News September 14th 2014: The release has been updated with minor changes. Better 3rd party hardware support and support for Arduino Zero + other minor changes (see the release notes)
Visual Micro is a free Arduino programming plugin that makes Microsoft Visual Studio 2008-2013 and Atmel Studio 6.1-6.2 into full Arduino programming environment.
Visual Micro ensures that your sketch code remains fully compatible with the Arduino Ide and is the only Ide to support all Arduino versions in a single Ide.
Visual Micro shares the same configuration as the Arduino Ide so the arduino.cc wiki applies fully when using Visual Micro.
If you already have an Ide installed the installation takes just a few minutes then Arduino projects can be developed, compiled and then uploaded to your open source hardware.
Visual Micro is fully compatible with the features of the Arduino development environment and uses the same libraries, source code and development tools. The difference lies in Visual Micro's user interface which provides a more professional development environment.
New Arduino users are guided to work within the normal Arduino framework, in a similar manner to the Arduino IDE. Advanced Arduino users have a range of options that allow the simple (but restricting) Arduino rules to be broken.
IDE features such as:- see/edit library sources, jump to code definition, jump to compiler error, class explorer, intellisense, remembers board and Arduino version per project, code completion and a super fast compiler make learning and programming Arduino faster and easier.
youtube overview. A quick start guide is at the bottom of this page. See us and other development tools on arduino.cc
More info ...
Visual Micro also includes an optional (not free) Arduino software debugger.
The debugger is unique and for the first time enables Arduino developers to monitor a running Arduino by simply clicking the code they want to monitor.
The concept of clicking code and adding break or trace points is common practise. The unique element that Visual Micro provides is to silently add (inject) special (known protocol) Arduino 'Serial' instructions during compilation without altering the developers original source code.
The debugger also listens for the special debug Serial messages and populates the various debugger status windows to reflect what is happening on the Arduino. When required, for break points that pause and wait, the 'Serial' is also used by the Arduino to listen for the F5 Continue command.
The debugger supports many features found in hardware debug tools such as conditional breakpoints, hit counters and update of variables without need to re-compile. There is also a few features not found in other debug tools such as timed break points and trace points (ie: every x millis).
The usb debugger is a great assistance but does not have some features found in hardware debuggers. For example the Visual Micro debugger can only step between break points where as a hardware debugger can usually step each line of code. note: Changing break or trace point settings requires re-compile and upload to the Arduino
Visual Micro provides many additional features such as compiler error drill down, disassembly view, Arduino help and examples explorer, usb serial debugger and more. The examples explorer makes it easy to work with or view the examples installed with the Arduino IDE and libraries (see below).
Tips for Arduino variations:-
Energia and texas Instruments
Pic32 and chipKIT
Please see the documentation for more information.
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