This is something I’ve been doing to add very light-weight Perforce integration in Visual Studio 2010 without having to use source control bindings in the projects or solutions.
Basically I wanted a way to reduce context switches caused by needing to go to the command line to check out or add files in Perforce.
I ended up creating a few external commands (Tools -> External Tools) for perforce commands “Add” and “Edit” …
Then I created a new toolbar (Tools -> Customize)
And then from the toolbar in the IDE shell (which is empty so may be hard to find if you have many toolbars open) I clicked on the little down arrow and choose “Add or Remove Buttons” -> Customize.
From there I selected the “My Tools” toolbar I created:
And clicked “Add Command”
From there I picked “Tools” from Categories and “External Command 1” (this is the first item in the External Tools list – so “Edit” in this case)
And then back at the Customize window I clicked “Modify Selection” and renamed “External Command 1” to “Edit” to match the command.
Now when I have a file open in VS I can just click the “Edit” button and the file is checked out for edit and the output of the command line goes to the Output window (notice I had that option selected above when defining the External Tool).
It saves me from having to bounce back and forth between VS and the command line when I need to add/edit a file – this keeps my fingers on the keyboard and off the mouse.