When you develop a Visual Studio package or add-in you want to be able to run and debug it without having to pollute your environment with untested and\or unfinished applications and components.
This is where the Experimental Instance of Visual Studio 2010 shines. When using this method to debug, what will happen is the following:
- A new instance of visual studio will be opened when in the window title bar will written “Start Page – Microsoft Visual Studio (Administrator) – Experimental Instance”.
- If the developed app is actually a Visual Studio Package (Visual Studio SDK) the new instance will be loaded as if you have installed your Package already:
If you wish to see how is it done (even though its automatically set) go to the properties of you project and see in the VSIX tab that the checkbox “Deploy VSIX content to experimental instance for debugging” is checked:
If the developed app is not a Visual Studio Package it is still possible to use the “Experimental Instance”, but the “face” install will have to be implemented manually (copy dll’s to specific location or whatever).
To use the “Visual Studio Experimental Instance” all you have to do is to do the following:
- Go to the project’s properties window.
- Go to the “Debug” tab.
- In the “Start Action” section, select the “Start external program” radio button. And select your local visual studio executable (devenv.exe), such as: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe”.
- In the “Start Options” section, write in the “Command line arguments” textbox “/RootSuffix Exp”.
Now that we have Visual Studio Experimental Instance and we know how to use it, we should use it when needed to make our lives easier, and help us see what we’re doing!