Visual Micro Arduino IDE for Visual Studio

Tim Leek informs us that the Visual Micro crew have extended their Arduino IDE for Visual Studio to include a unique Arduino debugger. “The debugger includes many features such as trace/break/step and update of variables on a running Arduino. The IDE and debugger has been successfully tested with various Seeduino boards. The debugger and graphical visualizations such as “Digital Pins” are open source and currently available for free. The standard IDE plugin is the only fully compatible Arduino plugin available outside of the Arduino IDE. The plugin is free and includes all of the features provided by the Arduino IDE such as upload, burn bootloader and compiles sketches that include multiple PDE/INO source files.”

For more information, visit the Microsoft Channel 9 Blog.

You can find the plugin and information on how to get a free license for the debugger at

(While this is not an open source project, we’re including it because it relates to Arduino and Visual Studio topics of interest to our readers.)

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  1. Been trying to use VS with arduino for a while, its better than the normal Arduino IDE… but not sure if its better than the Eclipse + addons for Arduino…

    Guess its time for a benchmark, autocomplete,… test .

    1. It uses arduino IDE folder as “base” so if your arduino ide has due support than Visual studio will also support it!

      i’ll check soon for a nice tutorial :)

    1. The debugger in Atmel Studio can not be used without damaging your Arduino or Seeduino board. The Visual Studio debugger is a software debugger, so it is a practical solution that normally works without complexity. The software debugger is not a perfect solution but it is good enough to improve productivity by a huge factor and also works over xbee.

      1. “damaging” is a little harsh of a word choice. Plus, presumably if you’re competent enough to use AVR Studio and the JTAG connection, you’re capable of replacing the bootloader when you’re done.

        Also, are we really that it’s the case that the bootloader can’t be used to self-write the program into flash while using JTAG for debugging? If not, it seems like you wouldn’t necessarily have to clobber your bootloader.

        I do like the software debugger feature though — seems like a huge (massive, actually) win over the Arduino status quo.

      2. I’m using atmet studio since more than a year, than god then I did not “damage” my board :o) Seriously Arduino basic editor is good for flasing leds, this addon with a debugger is really good it will help but (i didnt play with it ) so im not sure it is complete like the Amtel one… But lol I will still continu to damage my boards, of course you need to be a bit more programmer than just flashing 2 leds, but you can simulate any chip without having even a board plug in:o) now if you buy a little dragon, you can trace and debug with the JTAG interface.
        BTW who cares about the bootloader, you can always reburn it easily …
        well than is just how i like to do it :oP

  2. I’ve re-read the capabilities and instructions for atmel arduino debugging. I agree it is a technical solution for people that have avr experience. Atmel Studio does not fully support Arduino with multiple pde/ino files, requires users to add compiler options, change fuses, know library paths, understand boards and variants and uses analog pins. There are a number of other issues such as requiring a hardware programmer and hooking the reset pin. These things make it very difficult (almost impossible) to debug many arduino projects. It’s a highly accurate but VERY difficult solution for most mortals.
    The vs plugin is very different, extremely simple and makes things as easy as the arduino ide. The vs debugger can use a single digital pin or the standard usb upload cable. The vs debugger can debug any arduino sketch on any Arduino board with a single click. The vs debugger and expression watch know about the arduino core, arduino digital and analog pin numbers, libraries etc. Because the vs debugger uses serial it won’t, in some situations, be as technically excellent as Atmel but it is a real-world simple productivity tool, just like the Arduino.

  3. I’ve just discovered this tool since few days.
    I was used to write code and debug AVR controllers with Dragon or JTAG’ICE debugger in my job but since I started to play with Arduino as hobby I always had the problem of how to debug my code.
    VM plugin offers a nice cost effective debugging tool integrated into a free professional IDE environment.
    As far as I have understood, once you set breapoints the VM embeds breakpoint-hit condition and action management automatically into your code in a totally transparent way.
    Your code together with the debug code is loaded automatically into your arduino board so that the board will communicate debug information to the VM debugger IDE through a serial port.
    Due to the high fllexibility in selecting breakpoint conditions this debugging method appears simple and powerful allowing most of the dubug possibilities available only with traditional hw emulators/debuggers.
    Of course in some extreme situation VM debugger will be not enough but all in all it will fit 99% of the normal debugging needs; all this at extremely affordable pric .for both hobbyist and professional users.

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