Poll: Ok to require separate Windows SDK download to install VS Shell?

Poll: Ok to require separate Windows SDK download to install VS Shell?

As many of you know, we currently include, with Intel Visual Fortran, a Fortran-only development environment based on Visual Studio 2010 Shell. While we typically refer to this as "VS2010 Shell", there are actually two pieces to this. The first is the shell (IDE) itself. The second is a collection of tools (linker, librarian, etc.) and libraries (Windows SDK libraries, MSVC libraries) needed to build Fortran applications. The shell is free, but the tools and libraries are separately licensed from Microsoft.

So now it's 2014 and many customers ask us why we haven't updated the product to include a newer version of the shell, VS2012 or even VS2013. The reason is that we've been trying to negotiate with Microsoft to allow us to provide you with all of those bits in the compiler installer. Microsoft, however, would prefer that the WIndows SDK bits be downloaded separately by the end user. This issue has delayed our ability to update the shell and it doesn't seem that it will get resolved soon.

Please give us your opinion as to whether you'd be willing to do a one-time separate download (from microsoft.com) and install of the Windows SDK if you also want to install a newer VS Shell. Microsoft makes the SDK available as both an "online install" or where you can download the installer for use on a system that isn't connected to the Internet. The minimum download size that would be needed is about 250MB. Would this be a deal-breaker for you? I note that another Fortran vendor offering VS2012 Shell already requires a separate SDK download. Note that once you install the SDK and the shell, you don't have to do it again as long as that shell version is supported.

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

Retired 12/31/2016
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

Would links for the required download be available within the download packages or indeed in the download manager? If that were the case it makes little difference.

Alternatively if the installer gives some direction on getting additional downloads, again that would makes little difference to me.

If you have to do hunt the download however......

I don't think we could do it in the download manager. The Fortran installer would detect that you didn't have the SDK and put up a message box with a link to an article explaining the process and with a link to the SDK. You would not have to hunt anything, but it would be a multi-step process to complete the install (you would probably have to exit the Fortran install and restart it later.)

Retired 12/31/2016

Assuming that the relevant links are well documented and easy to find, I don't see a real problem with this.  For that matter making the VS shell separate to the compiler might not be a bad idea either.  At present, I often download both the novsshell version and the full version for different machines.


Hi Steve,

The 2-part download for the Fortran IDE and separate SDK install wouldn't be a problem.  The 250 MB download size wouldn't be a problem either (just start the download and go do something else).  Your description of the Fortran install checking for the SDK and providing instructions if needed would be very helpful.  We generally have Visual Studio installed first and then install Fortran to integrate into VS, so it sounds like we wouldn't need to install the SDK separately.




Greg, if you install VS separately, none of this applies. It's only for those who don't have a purchased VS and want to use the bundled VS Shell.

Retired 12/31/2016

Many folks have MSDN or some other means of getting a licensed Visual Studio. And then, this multi-gigabyte product will be gotten as a download. So one way or the other, you're going to be pulling a largish installer off the internet. As installs go, 250MB seems like pretty small beans.

Leave a Comment

Please sign in to add a comment. Not a member? Join today