Visual Studio & TFS 2012 – List of extensions and tools (Part 2)

Go to Part 1 – List of Product Updates for information on Visual Studio and TFS 2012 updates

Looking for the VS 2010 extensions ? Go to Visual Studio 2010 – List of Product Updates (Part 1) + Extensions (Part 2).

Looking for links to the test adapters, go to this blog post.


UPDATE Aug 18th 2013: Updates: Visual Studio Tools for Git, TypeScript, ReSharper, TFS Power Tools, Code Contracts, Build Manager, Web EssentialsCode Contracts, tangible T4 editor , Just Decompile, DotPeek   ADDED:  Inmeta AssociateRecentWorkItems , Unit Test Generator

Added separate tools section:  TFS Administration Tool , TFS Team Project Manager

This post is a list of the extensions I recommend for use with Visual Studio 2012. It’s coming up all the time – what to install, where are the download sites, last version, etc etc, and thus I thought it better to post it here and keep it updated. The basics are Visual Studio 2012 connected to a Team Foundation Server 2012.

Many live in a side-by-side environment with Visual Studio 2010. The side-by-side is supported by VS 2012. However, if you installed a component supporting VS2012 before you installed VS2012, then you need to reinstall it. The VSIX installer will understand that it is to apply those only for VS2012, and will not touch – nor remove – the same for VS2010. A good example here is the Power Commands.

The list is more or less in priority order.

The focus is to get a setup which can be used for a complete coding experience for the whole ALM process.

The list of course reflects what I use for my work , so it is by no means complete, and for some of the tools there are equally useful alternatives. Many components have not yet arrived with VS2012 support. I will add them as they arrive.

The components directly associated with Visual Studio from Microsoft should be common, see the Microsoft column.

If you want to use the same set of extensions on multiple computers, you might like to share them easily. Lars Wilhelmsen has a great blog post about how to use Dropbox to share extensions and common settings.

Extensions ready for VS 2012, both upgrades and new ones

Product Notes Latest Version License Applicable to Microsoft
Visual Studio Tools for Git1 See Brian Harry’s blogpost Pre-release Visual Studio Yes
EF Power Tools Beta 3 Available1 See blog post Free Visual Studio Yes
MyHistory1 See MSDN Article 1.4 Free TFS Integration No
Inmeta AssociateRecentWorkItems Fast way to associate recent work items to a checkin, reduce need to search around.  See Jakobs blogpost for more info Free TFS Integration No

Unit Test Generator1

Get back the ability to generate unit tests from code, also works for NUnit and XUnit. Free Unit Testing (VS) ALM Rangers
Runsettings1 Item template to create default runsettings file 1.1 Free Unit Testing (VS & TFS) No
TypeScript See info here, and B.Harry’s blogpost. Codeplex here
Release notes
0.9.1 Free Coding Yes
ReSharper3 Licensed Coding & Quality No
NuGet Manager1 3 Initial install included with VS 2012. Updates through extension gallery 2.6.40627.9000 Free Visual Studio Yes
TFS Power Tools
(This applies to Update 1-3)

TFS Power tools (This applies to RTM)

See Brian Harry’s blog post for more info
(Side-by-side with TFS 2010 should work, but remove the Shell Extension from the TFS 2010 power tool first.), and this post for info on Update 1
July 2013(11.0.60506.0) Free TFS integration Yes
NDepend3 Info on updates here. Trial available.

Licensed Quality No
Build Manager1 Community Build Manager. Info here from Jakob Free TFS Integration No
Visual Studio 2012 SDK Required for using Wix Published 2.Aug.2012 Free Visual Studio Yes
Wix Toolset 3.7 Free Coding/Installers No
Visual Studio 11 Feedback tool1 Use this to really ease the process of sending bugs back to Microsoft. 1.2.3 Free Visual Studio Yes
Productivity Power Tools1 Re-added with new features, now also includes Power Commands, which can be uninstalled. 11.0.60403.0 Free Visual Studio Yes
Power Commands1 3 Just reinstall, even if you already have it for VS2010. The reinstall will then apply it to VS 2012
Install Productivity Power Tools which includes Power Commands Free Coding Yes
Code Contracts1 3 Now on gallery too. Info here and follow the forum here
1.5.60813 Free Coding Yes
Code Contract Editor Extensions1   1.5.64024.12 Free Coding Yes
Visualization and Modeling SDK Requires VS 2012 SDK RTM (Sept. 29th 2012) Free now, otherwise Part of MSDN Subscription Modeling, DSL, UML extensions Yes
Slow Cheetah1 Tool for transforming XML files, like config files. 2.5.5 Free Coding No
Web Essentials1 2.9 Free Coding Yes
T4 Toolbox1 11.8.0 Free Coding (T4 templates) No (Author now MSFT)
tangible T4 editor1   2.2.1 Lite version Free (Good enough) Coding (T4 templates) No

#1 Get via Visual Studio’s Tools | Extension Manager (or The Code Gallery). (From Adam : All these are auto updated by the Extension Manager in Visual Studio)

#2 Works with ultimate only

#3 Also works with VS 2010


Tools (outside Visual Studio)

Product Notes Latest Version License Applicable to Microsoft
ILSpy Decompiler –open source. Can also export assembly as C# project Free Coding/Investigation No
DotPeek Decompiler from Jetbrains. Can also export as C# project Free Coding/Investigation No
Just Decompile Decompiler from Telerik 2013.2.613 Free Coding/Investigation No
LinqPad Info here 4.45.05 Free and licensed versions Coding No
TFS Administration Tool Handling security and permissions in TFS, Sharepoint and reporting services. Open source tool at Codeplex 2.2 Free TFS No
TFS Team Project Manager Extremely valuable. Handle maintenance of work items, process, and much more across multiple team projects at once.  No more batch files with witadmin! See it at Codeplex  1.6.4968 Free TFS No


Extensions we wait for, not yet in a VS 2012 version

Product Notes Latest Version License Applicable to Microsoft
Inmeta Build Explorer     Free TFS integration No

Extensions which are now integrated into VS 2012

Product Notes
Fakes Was Moles in 2010. Fakes is improved and made into a product.
NuGet Manager Included in the install, but still an extension package. Info here. So it is updated through the extension manager. Initial version is 1.6.30117.9648

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