April 2016: Visual Studio Community Edition is free and the recommended Visual Micro solution. An older version for Atmel Studio 7 is available from the Downloads page (not recommended).
Atmel Studio is a good ide but it only supports Arduino devices that are based on Atmel processors.
Visual Micro is a free plugin that implements the simple but powerful Arduino development features into the Atmel Studio 6.2 Ide. Atmel Corp. are the manufacturers of the Arduino micro-processors and provide a free Ide called Atmel Studio.
Atmel Studio with Visual Micro enables ANY Arduino project (with code completion) to be developed, compiled and then uploaded to any Arduino micro-processor. By default, the plugin shares the sources and tools of the Arduino Ide which means we use the same code, it's just the ide that is different!
The Atmel tools are at the heart of the Arduino Ide which is reliant upon them for compile and upload. It makes perfect sense to develop Arduino using Atmel Studio along with the rich user interface and other great development tools that it provides.
View Visual Micro's page in the Atmel Studio Gallery. Please add a gallery review. Thanks!!
Please note: Unless you have hardware that can take advantage of Atmel Studio features we recommend Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition which also has superior intellisense and code tools. Visual Studio also provides a wider variety of application development such as web, windows and mobile. Visual Micro can also work in both Ide's side-by-side (installed together)
Supports a combination of multiple .ino sketch and C++ (cpp) source codes per project which ensures that projects remain compatible with the open source community!
The Arduino plugin for Atmel Studio provides the features of the Arduino ide but inside Atmel Studio. Lightening fast compiler, one-click compile and upload, intellisense, serial monitor and more. An optional Arduino usb debugger is also available at a small cost. Works with all genuine and custom Arduino hardware.
The Arduino IDE and Atmel Studio share the same configuration options when installing custom hardware and/or Arduino libraries. This means that whatever works in the Arduino IDE will automatically work in Atmel Studio (with the Visual Micro plugin installed). The result is that Atmel Studio requires no additional learning or configuration to support, not just for genuine Arduino technologies but also all of the others such as Attiny, avrIO and many more.
tip: If Arduino .ino/.pde syntax is not color coded after installing the plugin then please close Atmel Studio, then run the installer and click uninstall, then run again and click install
If you encounter difficulties, need help or simply don't like a feature and want it changed then please join our forum and let us know. We listen to everyone and actively seek to improve.
Optional arduino usb debugger (small fee applies)
The following example shows an arduino in debug, running without delay. Two trace points have been set, one every 250 milliseconds and one conditional on the triggering of a counter based function. Breakpoints and Tracepoints support a range of additional properties such as conditional statements, please see the wiki
for more examples.
tip: use the breakpoint "Hit Count" property either as milliseconds (default) or as a standard integer counter
note: the image below is out of date. debug is enabled automatically in visual micro versions since 2013. So ignore the setting highlighted in the property window below.
The Visual Micro plugin for Atmel Studio is almost identical in operation to the Visual Studio Arduino plugin so all of the documents on this web site now also apply to Atmel Studio. The single Visual Micro installer installs the plugin for Atmel Studio and also for Visual Studio 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Switching between various Arduino boards (or custom boards), adding Arduino libraries, compile and upload are all provided with single click ease. Any/all Arduino projects can be opened and compiled without need for configuration change.
A highly optimised compiler produces identical output to the Arduino Ide in a fraction of the time (optimization can be disabled for advanced use). Switching between different versions of Arduino or different Arduino sketchbook folders reflects instantly into the Atmel Studio user interface, no need to re-start the ide (subject to Atmel known intellisense minor bug fix).
The Micro Explorer tool - Provides Arduino help and reference
Atmel Studio is installed with the powerful VisualAssistX (vax) extension. Vax provides a host of useful features such as Intellisense but also provides additional options that make Arduino code easier to read/navigate
In the following simple example, you can see that we have switched on background highlight for the current Arduino code line and also changed the brace matching color from black to purple. We also set local Arduino code variables to appear in bold.
In Atmel Studio you will find the VAX options are on the top menu. Click the "Display" node to find the options discussed above.
(if you any suggestions of how we can improve the product please contact us, we appreciate feed back)
tip: If Arduino .ino/.pde syntax is not color coded after installing the plugin, or intellisense is missing, then please close Atmel Studio, then run the installer and click uninstall, then run again and click install
july 2014 news for advanced users: new release - supports the new ATMEL-ICE programmer for Arduino SAM and AVR (as ISP)
Visual Micro provides a software debugger for Arduino which will work for most projects and requires just a usb cable or radio such as xbee. The Visual Micro debugger will work directly with the Arduino .ino source code and cpp source codes of the current sketch.
Atmel Studio also provides more advanced debug features for more advanced users who own a hardware debugger such as ICE or who are using 32 bit boards such as the Arduino Zero. To access the hardware debugger either convert your project to a standard atmel studio gcc project or build with Visual Micro and click "File>Open Object File for Debugging". If you use a native Atmel Studio debugger you might find that reducing the optimization level in the project properties of the debug project will be required otherwise some breakpoints or variable data will not be detected.