Home > Posts > HowTo: Make Project Linker extension’s VSIX install at Visual Studio 2012

HowTo: Make Project Linker extension’s VSIX install at Visual Studio 2012

Project Linker is a Visual Studio Extension that “helps to automatically create and maintain links from a source project to a target project to share code that is common to Silverlight and WPF”.

In ClipFlair, where I have shared code between a Silverlight and a WPF project (I guess same would be for XNA projects for Xbox360 and for PC), a practice I use is to put shared files in a “Source” project and add them to both projects as links (using “Open as link” action available from Add file dialog if you press the dropdown arrow next to the “Open” button).

An alternative is to put such files in say the WPF project and use the Project Linker tool from Microsoft Patterns & Practices group to link to those files from the Silverlight project easily.

However, that tool seems to be only available for Visual Studio 2010, not for the newer 2012 version. Luckily, some users have posted a workarround at the discussion there (Reviews and Q&A tabs):

  1. Download the .vsix
  2. Extract contents with 7-Zip (since .vsix is a .zip file which you can see by renaming to .zip or .vsix.zip)
  3. Modify file with extension .vsixmanifest to add <visualstudio version="11.0"> to the <supportedproducts> node
  4. Change MaxVersion to <supportedframeworkruntimeedition minversion="3.5" maxversion="4.5" /> (this may not be necessary)
  5. Zip up contents again
  6. Rename extension back to .vsix
  7. Install extension

According to comments there, this works but not for all project types. It works if one links the Silverlight project to the WPF one, but not the other way around. It throws a NullReferenceException somewhere in the extension.

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