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What's New in the Visual Studio 2017 SDK

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac


This article applies to Visual Studio 2017. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, see Visual Studio documentation. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Visual Studio. Download it here

The Visual Studio SDK has the following new and updated features for Visual Studio 2017.

VSIX v3 format

To support the new light-weight install of Visual Studio 2017, the VSIX extension manifest format has been updated to version 3 (VSIX v3).

The new format has support for:

  • Explicitly declaring prerequisites to be detected and installed by the VSIXInstaller.
  • Ngen assemblies on extension installation.
  • Installing assets outside the usual extension root.

To learn about these changes, see the following topics:

Migrate extensibility project to Visual Studio 2017

To learn how to update your extensibility projects and their VSIX manifests to Visual Studio 2017, see How to: Migrate extensibility projects to Visual Studio 2017.

Custom project and item templates

Starting in Visual Studio 2017, scanning for custom project and item templates will no longer be performed. Instead, the extension must provide template manifest files that describe the install location of these templates. You can use Visual Studio 2017 to update your VSIX extensions. If you deploy your extension using an MSI, you must generate the template manifest files by hand. For more information, see Upgrade custom project and item templates for Visual Studio 2017. The template manifest schema is documented in Visual Studio template manifest schema reference.

Updated extension performance guidelines

There is a new How to: Diagnose extension performance article under Manage VSPackages to show how to detect and analyze extension impact on Visual Studio startup and solution load times.