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May082018

New Visual Studio, .NET Core and Xamarin.Forms Releases Announced

Microsoft while sharing its vision for developer experiences across mobile, AR/VR, cloud, web, desktop, IoT and AI at this year’s Build conference annnounced some exciting new releases for Visual Studio, Visual Studio for Mac, .NET Core and Xamarin.Forms.

.NET Core 2.1 RC
Future of Windows Desktop Development
Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7
Visual Studio for Mac version 7.5
Xamarin Forms 3.0 General Availability
Visual Studio Live Share Public Preview
Introducing Visual Studio IntelliCode

First up, a new update to Visual Studio 2017 is now available with following new features, for free to everyone:

Cloud development support to launch containerized applications directly in Visual Studio Connected Environment for Azure Container Services, and have made several improvements to the project scaffolding and unit testing. Additionally, you can publish Helm charts directly to Azure Container Service. You can now also directly publish .NET applications to Kubernetes containers. Lastly, for your ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core applications, you can configure the Key Vault Connected Service directly from the IDE.

MSVC C++ 17 conformance with Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7.

.NET Mobile development with Xamarin improves XAML editing experience with full IntelliSense support. iOS devices can be provisioned for development with a single click, saving developers a lot of time and steps. Android and iOS project templates have been re-written to use the latest modern navigation patterns and are now better organized for better discoverability.

Hyper-V Android emulator compatibility in preview lets developers use Hyper-V as the hardware acceleration platform for Google’s Android emulator. This gets developers the latest Android emulator images running on a fast emulator, which can be run side-by-side with other Hyper-V enabled tools like Docker.

IntelliTrace’s new step-back debugging, is now available for .NET Core applications. The feature automatically takes a snapshot of your application on each breakpoint and debugger step so you can step “back in time” to view previous application states.

Visual Studio for Mac version 7.5 is now available with following new features included:

Web Development with Razor, JavaScript, and TypeScript – Editor support for Razor, JavaScript, and TypeScript have been some of the top web developer requests. In this release, new editors are being introduced for each of these languages.

Build serverless solutions with Azure Functions – Last year, we introduced preview support for Azure Functions – enabling development of Azure Functions using C# and .NET with full debugger tooling – based on the Mono runtime. Now, a new Functions template dialog is included, along with support for .NET Core.

.NET Standard and Xamarin.Forms – Mobile developers will be happy to see that .NET Standard Library projects are now a fully supported option for sharing code between platforms when building Xamarin.Forms solutions.

Team Foundation Version Control support preview in Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Team Services now have the option for developers to use existing Git source control integration or the new Team Foundation Version Control integration to manage their code.

Visual Studio IntelliCode a new capability that enhances everyday software development with the power of AI provides intelligent suggestions to improve developer productivity and code quality in the tool that developers love, Visual Studio. Our vision is to apply AI to empower developers across the entire development lifecycle.

Interested developers can sign up for a future private preview, as well as gain access to an experimental extension at http://aka.ms/intellicode.

Public preview of Visual Studio Live Share can be use to collaborate in real-time with other developers, with instant bi-directional collaboration directly from their existing tools like Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio Code.

Visual Studio Team Services a cloud-hosted DevOps services with capabilities, such as Agile planning, Git source control, cloud build, release management (including CI/CD pipelines), and test and package management is now available to the general public.

This milestone also includes improvements to the user experience and support for extensibility of the gates that customers can build themselves and ship through the Visual Studio Marketplace.

Microsoft Azure DevOps Projects enables running of application on Azure App Service or Virtual Machine hosts, and in just three steps to receive a full CI/CD pipeline powered by Visual Studio Team Services.

DevOps Projects support will extend to Azure Kubernetes Service for .NET, Java, and Node.js web app pipelines, as well as Azure Service Fabric support for .NET.

Xamarin.Forms 3.0 now available to the public delivers stability, performance, and features focusing on making it easier to create beautiful apps that work on a variety of devices.

It also provides improvements and additions, like added Visual State Manager, known from developing with XAML in UWP and WPF, FlexLayout and CSS, plus some additional many new quality improvements.

“We’re now building with .NET Standard 2.0, using the magic of multi-targeting, while still supporting PCL profiles and other .NET Standard versions. Projects load much faster when you use .NET Standard project types.”

As on today, Microsoft also made availabe the .NET Core 2.1 Release Candidate (RC) with a “Go-Live” license to use in production with new features, such as:

  • ASP.NET Core SignalR. Developers have been using SignalR to build real-time web communication solutions since 2013 on the .NET Framework. The stack has been streamlined and improved to run on the cross-platform and higher performance .NET Core runtime. We also released SignalR as an Azure service.
  • ASP.NET Core web platform enhancements including support for Razor UI in class libraries, improvements in building WebAPIs, security enhancements, a new Identity UI library and HttpClientFactory.
  • Entity Framework Core 2.1 introduces significant capabilities like lazy loading, data seeding, new data providers and enhanced support for CosmosDB.
  • .NET Core 2.1 significantly improves build & runtime performance. It also introduces a new deployment and extensibility model for global tools.
  • ASP.NET Core 2.1 is more than 15% faster than version 2.0. This means that when ASP.NET Core is released, it will top the TechEmpower benchmarks as the fastest mainstream web framework on the planet.

Also, a roadmap for the next major version of .NET Core version 3.0, is now available, with supported workloads to Windows desktop, bringing Windows Presentation Foundation(WPF), Windows Forms (WinForms), and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app frameworks to .NET Core.

This allows Windows desktop developers to take advantage of side-by-side install of their apps. This means that system-wide updates of .NET will not impact running applications.

Developers will also have the ability to share and easily integrate UI controls across all the major Windows desktop frameworks. This means that you can incorporate controls into your apps that make the most sense for your users as well as take a phased migration approach to modernizing the UI of your app. For instance, you will be able to host UWP controls like Edge, Media, and more in your WPF and Winforms applications.

Team Foundation Server 2018 an on-premises DevOps suite of tools that enable using many of the same capabilities available to customers in the cloud through Visual Studio Team Services received some new features and bug fixes, including:

  • Support for Release Management release gates capabilities.
  • Wiki search.
  • Mentions in pull requests.
  • “Not In” query operator support.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is now available to all customers contains a rollup of released hotfixes as well as multiple improvements centered around performance, scalability, and supportability based on feedback from customers and the SQL community.

These improvements enable SQL Server 2016 to perform faster and with expanded supportability and diagnostics. It also showcases the SQL Server product team’s commitment to provide continued value into in-market releases.

It can be download from Microsoft Download Center and will also be coming soon to Visual Studio Subscriptions, MBS/Partner Source, and VLSC.

Update 05/09: Second day at Build, the ultimate developer conference in Seattle, Microsoft open up Windows 10 on ARM to developers looking to build great apps compiled natively for the platform with Visual Studio 15.8 Preview 1 provides an early preview of the full support that will be coming later this year.

The early preview of the SDK and tools allow creating of 64-bit ARM (ARM64) — be it Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, or .NET Native UWP apps, or C++ Win32 apps.

These tools answer the requests of many eager developers, and the development made possible with these tools represents the next step in the evolution of the Always Connected PC running Windows 10 on ARM.

Check out the getting started instructions over here.

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