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Microsoft Unveiled Visual Studio 2017 RC, Visual Studio for Mac, Visual Studio Mobile Center Preview

At Connect() Microsoft contributes to open ecosystem by joining Linux Foundation and adds Google to the .NET community. Also, several new developers tools to help any developer create intelligent cross-platform apps and services to strengthen its Azure cloud platform were announced.

Microsoft join Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with open source community, “Microsoft has been a key contributor to many projects, and we see the company intensifying its involvement and commitment to open development.”

Microsoft through its open source and cross-platform application framework .NET Core, welcomed Google to the .NET Foundation’s Technical Steering Group. The company also said that along with Samsung, they enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide.

On Wednesday Samsung is releasing a preview of its Visual Studio Tools for Tizen. Developers can use the tools to build .NET apps for the Tizen operating system that runs on millions of Samsung TVs, wearables, mobile devices and many IoT devices around the world.

Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise EVP Scott Guthrie demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple’s Mac operating system using the popular development environment. It is complemented by:

  • The full power of the beloved-by-millions C# 7 programming language
  • Complete .NET APIs for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS
  • The Xamarin.Forms API abstraction to maximize code sharing
  • Access to thousands of .NET libraries on NuGet.org to accelerate your mobile development
  • Highly optimized native code backed by the LLVM optimizing compiler

For a complete list of what’s included in this product, check out the release notes.

Visual Studio for Mac

Visual Studio for Mac

The Visual Studio Mobile Center preview was also announced and brings together the cloud and life-cycle services that help developers build, test, distribute and monitor apps built in Objective-C, Swift, Java, Xamarin and React Native for Android-, iOS- and Windows-based devices.

There are many great features included in the Preview:

  • Build your apps automatically with every pull request
  • Test apps on thousands of real-world devices
  • Distribute passing builds to beta testers
  • Monitor apps for crashes and bugs
  • Learn about real world usage with mobile analytics
  • Connect to a mobile backend for automatic scaling and to add important cloud services like offline data sync, tabular data storage, and end-user authentication services
Visual Studio Mobile Center Preview

Visual Studio Mobile Center Preview

Visual Studio 2017 release candidate released on Wednesday now includes new capabilities to help any developer be more productive than ever for any application and any platform.

  • IntelliSense comes enhanced with added filtering that makes it much easier to use.
  • Navigate To is much more powerful with better filtering and preview.
  • Live editing as the name suggests analyses your code and flags issues in the editor.
  • Opening files without projects lets you directly work on code bases and files without any association with projects or solutions. Simply navigate to a folder from the menu File > Open > Folder and select the file.
  • Debugging. With Run to Click there is no need to set temporary breakpoints. Once you start debugging you will see a green glyph on the left.

Visual Studio 2017 RC also comes with new Visual Studio Build Tools which uses the new installer experience to provide access to MSBuild tools for both managed and native applications.

There are many other improvements across all the languages, check out Visual Studio 2017 RC Release Notes.

VS 2017 RC (previously known as Dev “15”) includes the following stuff for C++:

  • Give Visual C++ a Switch to Standard Conformance. Use the opt-in /permissive switch to compile your C++ code in a mode much closer to ISO C++ standards conformance. Watch the video C++ Standards Conformance on Channel 9.
  • We’ve been focusing on the quality of our expression SFINAE implementation using popular libraries such as Boost and Microsoft’s fork of Range-v3 to find remaining bugs.
  • Use /Debug:fastlink to observe 2-4x link improvements for your C++ code, learn more with Faster C++ Links with Visual Studio 2017 on Channel 9.
  • CMake support in Visual Studio is ready for primetime! Load your CMake projects directly into VS and start coding now. Watch the video CMake support in Visual Studio on Channel 9.
  • “Open Folder” C++ experience has been improved for RC – so bring your source code to VS without the need to create any VS solutions and projects. Watch the video Open Folder for C++ Developers on Channel 9.
  • IntelliSense now includes a set of filters that narrow down displayed list of results and includes an experimental mode called Predictive IntelliSense that helps narrow the list of IntelliSense results to provide a more tailored, context-aware experience. Watch the video C++ IDE Performance Improvements in Visual Studio 2017 on Channel 9.
  • Navigate To is now known as Go To, an umbrella term for a set of new navigation filters which together make it easier to find the right results, especially in larger code bases. Watch the video C++ Productivity Improvements on channel 9.
  • Find All References has been re-designed for larger searches and includes information about whether we are reading from or writing to a variable in the results for C++ code.
  • We have updated the C++ workloads in the lightweight Visual Studio Installer and there is now the ability to install individual components — including the C++ Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017 — outside of a workload. Watch the video Visual C++ and the Visual Studio Installer and the Visual Studio Build Tools on Channel 9.
  • Spend a few minutes learning about the C++ extension for Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio 2017 Linux development with C++ on Channel 9.
  • VCPkg now supports static linking and supports a catalog of more than 90 libraries. Watch the video Vcpkg a tool to build open source C++ libraries on Channel 9.

Release to manufacturing (RTM) of Team Foundation Server 2017 unlocks a bunch of new enhancements made specifically for on-premises TFS customers include:

  • Package Management – Create and manage private NuGet feeds.
  • Code Search – Search all the code across your project collection easily.
  • Agile planning improvements – new form, following work items, live updates, better notifications, …
  • Git improvements – Hugely upgraded pull request experience, iterative reviews, squash merge, …
  • Build improvements – Java build templates, Xamarin build tasks, Docker support, …
  • Release management improvement – Support for ARM templates, task groups, manual approval task, scheduled releases, …
  • Test improvements – 10X more compact test results storage, lots of manual testing improvements, test reporting and traceability improvements, …
  • Marketplace – Support for paid extensions in TFS, improved install experience, …

Preview of the TFS Database Import Service for Visual Studio Team Services announced today, is a high-fidelity migration that brings over your source code history, work items, builds, etc. and keeps the same ID numbers, traceability, settings, permissions personalizations, and much more.

TFS to VSTS Migration Diagram

TFS to VSTS Migration Diagram

Here are some reasons why to migrate from Team Foundation Server to Visual Studio Team Services are:

  • No more manual upgrades and get updates quicker – with Team Services, upgrades are deployed nearly every three weeks and your development teams can immediately take advantage of them months before they are available in TFS updates or major releases.
  • Significantly reduced administration – imagine not needing to continually monitor and administer your TFS infrastructure. We take care of that for you.
  • Accessible anywhere – Your team members will have the flexibility they need to securely access Team Services from work, home, remote offices, or their mobile devices.
  • Included with Visual Studio Subscriptions – For many of our developer customers, they already have Visual Studio Team Services included as a benefit of their Visual Studio (formerly known as MSDN) subscriptions! Having an ability to migrate your TFS database allows many subscribers now to take advantage of that important benefit.

You can download TFS to Visual Studio Team Services Migration Guide HERE.

The public preview of Work Item Search in Visual Studio Team Services, provides fast and flexible search across all your work items.

If you are not aware, “Work Item Search lets you quickly and easily find relevant work items by searching across all work item fields over all projects in an account. You can perform full text searches across all fields to efficiently locate relevant work items. Use in-line search filters, on any work item field, to quickly narrow down to a list of work items.”

Work Item Search for VSTS

Work Item Search for VSTS

Code Search is the most downloaded Team Services extension in the Marketplace, and is now available on Team Foundation Server 2017.

“Code Search provides fast, flexible, and accurate search across your code in TFS. As your code base expands and is divided across multiple projects and repositories, finding what you need becomes increasingly difficult.”

“To maximize cross-team collaboration and code sharing, Code Search can quickly and efficiently locate relevant information across all your projects in a collection.”

Read more about the capabilities of Code Search here.

Code Search for Team Foundation Server 2017

Code Search for Team Foundation Server 2017

The general availability of Release Management is available for Team Foundation Server 2017 is announced as well.

Release Management is an essential element of DevOps and helps teams to continuously deliver software to customers at a faster pace and with high quality. It also let you automate the deployment and testing of your application to different environments like dev, test, staging and production.

It works cross-platform and supports different application types from Java to ASP.Net and NodeJs. You can use it to deploy to any app platform and target On-Premises or Cloud, and it can be integrated with different ALM tools as well to customize release process.

You can also customize the deployments by using the automation tasks that are available either out of the box or write a custom automation task/extension to meet your requirements.

Release Management for Team Foundation Server 2017 GA

Release Management for Team Foundation Server 2017 GA

Package Management is an easy addition to .NET ecosystem. If you’re still hosting a private copy of NuGet.Server or putting your packages on a file share, Package Management can remove that burden and even help you migrate. To get started with NuGet 3.x in Package Management, check out the docs here.

The release of .NET Core 1.1 RTM, the first “Current” releases in Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017 RC, Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio for the Mac with the following improvements:

  • .NET Core: Add distros and improve performance.
  • ASP.NET Core: Improve Kestrel, Azure support and productivity.
  • EF Core: Azure and SQL 2016 support.

Entity Framework Core (EF Core) 1.1 available today is a is a lightweight, extensible, and cross-platform version of Entity Framework.

This release is focused on addressing issues that prevent folks from adopting EF Core. The EF Core follows the same release cycle as .NET Core. Continuous improvements every 2 months and new features released every 6 months.

The new Local Instance for DocumentDB introduces a new preview for the DocumentDB service that is a client-side high-fidelity service emulator that supports the complete DocumentDB API and stores your data/collections locally.

With this local instance experience, “developers can program and test code using the DocumentDB API in a disconnected and offline environment without incurring any charges for Azure DocumentDB usage,” making it much easier to code NoSQL applications for Azure.

Microsoft announced that several productivity features of Xamarin for Visual Studio have moved from preview to general availability, and are now fully supported including: Xamarin for Visual Studio for Profiler, Inspector, Workbooks, iOS Simulator.

  • Xamarin Inspector is an interactive tool that attaches to a live application that Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers can use to diagnose and prototype changes. Users can explore the UI and state of their application, alter its state, or even try new APIs on the spot.
  • Xamarin Profiler allows Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers to find memory leaks, resolve performance bottlenecks, and add polish to their apps before shipping
  • iOS Simulator provides Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers with a remote view to simulated iOS apps, allowing them to stay focused and productive, without having to leave their IDE to view the app on a Mac.
  • Workbooks provide interactive, contextual exercises with immediate feedback to help all Visual Studio developers learn faster.

Xamarin Test Cloud now fully supports Java via the Appium framework is in general availability today. By implementing Appium support, Microsoft has extended “the productivity and quality benefits of Xamarin Test Cloud’s real device testing solution to a new group of developers who prefer Java to Ruby or C#.”

Visual Studio Tools for Docker in public preview is available on Visual Studio includes multi-project debugging support for single and multi-container scenarios, publishing to Azure App Service as a container integration with CI/CD to Azure Container Service, and Windows Server Container debugging for .NET Framework apps.

The Xamarin.Forms Previewer is available as a preview within Visual Studio, and renders a live preview of a Xamarin.Forms page side-by-side with the XAML markup directly inside Visual Studio.

By eliminating the build and run cycle, developers can spend more time focused on building great interfaces.

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