Microsoft's New Visual Studio 2017 RC
by Tech Mainstream Staff
December 6, 2016
Microsoft recently released Visual Studio 2017 RC development IDE. Approximately twenty-seven general new features and improvements have been introduced in this edition. Visual Studio 2017 RC is faster than ever in initial start-up and project/solution load time: "The very first launch of Visual Studio is at least 50% faster." Also many known issues have been resolved in this RC release. These fixes can be found at the Developer Community Portal .
One of the new features of the VS 2017 RC is a "new installer experience." Besides installing more quickly (this is a plus if you ever installed earlier releases of VS) and uninstalling more easily and cleanly, you can install only the features you need. A therefore a smaller VS footprint is imprinted on your system.
VS 2017 features a more interactive IDE so "you can now search, follow, vote and get the latest updates on all feedback that you have provided via Visual Studio IDE’s Report a Problem feature." The feature also incorporates a web portal for a "complete end-to-end feedback solution."
Among VS 2017's many enhanced aspects include: "A revamped start page with new open and create facilities, improved code navigation, EditorConfig support, new extensibility format, modify extensions in bulk, Ngen support, install files outside of extension directory, roaming extension manager, sign in and identity improvements, lightweight solution load, syntax colorization, autocomplete, snippet, and 'navigate to' search support for a broader set of languages, getting started with project overview pages, connecting to services using service capabilities, service capabilities, wizard for connecting to Azure App Service Mobile App and in-product acquisition of tools and features."
VS 2017 now offers live architecture dependency validation. When dependency validation diagrams are used, "real-time notifications of violations of architectural dependency rules" are displayed "as you type code in the code editor."
Live unit testing, another new feature of VS 2017, is available only for the enterprise edition. Three test frameworks of MSTest, xUnit, and NUnit are supported for C#/VB projects.
Developer command prompt scripts have been changed to assimilate the new VS 2017 installation process. Command line arguments can be used to configure developer command prompt scripts. Also, the developer command prompt shortcut is backwards compatible with previous VS versions.
A number of mostly new debugging and diagnostics features have been introduced in VS 2017. They are the following: "Run to click (Simply click the icon next to a line of code while debugging to run to that line [no more inserting breakpoints]), attach to process filter, reattach to process, the new exception helper, add conditions to exception settings, debugger accessibility improvements, IntelliTrace events for .NET Core, diagnostic tools window updates, performance profiler updates, CPU usage tool updates and Chrome debugging support."
Numerous Visual C++ improvements have been made, exactly "250 bugs and reported issues" have been corrected in the compiler and tools. Other changes are included in the VS 2017 C++ environment: "C++ Code Analysis, C++ Compiler, C++ Libraries, C++ IDE, C++ Installation Workloads and Clang/C2 Platform Toolset updates."
C# and Visual Basic improvements have been introduced including VS 2017 IDE experience and productivity and language extensions and analyzers. Among the C# and Visual Basic highlights are
"the ability to organize source code with one action, improvements to IntelliSense that will make you more productive when working in a large solution or an unfamiliar codebase, added/updated style analyzers to help you customize and enforce coding conventions on your team and new language extensions...for the next versions of C# and Visual Basic."
VS 2017 Tools for XAML Apps include new features and bug fixes for XAML Diagnostics, XAML Edit & Continue, XAML Editor Productivity Enhancements and XAML Performance Improvements.
Additional Tools for Universal Windows App Development have been integrated in VS 2017. They include "updated .NET Native Toolchain, 5.2.2 Microsoft.NETCore.UniversalWindowsPlatform package, Windows 10 Anniversary update SDK and emulator, manifest designer capability for creating visual assets and UI analysis." Also included in the Visual Studio 2017 edition are the following Apache Cordova Visual Studio Tools: Cordova simulate, support for iOS 10 & XCode 8, error colorization, in-product acquisition and fast, reliable builds."
Other advancements in VS 2017 involve changes or introduction of features in Xamarin (Preview), NuGet, Developer Analytics Tools, Team Explorer, SQL Server Data Tools, Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio, Visual Studio Software Developer Kit, Azure SDK for .NET, Node.js Tools for Visual Studio, Visual Studio Tools for Unity and.NET Core and Docker (Preview)."
For a complete list of VS 2017 updates and features go to Visual Studio 2017 RC.