Getting Set up for Development with Visual Studio

Elements intergates with Visual Studio 2013 and (experimentally) Visual Studio 2015 as its Windows development environment. If you have a copy of VisualStudio (not Express) installed, the Elements installer will simply integrate with it; if you do not, then the installer willoffer to install Visual Studio 2013 for you.

Visual Studio 2013 comes included with Elements, no separate purchase is necessary.


Visual Studio and the Elements compiler require Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later, and the .NET Framework 3.5 or later.

Depending on what platforms you wish to develop for, the Elements compiler has a few prerequisites you may need to install in order to have all the tools you need to get started with the platform.

Setup for .NET and Mono Development

No further prerequisites are required for .NET and Mono development.

Setup for WinRT and Windows Phone Development

If you are using Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition or higher, you should be all set to develop for WinRT/Metro and Windows Phone out of the box.

Unfortunately, the designers and tool chain support for WinRT and Windows Phone do not come included with the edition of Visual Studio (the Shell) that we can ship in the box with Elements. But worry not, if you are using this edition, you can manually install the necessary tools in two ways.

  • Option one, you can go ahead and update to the Community Edition of Visual Studio, which is available free of charge (but with some license/usage limitations if you are working for an Enterprise or large company)

  • Option two you can download the Visual Studio Express edition(s) and install them. Installing Express will essentially deploy a second copy of Visual Studio on your system. You will not be using that edition directly, but as part of its install, it also integrates the proper designers and tol chain support into the Shell, as well.

  • Download "Visual Studio 2013 Community"

  • Download "Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows" for the WinRT & WP8 dev tools.

Setup for Java and Android Development

You need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 7 or later to develop Java apps. To develop Android apps you will need to install both the JDK, and the Android SDK.

Setup for Cocoa Development

A Mac running Xcode 5 or later and CrossBox is required to build Cocoa apps for Mac or iOS in Visual Studio (You will work on Windows, but Elements will communicate with your Mac on the background).