It’s been a long time coming (although that’s a whole other story), but we’re finally happy to present: the new home of .NET Reflector add-ins and reflector-aware tools! Today I’m going to focus on the add-ins, and we’ll look at the reflector-aware tools later.
Add-ins? What add-ins?
Thanks to the feedback we’ve received from thousands of our users, we’ve discovered that only about 10% of you know that .NET Reflector supports add-ins, and use the tool to its full potential. Only 10%! L
Well for the record, .NET Reflector has an extensive API, and there are add-ins available to handle everything from assembly visualisation to better management of code annotations, and even a few to extend the languages that .NET Reflector can render to.
Sounds great! Now what?
Completely new to add-ins? The good news is that using them couldn’t be simpler. There’s a great article on Simple-Talk covering everything you need to get started with .NET Reflector add-ins. Of course, if you’ve been keeping an eye on our blog, you’ll know that we actually built Jason Haley’s Power Commands add-in right into Reflector 7.
Already a seasoned user of add-ins and Reflector-aware tools? Great! You might still find that Simple-Talk article handy, but you probably already know what you’re doing.
Whether you’re a veteran user or new to the game, if this has ignited a creative zeal in you then you’ll be glad to know that it’s easy to create your own add-ins for Reflector. A .NET Reflector add-in is fundamentally just a dll/exe assembly file that contains packages. A package is a class that implements the IPackage interface, which defines a Load and Unload method. An IServiceProvider interface is passed during loading, and gives access to a set of services which are part of the .NET Reflector object model. That’s the very quick intro, and there’s some more detail available on how to build .NET Reflector add-ins, as well as links to very detailed walkthroughs.
Of course, if any of you have an existing add-in that you think is indispensable, and everyone should use, let us know about it!
At the moment, we’re only featuring a subset of the many, many .NET Reflector add-ins on our site – the ones where we’ve spoken to the developers and know that they’re committed to updating and maintaining their tools. There are plenty more add-ins available, and some of them are superb – we just can’t be sure how up-to-date they’ll stay. Rest assured that any add-ins that we’re sure about will go into our “Red Gate Recommends” hub, and you’re welcome to recommend any you think we’ve missed.
Have a great weekend!