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Installing a vsix file in VB2010 Express

Now that VB Express has the Extension Manager you'd think it would be easy to install extensions, but I haven't found out how to do it yet. I've downloaded a couple of VSIX files to try it out: ItalicComments.vsix and ThemeManager.vsix. Double clicking on either of these files always gives the message "This extension is not installable on any currently installed products". Of course, I do have VB 2010 Express installed.  Could these VSIX files really be uninstallable in Express, or otherwise how should I do it?

I found tried using VSIXInstaller.Exe (in Common7/IDE) directly but so far without success. Maybe I am muddling the syntax.

tia, BB


6 Answers Found


Answer 1

Boops Boops,

This is not your fault.

VSIX files  are marked, via the manifest, as to which applications they are compatible and can be installed. Examining the manifests on these two extensions  shows that they are not marked as compatible with Visual Studio Express editions (even thought they should probably work properly with them). You can contact the authors and request that the extensions be updated to be installable  on Express, otherwise there is not much you can do.

Thanks for your question,

Bill Weinberger, Microsoft



Answer 2

hmm - I thought that the Express SKU was not going to support tool extensions.  My understanding was that it would only support template and control extensions.  Has that changed?  Is there an exact definition for what 'Tool Extension' means?


Answer 3

Thanks, sean.e, for reminding me of those additional restrictions.

Yes, the Express SKUs only support installation of extensions  that are classified as Templates (or Template Wizards) and Controls. That has not changed. And the best definition of a Tool extension  is anything that doesn't fall into one of the other categories (Template or Control).

So, BB, since both of the extensions you tried were Tool extensions (editor extensions), neither can be installed  for VB Express.

Thanks again,

Bill Weinberger


Answer 4

Why don't the express  editions support "Tool" extensions..? As far as I can tell, the majority of extensions  available fall into this category.

If there is some legal reason behind this, then it needs to be made more obvious. Being an extension  developer, I'm a little worried about this - my extension simply refuses to run on the Express edition. The build output gives me a slightly cryptic warning  message  about targeting express editions, which I pasted into google search and got 0 results.

There's a couple  of other forum posts out there about this, but none of the answers from MS people seem to give a reason why... Except one from 2007 which mentions a EULA (who reads those things anyway? heh)


Answer 5

Hi awell,

Full extensibility support is a feature available in the Pro edition of Visual Studio and higher.  The Express editions of Visual Studio do not support third party extensions  and therefore extensions will not load in those editions of VS.  The  message  you describe is unclear and something that we are investigating to fix for future releases.  In the short term, I’ve asked our documentation team to add an article to MSDN to explain this error message.

Bill Weinberger



Answer 6

Thanks for the info and support. Hopefully it will save some others the confusion in the future.


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