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This is the official home for the Microsoft Visual Studio Visualization and Modeling SDK online resources on Code Gallery. Here, you will find the samples for the DSL Tools (Samples do not ship any longer with the Visual Studio SDK), for the Architecture tools extensibliity, you find deep dive documentation, and get links to shared source projects and other resources to help you create Graphical and Form-based Modeling Designers for Visual Studio with the DSL Tools and the architecture tools. This page is maintained by the DSL Tools team at Microsoft.

Note that the VSVMSDK is the successor of the DSL SDK (also named DSL Tools). It now includes some content enabling the extensibility of the Architecture tools of the Ultimate edition of Visual Studio 2010.

To download the Visual Studio 2013 Modeling SDK, go to Visual Studio 2013 Modeling SDK
To download the Visualization and Modeling SDK for Visual Studio 2012, go to Visual Studio 2012 Visualization and Modeling SDK
To download Visualization and Modeling SDK for VS 2010 and VS 2010 SP1, go to Visual Studio 2010 Visualization and Modeling SDK

Start by reading the Read Me, discovering What's new in the Visualization and Modeling SDK for Visual Studio 2010 and 2010 SP1 (was DSL SDK), reading about the Known Issues, getting more information from the Forum, and downloading the samples for the Samples and Tools for VM SDK for VS 2010 RTM - SP1.
All DSL Tools related resources on Code Gallery are tagged with the “DslTools” tag. You may subscribe to the RSS feed to be notified of new DSL Tools resources on Code Gallery. Also, all the samples are written in C#.


October 2013 VS 2013 Modeling SDK RTM is now available.
15 August 2012 VS VM SDK for Visual Studio 2012 RTM is now available.
1 June 2012 VS VM SDK for Visual Studio 2012 RC. The Code index SDK adds a PDB indexer, and a new sample showing how to retrieve the public API of an assembly
29 February 2012 VS VM SDK for Visual Studio 11 Beta. The SDK features build tasks for the code index in addition to the DSL tools, with 2 samples
20 February 2011 Link UML elements to diagrams and other files
18 January 2011 Template for creating MSI setup projects. Allows you to associate a DSL with an XSD, an icon, and a short description which appears in Explorer. Under the Downloads tab, click
5 December 2010 The XMI Exporter sample has been updated to fix a couple of bugs and to improve how profiles are exported as a response to this forum question
19 November 2010 XMI Exporter This extension enables XMI 2.1 files to be exported from UML models created using VS 2010
25 October 2010 Fixed Circuit Diagram sample In a recent update, the DSL diagrams display as XML files. To fix the problem, edit the .csproj files in Notepad and remove <Subtype>Designer<\Subtype> Alternatively, download the sample again.
26 August 2010 New customization sample
25 August 2010 Improved documents in MSDN library - part of a gradual improvement program.
1st May 2010 Fixed a bug in the DslDesignerExtensionForModelBusAuthoring (see the forum question explaining all this)
19 April 2010 An updated version of the DslTools Lab for VS2010 is now available from DslTools lab on code gallery
12 April 2010 VsVmSDK available for RTM and we published a new sample DslDesigner extension for modelbus authoring showing how to extend the DslDesigner to provide authoring to enable the modelbus consumption, and expose a DSL to the modelbus


You need to have installed the following products for the 2012 version:


The Visualization and Modeling SDK's documentation is available from the following pages in the MSDN library Visualization and Modeling SDK - Domain-Specific Languages and Extending UML Models and Diagrams

Discussion and Feedback

Please add comments and questions on the VS2010 Visualization and Modeling Forum. Thanks!

Tools - Visual Studio 2010 (and 2010 SP1)

Visual Studio ModelBus extensionDifferent models can now interact with each other, (and with Visual Studio Team System Architecture UML designers), using the ModelBus. A DSL author can choose to generate a ModelBus adapter, that will expose his model to other models or tools. For documentation see Integrating Models using Visual Studio Modelbus
DSL Designer ExtensionThe DslDesigner itself can be extended both using the Domain Model Extensibility, and using a simpler MEF extensibilty. You can thus add domain properties, rules, and also now commands, gestures, validation to the Dsl designer if you wish.

Code samples and labs - Visual Studio 2010 (and 2010 SP1)

Please also have a look at What's new in this release.

Sample Description
Link UML elements to diagrams and other files Shows how to extend UML in VS Ultimate by adding links, icons, rules, commands, and drag-drop handlers.
XMI Exporter from UML Designers Export XMI 2.1 files from UML models
DSL Tools Lab Learn how to use the DSL tools in one day
Domain Model Extensibility sample Enables third parties to extend a DSL after deployment
IMS Locks (sample)It is now possible to have completely or partially read only models, which can be used for instance by reviewing and commenting tools.
Circuit Diagrams - Customizations SampleThis demonstrates cut and paste (preserving layout), embedding a diagram in a Windows Form in VS, variable image decorators, composite elements, and menu commands.

Code samples and labs - previous versions of the DSL Tools

The following are existing samples for previous versions of the DSL Tools
Name Description Version of VS
DSL Tools Lab Lab enabling the beginners to learn how to use the DSL tools in one day VS 2008 SP1
Text Templating sample Illustrates various approaches to generating code using the text –templating (T4) engine that ships with the Visual Studio SDK VS 2008 SP1
DSL Custom Tool sample This sample shows how to create a custom tool that runs directly against a Domain-Specific Language ("DSL") model file, using T4 to generate the code. This is an alternative to shipping the text template (.tt) files to the end user of the DSL VS 2008 SP1
Extended DSL Model Explorer This sample customises the generated model explorer so it remembers which element was selected when the user switches between documents VS 2008 SP1
DSL Tools End-End Wizard UIP update This sample contains an updated version of the DSL Tools C# End-End.WizardUIP sample that ships in the VS SDK. This update uses a more sophisticated code generation framework adapted from the the Patterns & Practices Web Service Software Factory: Modeling edition VS 2008 SP1
DSL Custom Property Editor sample This sample shows how to use custom property editors to customise the editing of domain properties through the property grid. WARNING breaking changes for VS 2010. Needs update VS 2008 SP1
DSL Navigation sample This sample language demonstrates techniques to facilitate navigation in Domain-Specific Language ("DSL") designers (synchronization between diagram and model explorer) VS 2008 SP1
ExceptionInSerializationWorkaround VS 2010

Work from the community

Last edited Dec 16 2013 at 7:49 AM  by jmprieur, version 56
beancycler wrote  Sep 23 2010 at 3:51 PM  
The following two links may imply that VMSDK will be discontinued is this true? Please tell me it's not. ;-) I thought this project was part of Oslo.

jmprieur wrote  Nov 3 2010 at 7:58 AM  
[VsVmSdk team:] Please do not worry: the VSVMSDK is unaffected by Olso changes (see:

nikitagon wrote  Nov 29 2011 at 5:00 PM  
I'm getting this error when trying to execute any project based on DSL:
Error 6 Error trying to read the VSIX manifest file "obj\Debug\extension.vsixmanifest". The specified network name is no longer available. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070040) DslPackage

I think this might be related to the fact that I'm using SDK for VS2010 (no service pack), but my VS is VS2010 SP1, can it be the problem?

The thing is that I cannot find SDK for VS2010 SP1, does it exist? If not, is there a workaround that allows to execute the projects from the examples?

JohnnyLarue wrote  Jun 1 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Do we use the VS VM SDK for Visual Studio 11 Beta for the latest Visual Studio 2012 RC released May 31st 2012?

YXP wrote  Jul 25 2012 at 6:54 AM  
vs_vmsdk.exe downloaded following the link above does not recognise VS2010 SDK SP1, there for cannot be installed.

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