.NET Reflector: Extended

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.

Our new hub for .NET Reflector add-ins and tools

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.

DIY

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!

Closing Points…

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.

In Summary

We’ve just published a hub for add-ins and reflector-aware tools, as well as an introduction to creating your own add-ins. You should go and check them out.

Have a great weekend!

 

This entry was posted in extensions, Reflector and tagged , on by .

About Chris

A background in technical publishing; editing articles on Simple-Talk and SQLServerCentral for 3 years now. When I’ve not been editing articles, I’ve been editing or proofing books covering everything from .NET performance testing to Exchange Server, XML Schema Design, and the SQL Server Query Optimizer. I built a few websites to help pay my way through college, but the less said about them, the better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *