AddOn Studio 2010

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AddOn Studio 2010 is a continuation of the original AddOn Studio line, AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft, and has been brought back to life using Visual Studio 2010, while the authors and their off-shore development teams are busy making other Microsoft things. The original concept has promise and a lot of potential, and possibly not only just for WoW itself. The bulk of official releases of the original inception have been nearly zero over the last few years, and this tool is deserving of new life. Support: Issue Tracker and Forums Twitter: @AddonStudio2010

This page is being primarily updated via wowwiki. This copy is for convienence. Please refer to Addon Studio 2010 for source pages and current updates.

AddOn Studio 2010

What you need:


Getting Started


  • Download and install the Visual Studio Shell
  • Download AddOn Studio 2010
  • Copy the AddOn Studio folder 'aswow' in the zip file to any location you like, such as 'c:\Program Files' or 'd:\apps'
  • Run the WowAddonStudio.exe, or create a short-cut and run that instead.

Basic usage:

  • Create a new Project
  • Add existing files or create new ones
  • Deploy to WoW by clicking build
  • Run WoW to use your Addon...



  • Rename or delete the installed 'aswow' folder.
  • Follow the Installation steps above, skipping the Visual Studio Shell portion.

Original Microsoft Introduction 2007 (mostly verbatim)

For a big chunk of the gaming population, AddOns are mysterious things you download and hope will run. But for many talented people, they're an opportunity to help the community and make things easier for the rest of us. So what does this mean exactly? The project team has converted the AddOn writing process from text and code to drag and drop. You get the look and feel of common programs like Visual Basic but with the command structure of WoW. By having the process be graphic, you just pick and choose what you want from the list. Specifically, AddOn Studio will provide an interface that allows AddOn creators to build in familiar surroundings. You'll also have the ability to auto-generate items like the table of contents or lua events. Error checking for FrameXML and Lua parsing also helps to speed the AddOn process up. Likewise, they have included Ace2 templates so you can still tap into one of the most commonly used AddOn libraries and updater systems. Long-term, this should open up AddOn creation to those that enjoy dabbling with programing, but don't have the time or skill to build them without a bit more structure. And that can only be a good thing.

Today's Reality

Concepts of game and AddOn development, especially for WoW, are far more understood and by a much larger audience now, and the original promotional ideas for this tool no longer hold. Some concepts like pure drag-and-drop development for the masses historically have never really useful in practice. What this product really was, and is, is a general IDE for WoW AddOn development using a free Visual Studio back-end (much like the free Express versions of Visual Studio C# and Web), with additional support for graphical frame development via a fairly extensive set of modules in the IDE. There were quite a few bells and whistles too, including attempts at supporting nearly every VS integration feature there was (which would be rare for a game production tool of any kind), all of which together threatened to make WoW Add-On development tools a real first class citizen in a world where that almost never happens. But, there were always too many almost finished features, and too many critical bugs making the original product almost unusable. I would like to thank those involved in creating and releasing earlier renditions of this tool (the original Microsoft sponsored 1.0 and 2.0) for thier effort, which was an enormous amount of work and time spent, and to Microsoft for supporting extensibility in their products and for supporting free software as much as they have in their own way.

What's Changed

Most of the original features are still intact, and most are in much better shape than they were. Some things are different and hopefully these changes overall are for the better.

- Support for the installer was dropped. This was one of the biggest headaches they faced and was a huge time sink and left nearly every first time user stranded at some point. Installers, especially for a VS shell product are non-trivial and in this case probably required more traditional packaging and release QA than they had purview for. Instead a great deal of work, in this version, was put into making this a portable install style product, where you just drop the files and run it. For anyone who knows about products involving COM and Windows applications, this is non-trivial as well, but is done at start up time with more intimate knowledge of whats actually missing. And because this is based on the ISO shell there's far less to do and a much greater chance for a successful experience.

- Web Project - Support was added in this rendition of AddOn Studio for basic Web Project support for existing web sites. This translates to allowing a multi-project environment where you can potentially edit your AddOn website or satellite sites relating to your development or support in the same IDE that you are editing your AddOns, which for some should enhance productivity greatly. This includes support for the automatic Web Project mini-webhost, so you can run the changes locally before deploying. You wont be allowed to "create new sites" via the templates because the retail templates are for C# and VB projects which aren't supported, obviously. But this is really a non-issue since you can use any arbitrary existing folder, ftp, http address as an existing site.

What Works

This is a short list that expressly or implicitly covers major historic issues that have been handled in the new version with better support, direct fixes, and/or new and updated infrastructure.

Updated Support:

  • Cataclysm - Allows everything from 40000 version support, to playing well with WoW Cataclysm and earlier game content files, and supports the new blizzard content toolkits. This cross support should help some who are still migrating using old data sets or localization toolkit files. Fixes include things such as allowing the proper handling of file lock contention and conherency between WoW itself and AddOn Studio, and allowing both to now harmlessly and peacefully run side-by-side no matter which you start first. Should work now with incomplete data sets, via the new WoW patch and content update process.
  • SCC Integration for SVN - the new product includes an optional, integrated, and functional version of AnkhSVN, with full support for all context menus. There is guarenteed support for sites like the Curse sponsored WowAce and Curse Forge. Plays nicely with TortoiseSVN where you can use both of these at the same time and at will. If there is interest in using TFS or others like VisualSVN, GIT, Mecurial, etc... please let me know.
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7 - using newer set of tools and compilers, support was updated for a much smoother experience on those OS's, and for both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions, and should still be backward compatible as far back as Visual Studio 2010 support goes. I believe this goes all the way back to Windows XP sp3 and above, but not of course back as far as Windows 2000, NT 4.0, or Windows 95. Windows Vista requires Vista SP1.
  • In-AddOn Web Editors - Full support is now included for enhanced editing of web type files in your AddOn directly, allowing the full VS functionallty to exist in the AddOn projects. This includes the modern style Design/Code HTML editor, which is similar to Dream Weaver design/code style editing. This makes XML, CSS, and HTML files "first class citizens" in Visual Studio world for your AddOn. Personally I think this is a huge leap forward and certainly one less stress point, and one less time you might feel compeled to run off to another tool taking time away from what you are really trying to create.


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See also

External links

What you need