The Visual Studio Extension for SharePoint Framework wraps the command-line UI of the Microsoft Yeoman Generator (yo @microsoft/sharepoint) into a familiar Windows Forms experience, executes the generator project scaffolding behind the scenes and creates a Visual Studio project that includes all the necessary files for a complete web part project. Also included is a web part item template for adding new web parts to an existing Framework project. Developers can launch the Workbench local sandbox environment to test their web parts by pressing F5 or by binding to the Gulp Serve event in the Task Runner Explorer.
For developers who wish to dive deeper and learn more about the new web development tool chain used by the SharePoint Framework, the Advanced mode provides full access to the Yeoman generator command parameters and an optional cmd.exe window to view the generator tasks in real time.
This is an open source, community driven initiative and we invite also others to participate on building this extension. If you have any feedback, suggestions or questions - please use the Issues list in our GitHub repository under SharePoint GitHub organization. We also welcome external pull requests (PRs) for this work. All contributors will get acknowledged in the monthly communications of SharePoint PnP at SharePoint Dev Blog.