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Visual Studio 2017 Next Preview, GA of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac Announced

In the Build 2017 keynote, Scott Guthrie made several announcements for Visual Studio product family, the significant are: general availability of Visual Studio for Mac, Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2, Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 preview, and a preview of .NET Standard 2.0 support in .NET Core.

In addition to the GA release, we’ll be making previews available soon with support for Docker, Azure Functions and IoT devices like Android Things.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2, delivers both bug fixes and new functionality include: the addition of Python Workload and Data Science Workload (which includes R, Python, and F#), support for TypeScript 2.2, an update to install Unity 5.6, and support for Xamarin 4.5 with Android SDK Manager (managing Android SDKs from Visual Studio).

It also bring feature improvements to C++ Linux tools and RedGate ReadyRoll, which is now integrated into Data workload.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 preview, bring improvements in accessibility, and new functionality such as: .NET Core 2.0 preview support including Visual Basic and F#, support for Windows Nano and Linux Docker containers, and Nano debugging support for Docker.

Also, it’s now possible to easily configure Office 365 services using Microsoft Graph from Connected Services. Additionally, this preview has improvements to Live Unit Testing e.g. support for .NET Core and improvements to usability with large solutions.

Microsoft Graph serves as a single gateway for developers to access APIs for Exchange, SharePoint, Azure AD, OneNote, Planner, Excel, and more. It provides one REST API endpoint across all of Microsoft’s APIs, and includes access to insights and relationship analysis powered by its intelligent engine.

Here’s a brief highlight of what’s new in Visual Studio 2017 Preview for Microsoft Graph:

  • When you open or create a project in Visual Studio, you will see Connected Services in the Solution Explorer. Clicking on it will take you to the Connected Services tab, in which you will see the “Access Office 365 Services with Microsoft Graph” provider.
  • “Access Office 365 Services with Microsoft Graph” provider enables you to sign into your Office 365 developer domain account and register application in Azure Active Directory to access Microsoft Graph APIs. You can either create a new app in Azure AD, or use an existing one for your project.
  • You can set permissions in the wizard for the following resource types: Calendars, Contacts, Mail, Files, Sites, User, Group, Directory, Notes, Tasks, and People.
  • Acquire required dependencies immediately
Microsoft Graph Connected Services

In addition, it includes more C++ standard conformance as well.

A preview of .NET Core 2.0 with support for .NET Standard 2.0 adds support for XML, Serialization, Networking, IO, and more. It now contains over 2500 types and 33,000 members.

Visual Studio Snapshot Debugger, our new cloud debugging experience, gives developers deep insight into cloud production code behavior at the time of an exception, without writing extensive logging statements or exception handling code.

The .NET Core 2.0 release also consolidates .NET Core into one package reference:

  • Visual Studio Live Unit Testing and CodeLens are updated as well to support .NET Core projects in the 15.3 preview.
  • ASP.NET Core 2.0 preview released today in version 15.3 preview, includes SignalR for real-time web functionality based on WebSockets, as well as Web Pages using Razor syntax, a lightweight syntax for combining server code with HTML.

.NET Core 2.0 Preview is a separate install but it requires the preview of Visual Studio 2017 (version 15.3) to be installed first.

Finally, benefits for Visual Studio subscribers announced today include: Opsgility, a Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, includes MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Subscribers can activate their new Opsgility benefit by sign in to My Visual Studio portal.

  • In addition, Visual Studio Professional subscribers are now entitled to a 6-month membership plan to Opsgility full catalog including on-demand content and hands-on-labs.
  • At the same time, Enterprise subscribers can unlock a full year of Opsgility course catalog and full lab guides, up to 4 hours of cloud readiness planning session with a Senior Cloud Solution Architect and a team subscription with up to 5 licenses.
  • Additionally, Visual Studio Enterprise members receive up to four hours of cloud readiness planning with a Senior Cloud Solution Architect, and a team subscription with up to five licenses.
  • Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio MSDN Platforms, and Visual Studio Test Pro subscribers now get a six-month membership plan to Opsgility unlocking access to their full catalog of on-demand videos, hands-on labs, and more.
  • Visual Studio Dev Essentials members receive access to a free three-month membership to Opsgility’s on-demand training videos. Dev Essentials members now also have access to hands-on labs!
Opsgility for Visual Studio Subscribers
Opsgility for Visual Studio Subscribers

Data Science (DS) and analytics applications workload brings three languages and their respective runtime distributions to Visual Studio 2017, as a single workload: “R and Microsoft R Client, Python and Anaconda, and F# with the .NET framework.”

Visual Studio Snapshot Debugger, new cloud debugging experience, gives developers deep insight into cloud production code behavior at the time of an exception, without writing extensive logging statements or exception handling code.

The general availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, a full-featured IDE built to help develop, debug, and test anything from mobile and web apps to games on macOS platform. It includes full support for mobile, web, and cloud workloads, as well as game development support with Unity 5.6.1.

Visual Studio for Mac

With Visual Studio for Mac, you can create mobile apps with Xamarin and C#, including creating a mobile backend with ASP.NET Core. It allows teams across PC and Mac to share code seamlessly by relying on the same solutions and projects.

For web application it includes support for ASP.NET Core, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. It is complemented by:

  • full power of the beloved-by-millions C# 7 programming language
  • Complete .NET APIs covering 100% of the APIs for Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS development
  • Xamarin.Forms API abstraction to maximize code sharing
  • thousands of .NET libraries on NuGet.org to accelerate your mobile development
  • Highly optimized native code backed by the LLVM optimizing compiler

This release also include the Visual Studio Tools for Unity (VSTU), and give the opportunity to Unity developers to develop and debug Unity games, with a Unity-specific solution explorer view, as well as syntax highlighting for script.

Features highlights of VSTU:

One click debugging. Simply click the start button in Visual Studio for Mac to attach the debugger to the Unity Editor. Even faster, press ⌘ Command + Enter.

Unity solution pad. Visual Studio for Mac will display the solution the same way it is displayed in Unity, making it much easier to navigate and find your scripts. You can see it in the screenshot above.

IntelliSense for Unity messages. Unity messages are methods that are called by the Unity game engine. Previously you needed to learn their signature, now Visual Studio for Mac provides code completion for them when writing scripts for Unity.

Visual Studio for Mac also provides:

  • Code coloration for shaders. Visual Studio for Mac supports syntax highlighting for ShaderLab, Unity’s shader format.
  • Access to the Unity documentation by searching types and members in Unity’s documentation from the IDE. Simply select the text you want to search and press ⌘ Command + ‘ to read their documentation.

Check out the Visual Studio for Mac release notes to get the complete list of features.

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