This page is now retired and kept for archival purposes. This programming guide has been published on MSDN at

The information in this topic applies only to System Center 2012 SP1.

Console add-ins in Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) enables customers and partners to create extensions for the VMM console. These extensions are presented as ribbon buttons entries that do specific actions when they are clicked, or display or custom views in the console. Add-ins let you supplement the VMM console with functionality specific to your needs.

What is an Add-In?

Virtual Machine Manager add-ins are defined by manifest files. Manifest files are XML files that describe what your add-in will do and how it is presented in the console. If your add-in has custom code, the custom code must be provided by a Microsoft .NET 4.0 DLL that is packaged with the manifest.


Manifests define your add-in for the console. It contains the basic information such as authorship, description, and version. It additionally defines each piece of your add-in such as ribbon entries and views. If your add-in only provides ribbon buttons that either browse to URLs or start external applications, you will not have to provide a DLL.

For more information, see Manifests.

Custom Code

If an add-in defines new pivot views or custom actions for the ribbon, a DLL must be created and packaged with the add-in manifest. The DLL is a Microsoft .NET 4.0 using the System.Addin namespace. Depending on the base class used by your code, you can define what your add-in will provide to the console, and how it will operate when invoked.

For more information, see Base Classes.

Required Assemblies

When creating an add-in that has custom code or a view, you will have to reference the add-in assemblies provided by the console. These assemblies are located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\Virtual Machine Manager\bin folder. The following VMM assemblies are generally required for creating add-ins:

  • Errors
  • Remoting
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.VirtualMachineManager
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.VirtualMachineManager.UIAddIns
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.VirtualMachineManager.UIAddins.ContextTypes

Installing Add-Ins

Each add-in is first packed into a ZIP file and then installed. Installation is performed through the console itself by selecting the Settings workspace. Then selecting the Console Add-Ins node, and then clicking the Import Add-In button. An import wizard will be presented to the user letting them to select a ZIP file that contains the add-in.

For more information, see Managing Add-ins Overview.

See Also