Are there patterns or libraries or any official Microsoft SDK for using Visual Studio as a specifically Task-Focused UI?

For example, both Revolution R (IDE for the R language) and SQL 2012 (and I think SQL 2008 and possibly 2005) use Visual Studio as the underlying IDE framework.

Is there an officially supported SDK and/or examples/samples for doing this type of thing?

I am building a language Parser for an existing language - whose only available IDE is INSANELY expensive - using Irony (and eventually will generate a Language Service as well).

Any direct or indirect suggestions/answers are appreciated.

  • 1
    i would say if the only IDE for a language is insanely expensive there is a reason for that.
    – Ryathal
    Nov 21, 2012 at 16:32
  • You'd be wrong @Ryathal... Nov 29, 2012 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


You might want to have a look at Visual Studio Shell. The Visual Studio 2012 Shell (Isolated) provides a foundation on which you can build your own custom-branded tools environment.

Visual Studio Shell is part of the Visual Studio SDK. A redistributable runtime is provided.

See also http://studioshell.codeplex.com/

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