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InfoQ Homepage News Visual Commander Brings Back Visual Studio Macros

Visual Commander Brings Back Visual Studio Macros


Visual Studio had the ability to record and run macros for well over a decade, yet the feature was rarely used. For some the objection was that macros could only be written in VB while the majority of professional developers preferred C#, though most developers didn’t seem to know it existed at all.

Yet the lack of use didn’t translate into a lack of cost. Maintaining support for the macro engine in any program is quite expensive, more so for something as complex as Visual Studio. In theory every new operation had to be scriptable, which put a significant burden on new feature developers. So in Visual Studio 2012 macros were eliminated completely.

With Microsoft out of the picture an opening was made for third party vendors. One such vendor is Vlasov Studio with its Visual Commander product. This macro engine is backwards compatible with VB-based macros for VS 2010 and earlier. It also supports macro recording in both VB and C#, addressing one of the primary concerns about the built-in version.

In addition to manually triggered macros, Visual Commander supports what they call extensions. An extension listens to events such as “build events, window and document operations, solution and project loading, debugger events” and fires macros the user associates with them.

Visual Commander is available in both a free and a commercial edition.

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