Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 highlights

VS2010 Beta 1 promises a worthy upgrade to the premier IDE for .Net development, but some key pieces are still missing

The first thing you'll notice about Visual Studio 2010 is the revamped user interface, which is based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) instead of Windows Forms. The laundry list of improvements extend to the WPF and Silverlight designers, code browsing, IntelliSense, thread debugging, test-driven development, and the .Net languages themselves. Here is a scrolling tour of some of the highlights. (Click each image for a closer view.) For more detail on these and other features, see my preview.

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Note the lack of ASP.Net MVC projects. There has been no word yet on when they will be available.

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Note the lack of device and Azure projects. Azure projects have become available as an add-in since this screen shot was taken, but there has been no word yet on when the smart device projects will be available.

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The interface for Visual Studio 2010 was built with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), so it’s no surprise that the WPF designer is very smooth.

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Visual Studio 2010 warns that Silverlight projects may present a security risk and offers two project modes.

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The Silverlight designer is very similar to the WPF designer, but offers fewer controls in its toolbox.

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I had planned to show a demonstration of Silverlight debugging. Instead, I got this error message. It may be a 64-bit issue or an installation problem. Did I mention that this is Beta 1? [UPDATE: Installing the Silverlight 3 developer runtime fixed this problem.]

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Silverlight has its own flavor of IntelliSense for each version.

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Want to zoom in on your code or display it to a room full of people? Scrolling while pressing the Ctrl key makes it simple.

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The ASP.Net AJAX extensions are now part of standard ASP.Net Web sites.

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F# is the .Net variant on ML or OCAML. It is supported natively in Visual Studio 2010 and can be mixed with C# and other .Net languages in the same project.

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The Architecture Explorer makes it easier to understand large code bases, such as the Pet Store sample shown here.

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This UML class diagram was generated automatically by the Architecture Explorer. Microsoft has gotten much more serious about UML support than it has been in the past.

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