Arduino 101: Programming with Visual Studio 2015 Community Update 2

 How can I program Arduino 101 board using Visual Studio?

It is not very difficult. You need to use the right tools.
If you rather not use Visual Studio 2015, you could also use the program from Arduino.

But Visual studio does lot more than Arduino Program.

Follow these steps.
Step 1:
First thing you need to have is the correct version (if you follow my advice) of Visual Studio. Get the Visual Studio 2015 Community (What I have is the same but with Update 2).

If you do not have, no problem. Read this post.

Step 2:
For Arduino to work with Visual Studio 2015 Community (VS2015C), you need to install the Arduino Extensions for Visual Studio. A default install of VS2015C does not have the 'hooks' to create a Arduino Project. You will not find it in the 'New Project...' templates.

You need to install the Arduino Extension for Visual Studio 2015. You can get an idea how to do it by following this Swaytorial:

Step 0:
Of course you need to buy the Arduino 101. It is available from many sources. Connect it to computer with a USB cable as shown.

With all of the above in place, it is very easy to run the board from Visual Studio 2015 Community.

Step 3:
 Open Tools menu as shown to access the Extensions and Updates... submenu.


The extension immediately brings in the support for Arduino 101.

Start a new project as shown here:


Provide a name for the project (herein OneZeroOne)and click OK. The project with folders will be created for you as shown.


In the above image click on the OneZeroOne.ino file. This is the 'sketch' that you will using to interact with the board via your USB drive to which the arduino 101 board is connected. It will be a simple, empty template. You can cut and paste any of the relevant sketches. Herein I have used the same sketch I used here to run the 'Blink' project that makes a LED on the arduino 101 board to flash on and off. It is one of the example applications, something akin to a 'Hello World'.

Here is the sketch used in this post:


When you compile and run this program you may get a message like this.


You may also get the messages from the serial port as shown as you connect/disconnect or run the program:


The arduino extension you added will also add a arduino specific toolbar as shown which makes it easy to work with the board.

There are couple of ways to build the program and upload it to the board. Here is one way using the main menu.

The result:
 As soon as you upload the second LED on the board starts blinking.

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