A glossary of core terminology for Visual Studio extension development

Common Terminology

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

An application for software developers that provides code editing, debugging and compilation features.

Inversion Of Control (IOC)

Dependency Injection (DI)

Visual Studio Windows

Visual Studio Mac


Managed Extensibility Framework

Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)

A library for creating lightweight, extensible applications.

MEF is an Inversion Of Control framework that provides component/part management and dependency injection and is the backing IOC technology for the Visual Studio family.

See here for documentation.


An object exported to MEF through the Export attribute. Parts can be considered as components that are managed by MEF.