April 14, 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Online Templates

I haven’t normally taken a lot of stock for ‘online template’ repositories.  In Office, what promised to be a great feature introduced in the 2007 iteration on Office Online faded into a small collection of meager ‘I could have done that in 5 seconds’ templates and never any fresh new content.  In Visual Studio 2008, I think there was a feature for this but never saw anything of interest in there.  With the release of VS2010, however, I may have found a new friend!

Open up VS 2010 and go to File/New/Project.  At the bottom of the list of types is the Online Templates category.  Clicking into that retrieves a nice little collection of very useful templates that I hope continue to be expanded on and refined.  Here’s my favorites so far:

  1. An MVC OpenID web site starter
  2. An IE 8 Accelerator starter
  3. A Silverlight based Windows Gadget
  4. A WCF REST Template
  5. A Twitter screensaver
  6. A notification area sample app for WPF

None of these are earth shattering, but if you look at some of these as stubs for new ideas, as I tend to dream things up before they are actually needed, quite a bit of fun could be had.  Here’s a challenge for me – I’d like to pair some of these with my new found love for Windows Azure.  A great example – the Windows Azure / FaceBook SDK I tweeted about yesterday could be recreated with both an Accelerator (MS already made one) and a Windows Gadget.  Or, something more unique – use the same SDK and build up a new WCF REST service for FaceBook (they probably already have one though).

Anyways – good mental exercise if you are interested.