Microsoft has been releasing pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2015 to collect your valuable real-world feedback. Microsoft released the Community Technology Preview 5 (CTP 5) of Visual Studio 2015 on Jan. 16. Though it is not yet a go-live release, it is close to being complete as far as the features and enhancements are concerned.
So what’s new?
Visual Studio 2015, the next major release of the popular development IDE from Microsoft, includes improved support for cross-platform device development using C++, an Android emulator for your Android devices, updated tooling support for Apache Cordova, and support for ASP.Net 5. You can now share, reuse, build, deploy, and debug libraries for other operating systems using the Visual Studio 2015 IDE.
Microsoft has mentioned that Visual Studio 2015 includes new features and improvements in the following categories:
- Visual Studio C++ for cross-platform development
- Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova
- Visual Studio Emulator for Android
- C++ improvements
- C# and Visual Basic improvements
- .Net Framework 4.6
- Entity Framework improvements
- Visual Studio IDE improvements
- Debugging and Diagnostics improvements
- ASP.Net improvements
- Unit Tests
- Application Insights
- Release Management
- Git version control
- Architecture, design, and modeling
I have been exploring Visual Studio 2015 for quite some time now, and I'm intrigued by its awesome new features and enhancements. I would like to present a few incredible features of the Visual Studio 2015 IDE in this post. Here’s a quick look at these new features and/or enhancements.
- Android Emulator: You have an Android Emulator now -- a great new feature. This new Android emulator in Visual Studio 2015 enables you to test your Android applications from within the Visual Studio IDE. This Android emulator is easy to install and configure, and it enables you to switch between different platform emulators seamlessly sans Hyper-V conflicts. Note that you can use the Android emulator side by side with the Windows Phone Emulator. Incidentally, both these emulators are based on Hyper-V. The Android emulator provides support for GPS/Location, accelerometer, screen rotation, zoom, SD card, and network access. You can learn more on the Android Emulator in Visual Studio 2015 from this link: http://www.visualstudio.com/explore/msft-android-emulator-vs
- Support for debugging lambda expressions. I was really intrigued on exploring the debugging and diagnostics enhancements in Visual Studio 2015. The ability to evaluate lambda expressions while debugging -- I was desperately waiting to see Visual Studio provide support to debug lambda expressions in the Quick Watch, Watch, Immediate Windows.
And here you go! Visual Studio 2015 provides support for debugging lambda expressions -- a much-awaited feature. With Visual Studio 2015, you can enter your lambda expressions in the Watch windows while debugging your code. This blog post discusses more on this: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/archive/2014/11/12/support-for-debugging-lambda-expressions-with-visual-studio-2015.aspx
You can send in your feedback on Visual Studio 2015's support for debugging or ask questions if you have here: https://twitter.com/VS_Debugger. You can also send your comments and views via email to the Visual Studio Diagnostics team here: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Smart Unit Tests. Visual Studio 2015 includes a new feature that can explore your source code, as well as generate test data and a suite of unit tests. Note that this feature works only with Visual Studio Ultimate. To generate smart unit tests, all you would need to do is select the method for which you would want smart unit tests to be generated, right-click, then click on Smart Unit Tests. You can also persist your test data and unit tests if you want to. Note that smart unit tests work only with managed code as it inspects or analyzes the MSIL instructions. This blog post takes a quick tour on how smart unit tests actually work: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/archive/2014/12/11/smart-unit-tests-a-mental-model.aspx
You can know more on smart unit tests from this link: https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/dn823749(v=vs.140).aspx
- Support for an improved code editor. To improve developer experience and productivity Visual Studio 2015 provides you an improved code editor -- the default code editor has now been replaced with Roslyn to give you an awesome code editing experience. If you have issues in your source code, you'll see a Light Bulb appear in the IDE; it would provide you the suggested fixes and resolution to the issues in your source code. Visual Studio 2015 also includes support for refactoring VB code; this has been introduced first time.
The long-awaited release of Visual Studio 2015 is not too far -- be sure to check out the latest CTP release. So why wait? Go grab it! You can download a copy of Visual Studio 2015 CTP 5 from here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967191
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