The new Visual Studio SharePoint development tools are way more than “only” a set of tools that helps you during the process of developing SharePoint 2010 solutions. The new development tools ship with a whole framework that allows you to extend the tools to fit your specific needs. While the team responsible for the tools, put a lot of effort into making the extensibility very easy, there are some hidden gems, which, if you know them, will make extending the tools even easier.
A good place to start learning about the extensibility possibilities of the new Visual Studio SharePoint development tools is the Extending the SharePoint Tools in Visual Studio section on MSDN . This section contains a lot of content on the extensibility of the new development tools: from the extensibility 101 to available points of extension and of course some samples.
Once you get through the samples, you might want to try some more advanced topics like creating designers or parameterized Deployment Steps. So far there is very little information available on what you could achieve with the Visual Studio SharePoint development tools extensibility as well as how you could achieve it.
In the few next posts I will share with you some tips on how to get things done while creating extensions for the Visual Studio SharePoint development tools.