And the day I posted it, it was already out-dated and kind of limited to people having access to a full edition of Visual Studio. 🙁
But, for some unknown reason, which I wasn’t ever able to get an appropriate response to, Microsoft removed this capability from all Visual Studio Express Editions after 2005. Turning it into an exclusive feature for the paying customer.
In preparation of our book about Advanced OSD customization (Stealing with pride – Available e.g. on Amazon), we spent quite lot of time testing the different Visual Studio Express editions, as we are still convinced, that the ability to properly debug a script during the development and testing, is a huge benefit and reduces the overall time spent on the development process. And while we were able to get certain debugging functionality working with some of these editions, it required the installation of several editions and a few un-supported changes to them, and it was still limited to a few usage scenarios only. So at the end, the disadvantages outweighed the benefits and we came to the conclusion, while we still must include in-depth information about how to properly debug and troubleshoot script files, we would have to recommend using any of the “full” editions of Visual Studio.
And this was the best option until about one week ago, as Microsoft publicly announced the Visual Studio Community Edition. A full-featured IDE. For free! (It’s free for any individual “developer”. Certain limitations apply to the usage within organizations, as e.g. being available for only 5 Developers. Please have a look on the QA section on the Visual Studio Community edition web page)
Visual Studio Community Edition is actually equivalent to Visual Studio Professional with all it’s bells and whistles. Most importantly in regards to the topic described, all debugging as mentioned in my former post and in the book will work. I did a lot of testing during the last couple days to verify that everything we described does actually work with this edition as well. And it does!
For details on how to properly debug, please have a look on my former blog post, as the basic approach and handling hasn’t really changed since the time it got published. And if you want to get even more detailed information including step by step guides on how to develop and debug a custom script for MDT, I highly recommend to have a look in our most recent book.