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AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio
User Guide

Setting Up the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio

This topic describes how to install and configure the Toolkit for Visual Studio.

Prerequisites

To install and configure the Toolkit for Visual Studio, you must:

  • Have an AWS account. This account enables you to use AWS services. To get an AWS account, on the AWS home page, choose Create an AWS Account.

  • Run a supported operating system: Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7.

    We recommend that you install the latest service packs and updates for the Windows version you're using.

  • Visual Studio 2013 or later (including Community editions).

    We recommend that you install the latest service packs and updates.

Note

The Toolkit for Visual Studio is still available if you're using Visual Studio versions 2008, 2010, and 2012 (including Express editions where available). However, it is not supported. For Express editions, the installation includes only the AWS project templates and the standalone deployment tool. Visual Studio Express editions don't support third-party extensions, such as AWS Explorer. Find links to these older versions of the Toolkit for Visual Studio at the bottom of this page.

Install the Toolkit for Visual Studio

The Toolkit for Visual Studio 2017 is distributed in the Visual Studio Marketplace. You can also install and update the toolkit using the Extensions and Updates dialog within Visual Studio.

The Toolkit for Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 versions is part of the AWS Tools for Windows. You can install the AWS Tools for Windows for these versions as follows.

  1. Navigate to the page AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio.

  2. In the Download section, choose Toolkit for Visual Studio 2013-2015 to download the installer.

  3. To start the installation, run the downloaded installer and follow the instructions.

Note

By default, the Toolkit for Visual Studio is installed in the Program Files directory, which requires administrator privileges. To install the Toolkit for Visual Studio as a non-administrator, specify a different installation directory.

Specify Credentials

Before you can use the Toolkit for Visual Studio, you must provide one or more sets of valid AWS credentials. These credentials allow you to access your AWS resources through the Toolkit for Visual Studio. They're also used to sign programmatic web services requests, so AWS can verify that the request comes from an authorized source.

Important

AWS credentials consist of an access key and a secret key. We recommend that you do not use your account's root credentials. Instead, create one or more IAM users, and then use those credentials. For more information, see Using IAM Users and Best Practices for Managing AWS Access Keys.

The Toolkit for Visual Studio supports multiple sets of credentials from any number of accounts. Each set is referred to as a profile. When you add a profile to Toolkit for Visual Studio, the credentials are encrypted and stored in the SDK Credential Store. This is also used by the AWS SDK for .NET and the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell. The SDK Credential Store is specific to your Windows user account on your machine and can't be decrypted or used elsewhere.

In addition to the encrypted SDK Credential Store, the Toolkit for Visual Studio can also read credentials from the plain-text shared credentials file used by other AWS SDKs and the AWS CLI. To use the Toolkit for Visual Studio, at least one credential profile must be available from either the SDK Credential Store or the shared credential file.

Note

Credential profiles created using the Toolkit for Visual Studio are saved only to the encrypted SDK Credential Store.

  1. Open AWS Explorer in Visual Studio. On the View menu, choose AWS Explorer. Or press Ctrl+K, and then press A.

  2. Choose the New Account Profile icon to the right of the Profile list.

    The New Account Profile dialog box opens.

  1. To create a credential profile, enter the following data into the dalog box. When you create an account in the AWS Management Console, or create an IAM user and set up credentials for the user, you are prompted to download and save the generated credentials. You can choose Import from cvs file to browse to the file containing the access and secret key credentials, and automatically import them into the dialog box.

    Profile Name

    (Required) The profile's display name.

    Access Key ID

    (Required) The access key.

    Secret Access Key

    (Required) The secret key.

    Account Number

    (Optional) The credential's account number. The Toolkit for Visual Studio uses the account number to construct Amazon Resource Names (ARNs).

    Account Type

    (Required) The account type. This entry determines which regions are displayed in AWS Explorer when you specify this profile. For Standard AWS Account:

    • If you choose AWS GovCloud (US) Account, AWS Explorer displays only the AWS GovCloud (US) region.

    • If you choose Amazon AWS Account - China (Beijing) Region, AWS Explorer displays only the China (Beijing) Region.

  2. To add the profile to the SDK Credential Store, choose OK.

After you add the first profile, you can also do the following:

  • To add another profile, repeat the procedure.

  • To delete a profile, choose it, and then choose the Delete Profile icon.

  • To edit a profile, choose the Edit Profile icon to open the :guilabel:Edit Profile dialog box.

    For example, if you have rotated an IAM user's credentials—a recommended practice—you can edit the profile to update the user's credentials in the SDK Credential Store. For more information, see IAM Credential Rotation.

You can also add profiles to the SDK Credential Store when you create an AWS project. Before Visual Studio creates the project files, it displays the AWS Access Credentials dialog box. You can choose an existing profile from the SDK Credential Store or create one.

Uninstall the Toolkit for Visual Studio

To uninstall the Toolkit for Visual Studio, you must uninstall the AWS Tools for Windows.

  1. In Control Panel, open Programs and Features.

Note

To open Programs and Features directly, from a command prompt, run the following: appwiz.cpl

  1. Choose AWS Tools for Windows, and then choose Uninstall.

  2. If prompted, choose Yes.

Uninstalling the AWS Tools for Windows doesn't remove the Samples directory. This directory is preserved in case you have modified the samples. You have to manually remove this directory.

Older Versions of the Toolkit for Visual Studio

Visual Studio 2008—Install the Toolkit for Visual Studio for Visual Studio 2008 from https://sdk-for-net.amazonwebservices.com/latest/AWSToolkitForVisualStudio2008.msi.

Visual Studio 2010 and 2012—Install the Toolkit for Visual Studio for Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 from https://sdk-for-net.amazonwebservices.com/latest/AWSToolkitForVisualStudio2010-2012.msi.