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Visual Studio Marketplace (mostly) Replaces VS Gallery

by Jonathan Allen on Dec 08, 2016 |

Visual Studio has a new website for extensions. Known as Visual Studio Marketplace, this site aggregates extensions for the Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and Visual Studio Team Services.

There are currently over 7,000 extensions available through the marketplace for Visual Studio. Most of these extensions were imported from Visual Studio Gallery. In fact, posting extensions to the old VS Gallery website is the only way to get them into VS Marketplace. The reason for this dichotomy is fear that Microsoft may accidentally break the APIs used within the Visual Studio IDE. Harysh Menon explains:

Come on, why make me go to two places, let me publish directly to the Marketplace

We hear you, but first and foremost we wanted to ensure the thousands of users who are using your extensions from within the IDE are unaffected. They are currently continuing to hit the old Gallery service and API’s, and we wanted to make sure all the API’s are intact on our side before redirecting API traffic to Marketplace. We will be adding publishing options soon after, with a bunch of new options that you’ve been asking for a long time like CLI based publishing, or using markdown files directly for the extensions description etc.

Until the VS IDE traffic is redirected to the Marketplace, publishing experiences will continue to be on the Visual Studio Gallery. But at any point you can navigate to the manage page on the marketplace – https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/manage/publishers/<publisherid> (Replace <publisherid> with the actual publisher id from the url) – and choose the edit option in the extension drop down to update your extension. Clicking on edit will take you directly to the edit page for your extension on Visual Studio Gallery. Any extension added or updated to the Visual Studio Gallery will be synced over to the Marketplace.

There are also slightly over 2,000 extensions for Visual Studio Code and roughly 300 extensions for Visual Studio Team Services.

Visual Studio Marketplace is actually Microsoft’s third attempt at creating a common site for sharing extensions. Microsoft’s first attempt to create an open source community started before C# had generics with a website known as GotDotNet. Besides extensions, GotDotNet also included open source projects, code samples, articles, and forums. Unfortunately, it was slow and hard to use, even after a more or less complete rewrite in 2005. Two years later it would be replaced by CodePlex for open source projects.

Then in 2010 we saw the introduction of Visual Studio Gallery. This was the first time a website for Visual Studio actually had IDE integration (in theory, you could also add new packages from within Visual Studio, but the button would just take you to an outdated list of frameworks that no one maintained.) Later that year NuGet, then known as NuPack, would also be introduced.

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