roslynUsing Workspaces


The workspace is a programmatic representation of the C# hierarchy that consists of a solution, child projects and child documents.


  • Currently there is no MSBuild workspace that supports a .NET Standard compliant projects. For more information see here.

Creating an AdhocWorkspace and adding a new project and a file to it.

The idea behind the AdhocWorkspace is to create a workspace on the fly.

var workspace = new AdhocWorkspace();

string projectName = "HelloWorldProject";
ProjectId projectId = ProjectId.CreateNewId();
VersionStamp versionStamp = VersionStamp.Create();
ProjectInfo helloWorldProject = ProjectInfo.Create(projectId, versionStamp, projectName, projectName, LanguageNames.CSharp);
SourceText sourceText = SourceText.From("class Program { static void Main() { System.Console.WriteLine(\"HelloWorld\"); } }");

Project newProject = workspace.AddProject(helloWorldProject);
Document newDocument = workspace.AddDocument(newProject.Id, "Program.cs", sourceText);

Creating an MSBuildWorspace, loading a solution and getting all the documents in all that solution

The MSBuildWorspace is built around the concept of handling MSBuild solutions (.sln files) and their respective projects (.csproj, .vbproj). Adding new projects and documents to this workspace is not supported.

string solutionPath = @"C:\Path\To\Solution\Sample.sln";

MSBuildWorkspace workspace = MSBuildWorkspace.Create();
Solution solution = await workspace.OpenSolutionAsync(nancyApp);

var allDocumentsInSolution = solution.Projects.SelectMany(x => x.Documents);

Getting the VisualStudioWorkspace from inside a Visual Studio Extension

In contrast to the other types of workspaces, the VisualStudioWorkspace, cannot be created manually. It can be accessed when building a Visual Studio extension.

When inside your extension package project, go to [YourVSPackage]Package.cs file. There you can acquire the workspace in two ways:

protected override void Initialize()
    // Additional code...

    var componentModel = (IComponentModel)this.GetService(typeof(SComponentModel));
    var workspace = componentModel.GetService<VisualStudioWorkspace>();

Or by using MEF:

public VisualStudioWorkspace ImportedWorkspace { get; set; }

A great video tutorial about the VisualStudioWorkspace, can be found here.