Running Visual Studio 2010 on the iMac

Hi, I have an iMac running a session of Windows 7 via Parallels 10 (the latest version). This has worked perfectly for a couple of years now. I run the Windows session to allow me access to a lot of PC based software that would cost me thousands of dollars to change to the Mac versions, and I wouldn't get any extra functionality by doing that, so I run a Windows session on my Mac to solve that issue.  

I have Visual Studio 2010 (Windows version) and have no problem running it under its native Windows environment. Now, I'm using a Mac based application that allows me to pick a programming IDE of my preference. I'd like to be able to select  my Windows VS 2010 IDE, but I'm getting a error in Parallels 10 when I try to run it under the "Open on Mac" option. The error simply says "Microsoft Visual Studio - Unknown Error." Needless to say, the application does not open.

I'm assuming that since Parallels 10 is giving me the option to "Open on Mac" I would be able to run a session of VS 2010 from my Mac and not open it directly from the Windows 7 environment. - Maybe I'm misunderstanding what "Open on Mac" means.

Can someone share some insight regarding what I need to do in order to run my VS 2010 (Windows version) on the Mac without opening it directly from Windows environment? - Can that be done?

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Fernando SotoRetiredCommented:
Hi Mr_Fulano

To your question, "Can someone share some insight regarding what I need to do in order to run my VS 2010 (Windows version) on the Mac without opening it directly from Windows environment? - Can that be done?", the simple answer is no. The reason is that most Microsoft Windows applications need the resources of the MS Windows operating system. For example in order to run VS 2010 it needs all the dll's of the .Net Framework as well as the Windows Registry which is not available on the Mac machine. These resources will only become available when the Parallels 10 virtual machine is up and running and then VS 2010 in running in that virtual machine's memory space.

I have been working on my Mac Book Pro for the last 2 years or so since Parallels 9 Desktop. This allows me to boot up on my Mac and start the virtual machine and seamlessly jump between the two OS's without issues. How have you set up Parallels 10? Which of there products are you using?
Mr_FulanoAuthor Commented:
Hi Fernando, glad to see you're still around. You helped my on many programming questions years ago and I appreciated all your help very much.

That said, I have my Parallels set up to share applications with the Mac. Since I have 32 GB RAM, I run the Windows session all the time. I have my Mac on my main display and my Windows session on a Tunderbolt Display right next to my Mac.

I was running Parallels 8 until recently when I upgraded to P10, because P8 won't run the new Mac OS - Yosemite. I've been using VS2010 on the virtual machine for a couple of years now, without any issues, but what got me confused is that if you go to the virtual machine and right click on the VS2010 icon, you'll see an option that says "Open on Mac", what does that mean?

I guess to run it, I'll have to have it loaded on the virtual session and then try to attache my Mac app to the IDE.

Thanks for your help!
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
The "Open on Mac" option has been around for some time on Parallels.

It does NOT DO what you think ..

Open on Mac will simply try and pass the file to the appropriate OSX application to open instead of the Windows application .. for example PDF files would open in OSX Preview and not Adobe Reader under Windows.  You're trying to pass a Windows icon for an  APPLICATION to OSX to open with another application which is not possible.  Parallels isn't smart enough to know that the icon you're clicking on is for an application and not a standard file.  Ideally the "Open on Mac" should not be available to you.  Try locating the actual application on Windows, right click and see does it offer you the option??!!

When Parallels is installed it creates a load of mini applications on OSX which are actually placeholders for their Windows equivalents .. this allows OSX to pass files to Windows applications and allow you to set "Default" applications for OSX files to be a Windows application.  If you look in the root of your user folder you'll see a folder called "Applications (Parallels)" inside there are all the mini applications.  Double click any application and it will open the particular VM (if it isn't running) and launch the application.
Conversely, on your VM on Parallels, the Open on Mac was designed to allow you to open Windows files with an OSX application instead of the Windows default because Parallels does not create mini application EXE files on Windows for all the apps which are on OSX .. so there is no way on Windows to choose a default OSX program for a specific filetype.

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Fernando SotoRetiredCommented:
Hi Mr_Fulano, eoinosullivan has answered your latest question.
You are probably thinking of Coherence Mode.  It allows you to keep your OSX desktop and switch between OSX and Windows Apps without seeing the Windows Desktop or the full Parallels window

Just FYI.  Parallels 8 is still running for me on Yosemite.  Parallels just didn't do the tests for 8 on Yosemite, so they don't support it officially, hence their marketing blitz to get you to upgrade to 10.  I'll stick with 8 for now, until I can get my finance guys to pay for everyone's upgrade at the same time.  Since WINE works for most of the Windows apps I commonly use, I haven't really had to load up Parallels as frequently anymore.
Mr_FulanoAuthor Commented:
HI Eoinosullivan, thank you and EXCELLENT answer!!! Very good detail and it shed light on my confusion. Thank you very much for your explanation.

Mr_FulanoAuthor Commented:
HI Serialband...WOW!!! I fell into the marketing trap and upgraded both my devices...AAAHHHHH!!!! Anyway, its OK. I usually like to upgrade every other version release for stuff like Parallels, so I was due anyway.

Thanks for the reply.
Mr_FulanoAuthor Commented:
I split the points because i thought each contributor offered something specific that helped my solve my problem. Both answers were EXCELLENT!!! Thank you both for your contribution.

Have you tried Coherence Mode?  That would let your Windows apps run on the OSX Desktop, with an icon in the OSX Dock.  You can then switch between your Mac & Windows apps as if they were normal Mac apps.
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