As I continue to explore ASP.Net MVC 3, I decided to share a little on NuPack Tools, a recently released Visual Studio 2010 extension. There are a few nice blog entries on NuPack already which you can access here
Figure 1 - NuPack Tools shown as a Visual Studio 2010 Extension
What is NuPack Tools?
NuPack Tools is a Visual Studio 2010 Extension installed along with ASP.Net MVC 3 and also available as a stand-alone install. It provides a friendly interface that automates the retrieval and installation of available packages to be incorporated in Visual Studio projects. NuPack is open source and can be contributed to by developers outside of Microsoft. In determining available packages, NuPack connects to an ATOM feed from Microsoft by default, but can be configured to point to other sources as shown below.
Figure 2 - NuPack Tools package sources setup
Figure 3 - NuPack Tools default ATOM feed from Microsoft
NuPack provides an easy-to-use PowerShell interface (accessible from View->Other Windows->Package Manager Console) where you can search/install/uninstall packages. NuPack can also be used via a user interface by selecting the Add Package Reference (from the references context menu).
Figure 4 - NuPack Tools user interface.
Figure 5 - NuPack Package Manager Console interface
NuPack caries special importance for MVC projects as it enables the easy lookup, installation and management of the many MVC extension packages available.
The Package Manager Console features a convenient get-help command which can be used to quickly get up to speed with the various switches a command can accept.
Figure 6- NuPack Package Manager Console get-help command.