Attach to Vault Application Framework processes

Manually attaching to processes whilst debugging Vault Application Framework applications can become tedious. Instead, Visual Commander - a free extension for Visual Studio - can be used to create a button which will perform the process instead.

The end result

The details below were tested using Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Commander 2.8.1.

Installing Visual Commander

Visual Commander can also be downloaded as a VSIX from their website.

Visual Commander can be installed by opening Visual Studio, selecting the Tools menu, then Extensions and Updates, selecting Online on the left, and entering Visual Commander into the search box.

Installing the Visual Commander extension

Installing the extension will require Visual Studio to be restarted.

The “Attach to VAF Processes” Command

Creating the command

Once Visual Commander is installed, a command can be created to automate the process of attaching to the MFAppPlatform.exe processes:

Open the Visual Commander commands window

Adding a command

Altering the command properties

Remove the existing command code and replace it with the following:

using EnvDTE;
using EnvDTE80;
using System.Management;
using System;

public class C : VisualCommanderExt.ICommand
    public void Run(EnvDTE80.DTE2 DTE, Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Package package) 
        bool attached = false;
        foreach(Process proc in DTE.Debugger.LocalProcesses)
                attached = true;
        if (attached)
            System.Windows.MessageBox.Show("There are no MFAppPlatform.exe processes to attach to.");

Note the number of the command (shown in the # column). This will be used to reference the command.

Noting the command number

Adding the command to the menu

Customizing the toolbar

Adding the command to the toolbar

Selecting the command

Move the command

Assigning a keyboard shortcut

To assign a keyboard shortcut to the command, the click Keyboard... when customizing the toolbar:

Keyboard button

Selecting the command to add the shortcut to

Entering the keyboard shortcut keys