The strange case of no ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase fired, not even once

Continuing today with some tests about the The OnConnection method and ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup of Visual Studio add-ins of my last post, I created a sample add-in using the code of the first sample (temporary UI) of my article HOWTO: Adding buttons, commandbars and toolbars to Visual Studio .NET from an add-in, and later I changed my mind to use the ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase using the second sample. To my surprise, the ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase was never fired, not even once, despite the fact that debugging the add-in should fire it each time because of the /resetaddin command-line flag in the Start Options of the Debug tab of the project properties window.

Opening a command prompt window to use devenv.exe /resetaddin MyAddin.Connect caused no effect too. So, I started to get paranoid about the VS 2008 SP1 that I installed some weeks ago. Could it be possible that it broke the behavior somehow? Unfortunately no, the cause was other: in order to Visual Studio calls the OnConnection method of your add-in with the ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase, your add-in registration must specify that it wants “CommandPreload”, a flag in the registry (COM registration) or tag in the .AddIn file (XML registration). Otherwise Visual Studio doesn’t bother to load add-ins that haven’t requested the ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase. When you use the add-in wizard to create an add-in project, the page 4 of 6 has a checkbox:

“Yes, create a “Tools” menu item. By default this will cause the Add-in to load when the button is clicked unless the Add-in is set to load on startup of the host application.”

that you must check for the wizard to set that “CommandPreload” flag. I totally forgot this flag and it happens that since I always delete the whole code of the Connect class generated by the add-in wizard because I don’t like the code that it creates, most of the time I don’t bother to check that checkbox to delete less code… so, if you change your mind about whether you want ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase or not in your add-in, it is not enough to change the code of your OnConnection method, you need to pay attention to that flag, either to get the ext_ConnectMode.ext_cm_UISetup phase, or to optimize your add-in preventing to load it for a phase that it won’t use…