News 11th Sept - Visual Micro 1309.11 has been released today. We highly recommend that all users upgrade. There have been many recent changes in the Arduino development tool, the latest version is compatible with them all, along with the past Arduino versions. If you installed 1309.4 recently then you should also upgrade.
Atmel Studio, based on Visual Studio 2010, it is free
The free 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 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 install the latest beta from our downloads site, you will find it in "DOWNLOADS>Visual Micro for Arduino (Beta Channel)"
If you like the product please review it in Atmel Studio Gallery
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.
1) Install Atmel 6.1 (june 2013 release or later)
(please see known bugs list below and follow us on codeplex for updates)
2) Install Visual Micro
The installation process for Atmel Studio is simpler than for Visual Studio in as much as syntax color coding is configured automatically by the Visual Micro installer.
After installing Visual Micro, a new "first time use" wizard guides users through the final installation process which simply involves specifying the location of the Arduino IDE.
To open or create a sketch use normal Atmel Studio menu commands or the special menus for Arduino such as "File>New>Sketch Project" or "File>Open>Sketch>Project".
Use the "Tools>Visual Micro" menu or the tool bar to select an ide and board such as "Arduino 1.5.x" and "Uno". tip: The "Tools>Visual Micro" menu contains a number of other useful functions (see wiki)
Click any of the Atmel Studio "Degug>Start" commands to compile and upload. The build commands on the "Project" menu compile without upload.
When a project is active in Atmel Studio, the "Project" menu provides features such as the ability to import an Arduino library into the code and to upload the last build.
All Visual Micro user configurab;le settings can be found globally in "Tools>Options>Visual Micro" or in the "View>Property Window" (ALT+ENTER) when a project is selected
supports Arduino 0023, 1.0.x and 1.5.x
Known Bugs and Workarounds
install on windows 8: .net 3.5 must be enabled via control panel otherwise the installer will fail. (why? the plugin caters for multiple .net versions but the installer needs to also work with vs2008, .net 3.5 is common to all)
intellisense not working: ensure visualassistx is enabled (in Atmel Studio), run the Visual Micro installer repair, contact the forum
intellisense not as good as vs version: In this initial release of the plugin for Atmel Studio, some features, such as intellisense, do not work as well as they do in the Visual Studio versions. These shortfalls do not prevent Arduino development but might cause some minor aggrivations. Please see this forum post for examples and further details.
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 counter
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 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
(if you any suggestions of how we can improve the product please contact us, we appreciate feed back)
debugger properties missing? please install the June 2013 release of Atmel Studio, then re-run the Visual Micro install