Visual Studio Shells

You need the Visual Studio Shell to create an application that provides an Integrated Development Environmente (IDE) and you want to reuse the Visual Studio IDE rather than creating your own IDE.
  • “Integrated mode” enables your users to use standard Visual Studio features along with your custom tools. The integrated shell is intended primarily for hosting programming languages and software development tools. Custom tools that are built on the integrated shell automatically merge with any other edition of Visual Studio that is installed on the same computer. You can provide a redistributable version of the Visual Studio integrated shell if Visual Studio is not already installed. For more information, see Visual Studio Shell (Integrated).
  • “Isolated mode” allows you to create custom tools that run side-by-side with other versions of Visual Studio. It is intended primarily for tools that can access Visual Studio services without depending on all the standard Visual Studio features. You can customize the appearance of applications built on the Visual Studio isolated shell. You can easily turn off the features and menu command groups that you do not wish to appear together with your application. For more information, see Visual Studio Shell (Isolated).
Download URLs

Note: Microsoft retires the public links to the Shells from time to time. If some link below stops working, try the following: enroll the Visual Studio Dev Essential program (free) and go to the Downloads section. If that fails and really need it, buy an MSDN Subscription (confirm first that the desired shell is available).

7 thoughts on “Visual Studio Shells”

  1. After installing Visual Studio 2013 Shell Silently I am unable to uninstall the (Integrated) portion. I get a popup window warning of other product may not work. How to uninstall (Integrated) portion silently?

  2. hi carlos , i want to automate vs to compile a project, i dont know about the better strategies , if i automate the ide outsode from external vba or i automate the commande line to run project automatically from externe vba, any recommandation with code source plz

  3. Hello,

    I am trying to evaluate Visual Studio Shell but my problem is that I want to use it for languages that are not .NET based.

    For example I want to use to parse two files pair where the visual elements are stored in one file and the code associated to various events of visual elements is stored in another file.

    The language is Pascal like (but not pure Pascal).

    Will Visual Studio Shell be able to handle this properly and will I be able to control as to what code is generated/scoffed by the IDE?

    Please guide me here.

    Yogi Yang

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