Helpful Visual Studio Add-ins


Over the past years I've found myself to rely more and more on a number of very handy, some well known, Visual Studio add-ins. I've split this list into two parts, the free and the paid tools:

Team Foundation Power Tools [link] [free]
These tools are now installed on our developer seats by default. They add Windows Explorer access to TFS and a number of very helpful additions to Team Explorer inside Visual Studio.Even if your team members don't really use the functionality inside Team Foundation Power Tools, have them install it to distribute your check-in policies and custom work item controls. They'll come to like the additional features as time goes by.

Team Foundation Server Source Control Explorer Extension [link] [free]
What the Team Foundation Power Tools bring to Team Explorer and the command line, this add-in brings to the Source Control tab. A number of items which were previously only available through the command-line are made accessible directly from the Source Control tab. Delete files permanently, drag and drop support for copying and moving files, merge/copy/move multiple files. It also disables certain items in the context menu's when they're not available and fixes a few other things in there as well.

Where to go with your development question


Last year I was awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor Award and as such I've been wandering through the Microsoft Support forums for quite some time. Enough to know that it's easy to get lost. So here's a short rundown of all the locations you're likely to get help:

The MSDN forums are the first port of call for anything related to Code, TFS, BizTalk etc. There are a few exceptions though (most notably ASP.NET), and they're usually not very clearly defined. Beta products usually receive their own (temporary) forum which will reside next to the forum for the current product version.

Some of these forums here are monitored directly by Microsoft MSDN staff and if you've set up your forum account correctly (meaning you're using the same account for your MSDN subscription) you'll have a better chance of receiving an answer.


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