Feature Builder Power Tool


Feature Builder is a Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010 which helps you easily create rich Visual Studio extensions. You can quickly package up sample code with custom menus, or create complete automated guidance experiences targeted toward a specific technology.

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by Firedancer | July 16 2011

After installing this, my Visual Studio 2010 slows down and takes a long time to load. I am running on an x64 machine with 8GB RAM.

by ccb2010 | February 17 2011

I get an error from Feature Builder every time I load certain solutions. I can't find where it is installed, or how to fully uninstall it. Not very professional.

by DanielMeixner | December 22 2010

The Feature Builder Power Tool is a great tool to get support writing your own extension for VS 2010. To a degree it's literally self-explaining. The Feature Builder brings the concept of "In-Product"-Guidance to Visual Studio and explains how it is to be used in the same way.
The written guidance is great but to get the most out of it, I recommend to take a deeper look at the example implementations which are loaded, when you open one of the new project templates.
Another good starting point is watching the webcasts of Michael Lehman. They can be found here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Tags/featurebuilder

I created an extension on my own and loaded it up into the gallery - just watch out for the Check-In Policy Builder for the creation of TFS check-in policies. The Feature Builder Power Tool really made my live very easy implementing it.

Good work!

by Franci Penov | December 21 2010

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  • FBPT for Visual Studio 2012?
    4 Posts | Last post May 01, 2013
    • I'm in desperate need for a version of the feature builder power tools that work with VS2012.
      I made some serious investments and would hate to see this effort being wasted.
      Thanks in advance for a prompt answer, positive or negative.
    • There don't seem to be any answers to any of the questions being asked. This is never a good sign. :-(
    • Hello Feature Builders...
      I wish this work had gained more traction within Microsoft but alas this was never to be the case and thus I left at the end of December 2010.  I did do some bug fixes and enhancements on contract during 2011 which, unfortunately, were never released by Microsoft as the internal sponsor also left.
      I am considering building a commercial replacement which would implement most of the frequently used capabilities of Feature Builder.
      If you are interested in this work or if there is anything I can do to help diagnose your existing issues please feel free to contact me at michael-at-dreamtimestudioz-dot-com
    • The Feature Builder Power Tool is no longer supported by Microsoft, and no version will ship for VS2012.
      This technology has now been absorbed into the NuPattern.org project, and NuPattern has a version for VS2012 now.
      Recommend moving over to NuPattern.
  • Visual Studio 2012 Support (?)
    2 Posts | Last post May 01, 2013
    • Hello,
      Do you have any plan on upgrading the extension to support VS2012?
      We've developed huge amount of extensions upon this power tool and now We're sad to see no support for VS2012.
      Looking forward to your answer.
    • The Feature Builder Power Tool is no longer supported by Microsoft, and no version will ship for VS2012.
      This technology has now been absorbed into the NuPattern.org project, and NuPattern has a version for VS2012 now.
      Recommend moving over to NuPattern.
  • Problem starting up, FB not installed?
    12 Posts | Last post July 17, 2012
    • Hello,
      I get this message when opening certain VS2010 solutions:
      "You must manually upgrade your building solution created by the RC preview.
      Please rename FeatureBuilder.feature file to FeatureBuilder.featureid and then close and re-open your solution."
      I don't see Feature Builder in my list of extensions.  If it is installed, how do I uninstall it?  If it once was installed, how do I clean it up so I don't see this message?
      I have no FeatureBuilder.feature files on my computer.
    • Any ideas on how to fix this?  It's very annoying -- do I need to uninstall and reinstall VS 2010?
    • Hello?  Hello?
    • I am having the same problem with FeatureBuilder and cannot find the file anywhere on my computer.  This is very annoying.  Can anyone shed any light on this?  Someone had to write this error message.
    • Nearly two months since this issue was raised, and no reply.
      Akom, I think we'll have to reinstall VS2010 to clean up this mess.
      Thanks, guys.
    • I was getting this exact issue today after installing SpecFlow. To correct I uninstalled all Feature Builder extentions using the Extention Manager then Closed VS2010. Next Manually delete any Feature builder folders in the C:\Users\XXXX\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft folder. 
      Start up VS 2010 and no more popup Error
      Good luck,
    • I have uninstalled and reinstalled VS 2010, and still have the FeatureBuilder virus.  There are no FeatureBuilder extensions listed in Extensions Manager.
      Adam, thanks for the suggestion, but there are no FeatureBuilder folders in C:\Users\XXXX\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft, or anywhere else on my computer.
      What are the names of any FeatureBuilder-related files or reg keys, so I can try to remove them?
    • I uninstalled VS2010 using the uninstall utility (VS2010_Uninstall-RTM.ENU.exe) and reinstalled.  I haven't seen the popup since.
    • I upgraded my workstation from feature builder 1.0.0 20jul10 to 1.0.1 29oct10.  Afterwards when i open any project, regardless of whether or not it contained feature builder based projects, i was getting a dialog with title="Feature Builder Upgrade Notice" and body="You must manually upgrade your building solution created by the RC preview.  Please rename FeatureBuilder.feature file to FeatureBuilder.featureid and then close and re-open your solution"
      After reviewing this post i tried the following steps which fixed this issue on my workstation.
      1. close all vstudio instances 
      2. del contents of %localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions
      3. if wp7 dev tools installed del contents of %localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0Exp\Extensions
      4. reopen vstudio and verified dialog no longer occurring
    • In my case this was due to the "MVVM Training" extension, but of course it didn't know it from the beginning. What I did was:
      1) install this Feature Builder extension, and find out that now the message dialogs showing were two in a row when opening the "bad" solution
      2) in extension manager list, remove - one by one - all the items that were related to Feature Buidler (there were a number of them, Guidance, Runtime, ecc.). 
      3) During step 2, when trying to remove one of them (I think the Feature Builder Runtime non-ultimate), a dialog was alerting me about the dependencies, and that if I removed that extensione, some other - apparently unrelated - extension would have stopped working. That was "the culprit". 
      By the way, if you are looking for the "bad" extension, think about something quite "complex" with wizards, guidances, integrated designers, o stuff like that. I mean, probably not something with just a context menu item more.
    • I had the same issue after installing the "Lab - Intro to WF4" training which also installs the Feature Extension Runtime 1.0. Uninstalling and upgrading to v1.1 did not resolve the issue.
      Uninstalling the lab and Feature Builder extensions did. :)
    • Same issue here ! Does anyone finally solve this bug ?
  • Cannot update extension to version 1.0.1
    3 Posts | Last post July 14, 2012
    • I have installed version 1.0 some time ago. Reading the instructions, I uninstalled the previous version and installed the new version within Visual Studio.
      I got the message that there is an update, version 1.0.1, although I just downloaded the newer version.
      I uninstalled the extension again, downloaded the extension again, and installed again, outside Visual Studio, and again I get the message that a newer version v1.0.1 exists...
      Is there a problem with the extension?
    • Same story here.
      I opened the VSIX and the content of the vsixmanifest still shows version 1.0.
      Either the download is wrong or the new version is a complete mess up.
      Personally I'm not too concerned with 1.0.1, I would rather see a version 2.0 working in VS2012...
    • Same behavior here. Some has a clue to solve this !
      Any way to change the manifest signature ?
  • Unable to install
    3 Posts | Last post May 27, 2012
    • Getting following error:
      Beginning to install extension to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate...
      Install Error : System.IO.PathTooLongException: C:\Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Feature Builder Power Tool\1.0\T\P\Extensibility\BLPT.zip: BlueprintTemplate/templates/projects/feature extensions/featureextension.csproj
      Any work around?
    • Getting following error:
      Beginning to install extension to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate...
      Install Error:
      Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InconsistentNestedReferenceIdException: The extension reference ('FeatureExtensionRuntimePro') does not match the ID of the nested extension ('FeatureExtensionRuntime') at 'FeatureExtensionRuntimePro.vsix'.
    • I have the same error Vladimir is getting... Any news, people??
  • Roadmap Feature builder vs 2011
    1 Posts | Last post April 03, 2012
    • Towards the new release of vs 2011, is it possible to get some insight information concerning Feature Builder.
  • ClickOnce
    2 Posts | Last post March 19, 2012
    • I installed this tool and no longer able to use the publish button from a projects Publish page. I get the following error "Cannot publish because a project failed to build". However, I am able to publish from the Build menu.
      Disable the tool, restart VS2010 then publishing works again from the Publish page. Enable the tool, Clickonce again fails to publish from the Publish page.
      I would like an explanation of the deviant behavior of this tool, in addition to a solution.
    • Hi,
      I am running into this issue too - when it started, I did not have the feature builder power tool installed but have a number of other extensions that are installed.  I installed the feature builder tool, thinking that that would resolve this but it hasn't.   There must be another extension that is using the old version of the feature builder tool - how can I find out and remove that one to resolve this issue?
  • Conflict with SpecFlow
    2 Posts | Last post January 22, 2012
    • Feature Builder seems to open a dialog box with a warning when there is a .feature file in the project. This extension is used by SpecFlow and is a standard used by many BDD tools. Feature Builder should at most issue a warning in the log but without blocking the process with a modal dialog.
      See https://github.com/techtalk/SpecFlow/issues/151
    • This also affects any SharePoint solutions containing features and prevents the solution from loading. Very, very annoying. What an assumptive toolset to take ownership of a file extension within projects that don't even use it!
  • Found one minor issue with this tool
    3 Posts | Last post January 22, 2012
    • I installed Feature Builder and when I opened my SharePoint solution it displayed me that "FeatureBuilder.Feature must be converted to FeatureBuilder.Id" message twice. Twice because of two runtimes i.e. Extension and Extension ultimate runtime. Just because SharePoint solution had features. Late I found that for any file having .feature extension that is added to the project results in this warning message.
    • I also hit the same issue. But this is actually not a minor one, as the message box blocks the solution loading, and breaks several automation tools that drive the VS IDE.
      And in general, it is a bad idea for an extension to assume it "owns" specific file extension or that it's so important that it can prevent VS from doing its work.
    • Has there been any admission of a problem from MS about this issue? I'm dying to do the WWF hands-on labs but was forced to uninstall Feature Builder due to this problem.
  • Issue with Cancel in Project Template Wizard
    1 Posts | Last post January 11, 2011
    • Hi
      The Cancel button in Project Template Wizard is not working. 
      Create a FeatureBuilder project of type Starter Pack +Tools. The project contains built-in project template and associated command to launch the wizard OnBeforeUnFold the template. Cancel button is for cancelling the operation, where the project creation should be cancelled. But it is creating the project with replacement parameters. 
      How can be cancel the project creation using the Cancel button in the Wizard?