INSTALLING VISUAL MICRO for ATMEL STUDIO

Published : 09/10/2018 16:18:11
Categories : Proto Shield Plus




INSTALLING VISUAL MICRO for ATMEL STUDIO


Why use Visual Micro instead of the “standard” Arduino IDE?


The standard Arduino IDE (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software) (Integrated Development Environment) is quite good: it comes for free, it is developed by the “Arduino” company and, of course, it is the first IDE software you will ever download to start writing code and uploading it to your Arduino board!

Anyway, it is well known that after some time, you will feel the need of some additional features in terms of IDE usability…

Visual Micro is an extension for Atmel Studio that allows any Arduino project to be developed, compiled, and then uploaded to any Arduino board. It is fully compatible with the Arduino development environment and uses the same libraries.

The difference lies in Visual Micro's user interface which provides an advanced and professional development environment.

One of the main advantages is the ability to set up and manage breakpoints and / or monitor variable values to easily debug your code!

Debugging with Visual Micro


Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio


Let’s start…

Installing the standard Arduino IDE

Even if we are not going to use it I suggest to install the latest standard Arduino IDE available from www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software.
The main reason is to be sure to have at least one properly working IDE on our PC.

Just click on the setup icon and start the install process

Installing Arduino IDE 01

Installing Arduino IDE 02


Review and accept license agreement…

Installing Arduino IDE 03


Just accept the default settings…

Installing Arduino IDE 03

Installing Arduino IDE 04


Allow various Software from Arduino and other publishers

Installing Arduino IDE 05

Installing Arduino IDE 06

Installing Arduino IDE 07


Once installation is complete, you can run the Arduino IDE from its desktop icon.

Installing Arduino IDE

Installing Arduino IDE


Installing Atmel Studio


Let’s proceed downloading Atmel Studio from http://www.microchip.com/mplab/avr-support/atmel-studio-7

Installing Atmel Studio


Once downloaded, start the installation...the whole process will take a quite a long time to finish…

Installing Atmel Studio


Just agree to license terms and conditions…(of course!)

Installing Atmel Studio


Let default settings to be applied

Installing Atmel Studio

Installing Atmel Studio


The installer will perform a system validation in order to check that the minimum requirements for Atmel Studio are met.

Installing Atmel Studio


Start the installation…

Installing Atmel Studio

Installing Atmel Studio


Allow various Software from various publishers and then you’re done!

Installing Atmel Studio

Installing Atmel Studio


Atmel Studio will start...

Installing Atmel Studio

Installing Atmel Studio



Installing Visual Micro plug-in for Atmel Studio


Click on Tools -> Extension and updates

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio


Select the Online tab on the left, then scroll until you find Arduino IDE for Atmel Studio…then click on the Download button

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio


The download process will start…

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio


You have to allow the installer to make changes to your device and then accept license agreement…

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio


At the end the installation is complete!


Just click on Restart Now button in order for the changes to take effect.

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio

Once restarted you will be asked to specify Arduino IDE version and its location (usually the location is the one shown by default C:Program Files (x86)Arduino)

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio


You will notice the presence of the new vMicro menu and toolbar in Atmel Studio…

Installing Visual Micro for Atmel Studio

You are now ready to start coding your Arduino with a much more versatile environment!


First steps with the Visual Micro IDE


To start using your new environment, you can open an existing Arduino sketch (.ino file) or start a new blank project.


Open an existing Arduino sketch

Let’s start opening a very simple sketch: the APSP_blink_LEDs code available from the Proto Shield Plus sample sketches (Click here to download the sample sketches).

Of course you can use the “standard” Blink example provided with the Arduino IDE installation.

You will notice that the folder APSP_blink_LEDs folder contains just the APSP_blink_LEDs.ino file.

Open an existing Arduino file


Now, in Atmel Studio, click on File->Open->Arduino Project

Open an existing Arduino file


Navigate to the APSP_blink_LEDs folder and select the APSP_blink_LEDs.ino file

Open an existing Arduino file


Wait a few seconds and the file will open in Atmel Studio…

Open an existing Arduino file

Taking a look at the APSP_blink_LEDs folder you will notice some new files and folder are now present: they will be used from Atmel Studio to setup the environment.
Anyway your APSP_blink_LEDs.ino file is still the same and can be used with the “standard” Arduino IDE.


Start a new blank project

Click on File->New->Arduino Project

New Arduino Project


Enter a valid name for your new Arduino Project and click OK

New Arduino Project


The new project is created and saved in DocumentsArduino

New Arduino Project

You can now add you own code…


Compile and run your code


Select your Arduino environment, your board and the COM port assigned to your board

Compile and Run


Select Release from the drop down menu and click the Start Without Debugging button

Compile and Run

On your first compile, a window asking you to buy Visual Micro will probably pop-up, by clicking the Cancel button you will skip the process and keep evaluating the Visual Micro software.
After the trial period the software will keep running, buying the software and support developers it’s up to you…


The Output window will show the compile results and then it will upload the code to your board!

Compile and Run



In the next articles we will look at some cool and debug features of Visual Micro IDE…




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