the guidance, directly within Visual Studio.


This screencast provides both a short conceptual introduction to the Feature Builder and a short demo which starts at 5 minutes, 30 seconds in.


After watching this screencast, check out these screencasts, in order:
Creating The "Tools"
Creating The "Code"
Creating The "Map"

On-going hints-and-tips along with FAQs can be found on Michael Lehman’s MSDN blog: Adventures in SoftwareLand.


Note:  This Power Tool requires VS2010 RTM and is not designed to run on earlier builds of Visual Studio.  V1.0 supports running Feature Extensions on VS2010 Pro.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Sweet. (Would be nice to have links to the next screencast in your blurb). 

  • User profile image

    Michael added them. Thanks for the feedback!

  • User profile image

    Great Stuff! Looking forward to the next series!

  • User profile image

    Where can we get help?  My menus have stopped working in the Experimental Instance.  I have followed the 2 options in the FAQ and have even tried to reset the Experimental Instance.  I can get menus working with a straight extension package, but not with the feature builder (although it was working previously).


    Also, VS2010 RTM is out, when is an RTM version of Feature Builder going to be available?

  • User profile image
    Michael Lehman

    I'm not sure what you mean by "My menus have stopped working"?  Is it possible you've change your language or region?  We know of a bug (fixed in the next rev) related to non-EN-US configuration.


    On the other request, we are hard at work on an RTM version.  Expect it soon.

  • User profile image
    Michael Lehman

    Bits for RTM are now available on the Visual Studio Gallery (see the top of this post)

  • User profile image
    Michael Lehman

    Just updated the link to the VS Gallery as we have now released version 1.0.1 (minor updates)

  • User profile image

    I installed the Feature Builder 1.0.1 from and then in VsStudio/Tools/Extension Manager... I can see that Feature Extension Runtime version is 1.0 and not 1.0.1. Is it correct? 

  • User profile image

    I want to provide some functionality (created by Feature Builder) without select the feature extension template that contain the code of this functionality.
    For example, I would like to install my feature extension created and later the developer can see that functionality (add new menu option for example ) when a new Windows Forms Application or Class Library is created.
    The idea is to separate the functionality coded inside the extension and the project template type selected.
    Is it possible? 

  • User profile image

    Reading in details the documentation I finally found the solution. 
    Feature Extension - VSX Pack Scenario is the project template I was looking for.
    Using it now I can provide some functionality and no matter what type of project the user selects.

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