.NET - Modeling PowerToys for Visual Studio 2008

Yesterday a new version of the open-source PowerToys for the Class Designer and Distributed System Designer was released. The previous version didn't work with Visual Studio 2008. It was possible to modify the version number in the .AddIn files manually (8->9), but not all features could be enabled. This version fully supports Visual Studio 2008 and it has several new and great features.


You can download the latest version at the CodePlex website :

Just install ModelingPowerToys.msi and restart Visual Studio.

Normally it's that simple, but on my laptop (Windows Vista) the add-ins were not available in Visual Studio. All files were installed in C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\MSEnvShared\Addins but the Add-in Manager of Visual Studio didn't load them. So I copied all files to my personal AddIns folder in C:\Users\UserName\My Documents\Visual Studio 2008\AddIns. After this, everything worked fine.

A few hours later I also installed it on my company laptop (Windows XP). On this PC all files were stored in C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\MSEnvShared\Addins and the installation went smoothly. So I have no idea if it is a Vista issue or just a problem on my personal laptop.


Both add-ins provide additional functionalities for the Visual Studio Class Designer, such as HTML/XML export, new creation commands, filtering commands (members, lines and appearance), formatting commands (alignment, front/back), a pan/zoom window, a documentation (XML command) window, a floating properties window, ...

These powertoys do not support DBML (LINQ to SQL) nor EDMX (Entity Data Model) models which is a pity. Nevertheless these powertoys are really a must have for everyone who uses the class designers in Visual Studio.

A screenshot can say more than 1000 words, so here's one which highlights almost all features of the Modeling PowerToys.