Visual Studio 2017 for Windows and Mac, became generally available Tuesday, along with updates across the Visual Studio product family, adding new value for Visual Studio subscribers and Visual Studio Dev Essentials members.
Microsoft says Visual Studio 2017 Release Candidate since its release had nearly 700,000 downloads. As on today, it said to have "5 million Visual Studio Team Services registered users," along with "a two-fold increase in Mac IDEs downloads over past six months." With that, realizing the potential of full Visual Studio family—the next wave of updates with "Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1, Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4, and updates to Visual Studio Mobile Center Preview" are made available.
Microsoft calling the release as "most productive" version to date too. "Cloud and mobile development were top of mind as we built Visual Studio 2017," Julia Liuson said today. "For streamlined cloud development, built-in tools provide integration with all .NET Core, Azure applications, microservices, Docker containers, and more."
It is easier than ever to build and deploy applications and services to Azure, directly from the IDE (integrated development environment). "Visual Studio 2017 with Xamarin make it faster to create mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows through updates like advanced debugging and profiling tools," Liuson added.
As per feedback, Liuson writes. "we built a brand-new installation experience that is lightweight and modular. So you can install just what you need, helping you get to coding much faster."
Also, multiple enhancements are made to improve Visual Studio performance across the board. "Visual Studio is three times faster for a cold start and two to three times faster for solution loading." "This has been made possible by moving extensions out of the startup path using an on-demand-load approach and optimizing and deferring cache initializations," explained Liuson.
Visual Studio 2017 also has new features for development teams to easily adopt modern DevOps practices and collaborate to react to market changes faster and continuously, Liuson says. To extend developers' ability to incorporate their databases into DevOps, thereby accelerating release cycles, Redgate Data Tools are now included in Visual Studio Enterprise 2017.
The Universal Windows Platform development workload gives tools to author, debug and publish UWP apps.
On its site, Microsoft highlighted some of the key improvements in Visual Studio 2017, which it says delivers "unparalleled productivity for any dev, any app, and any platform":
- Improvements to code navigation, IntelliSense, refactoring, code fixes and debugging saves time and effort on everyday tasks irrespective of language or platform.
- blaze through authoring XAML with new IntelliSense completion for x:Bind and namespace completion along with improved filtering, smarter CamelCase search, ability to select best matching result from the list instead of simply picking the top result.
- Code refactoring and fixes help to maintain a readable code base and accelerate development workflows.
- Navigation is much more powerful with better filtering and preview as well as enhanced Find All Reference with added color, grouping and a peek preview in Find All References window.
- Run to Click executes a program until it reaches targeted line of code and breaks in debug mode.
- Built-in tools provide comprehensive integration with all of .NET Core, Azure applications, services, Docker containers, and more. "Directly from IDE, configure and connect to an Azure Mobile App Service to enable cloud storage, push notifications, authentication and social integration. Also you can connect to HockeyApp for app analytics, beta distribution, in-app feedback and track customer metrics."
- New UI Analysis tool examines elements in the app and helps quickly discover hard-to-find issues around accessibility and UI performance. Additionally, it points to exactly what needs to be done to fix these issues, resulting in high performant five-star apps.
- Edit XAML for a running app with runtime editing tools. When combined with UI Debugging tools, developers can fix problems faster than ever before and create performant, adaptive and stunning UI.
- Auto-generate visual assets for UWP apps from within Manifest Designer.
- Build UWP apps with Windows 10 Creators Update.
- Directly manage team projects hosted by any provider, including Visual Studio Team Services, Team Foundation Server, or GitHub. Or use new Open Any Folder feature to immediately open and work with virtually any code file without a formal project or solution around it.
- With Xamarin's advanced debugging, profiling tools, and unit test generation features, it's faster and easier than ever for you to build, connect, and tune native mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows. You can also choose to develop mobile apps with Apache Cordova or build C++ cross platform libraries.
- Visual Studio is packed with tons of performance enhancements to the core features you use every day. You'll also see a noticeably faster startup time, lower memory footprint, and higher degree of responsiveness throughout the entire development lifecycle.
- Together with Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server, seamlessly deliver software to any targeted platform. Extend DevOps processes to SQL Server through Redgate integration and safely automate database deployments from Visual Studio. Xamarin Test Recorder, together with Xamarin test cloud let you test on thousands of physical devices right from within the IDE.
- Enjoy complementary access to training from top partners, including Pluralsight and Opsgility, for Enterprise and Professional customers. You'll also get access to software licenses from select partners, such as Parallels and SyncFusion.
Today's release also include:
Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4, an IDE to build mobile, cloud, and macOS, comes with updated .NET Core project support, NuGet and mobile tooling improvements, and implemented many bug fixes and performance optimizations.
Here's an overview of key changes in Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4:
- This release includes all the new features and fixes included in Xamarin Studio 6.3 (release notes).
- MSBuild is now the default build engine instead of xbuild.
- Portable and embedded compiler options can now be specified in project options.
- Various optimizations, memory usage and performance improvements across the IDE.
.NET Core Support
- Integrated unit testing support for running and debugging tests with the Visual Studio Test Platform that is included with the .NET Core SDK.
- Integrated the .NET Core templating engine and project templates.
- F# .NET Core projects are now supported.
- Support for migrating projects project.json/xproj to csproj.
- References and Packages folders have been removed from the Solution window. This information is shown in the Dependencies folder under the Assemblies, Projects, Packages and SDK folders.
- Allow multiple NuGet packages to be select and removed in one step for .NET Core projects.
- A message dialog is now displayed if .NET Core SDK is missing or unsupported with a download link.
- Added ASP.NET Core run configuration settings in project options. App url, launch url and enabling/disabling launching the browser can now be configured.
- Fixed license acceptance dialog not shown for .NET Core projects
- Fixed crash at startup if the ~/Library/Preferences/Xamarin directory is owned by another user
- Base class constructor tooltip does not contain all constructor definitions
- Fixed Find References of All Overloads not returning all items
- Fixed language selection for recent templates not showing correct lanuage used
- Fixed quick task drawing glitch
- Fixed incorrect working directory used when running .NET Core projects
- Fixed Lamba argument renaming shows code completion items
- Fixed disabled breakpoints being hit when debugging .NET Core project
- Fixed restore errors after renaming project file
- Fixed unevaluated MSBuild expression being shown in the project options as the compiler's Define Symbol for .NET Core projects.
- Fixed potential race condition on saving an MSBuild project
- Fixed Description not saved in .NET Core project file if modified
- Fixed RootNamespace to be updated from project options for .NET Core projects
- Refresh NuGet packages after target framework changed in project options
- Fixed target framework changes made in project options not saved
- MSBuild project option is no longer shown for .NET Core projects
- Show correct target frameworks in project options for .NET Core projects
- Remove extra metadata saved with ProjectReferences
- Fixed app freezing whilst attempting to debug on iOS Simulator
- Fixed intellisense fails when referencing an iOS binding project
- Fixed scrolling to type when using Go To Definition with Assembly Browser
- Fixed crash on adding breakpoint to any line of Main.axml file
- Hide diagnostics when severity is hidden.
- Fixed formatting on pasting large blocks of unformatted code
- Fixed crash when using the Assembly Browser
- Fixed library reference alias change not reflected in the type system
- Tabs to Spaces defaults to true for F# projects
- Fixed code completion on standalone files
- Fixed open statements greyed out that contain operators
- Fixed floating versions not handled in package references
- Fixed document is not part of the workspace exception
- Item groups now merged in F# projects for Visual Studio compatibility
- Increase length of strings shown in Watch window
- Fixed copying the contents of a debugger expression does not copy just the value
- Fixed crash on opening .cs file in Hex Editor
- Fixed build error after referencing another .NET Core project
- Restore after modifying project references
- Fixed Clean failures not reported on Rebuild
- Fixed broken code completion after referencing a project
- Fixed main toolbar switches back from Release to Debug on adding/removing a file
- Fixed not being able to reference .NETStandard projects from .NET Core projects
- Fixed hovering over constructor not showing resolved constructor overload
- Fixed xmlns being added to .NET Core SDK projects
- Fixed PackageReference elements added with a Version element instead of using an attribute
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1, adds value to on-premises customers, including a new process template managing experience, npm support in package management, additional repository permission management, pull request improvements, test impact analysis, branch policy improvements, and a personalized home .
Visual Studio Mobile Center preview updates now expands support for mobile apps beyond Swift, ObjectiveC, and Java, to include support for mobile apps built with Xamarin and React Native as well as enhanced analytics.
Update 03/14: Visual Studio 2017, which was released last week, has already been adopted by hundreds of thousands of customers, now to make the experience even more fun, the Visual Studio team put together a poster showing some of Visual Studio 2017's new features, tips and tricks: