Review: Visual Studio 2017 is the best ever

Visual Studio 2017 is not only smaller and faster, but armed for many more use cases than previous versions

At a Glance
ed choice plum InfoWorld

Two years ago, when I reviewed Visual Studio 2015, I came away thinking that Microsoft’s IDE had become the most complicated product ever, and Microsoft would have to simplify it in the future. I was wrong in one respect: Although Microsoft threw out a few features for Visual Studio 2017, it added a great deal more. But sure enough, Microsoft managed to deliver a simpler—and nimbler—IDE in Visual Studio 2017, despite increasing its capabilities.

Unlike some past versions of Visual Studio that focused on introducing complicated new Microsoft-specific technologies such as Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation, Visual Studio 2017 installs and works better and faster, supports more programming languages and platforms, improves developer productivity, and applies to cross-platform workloads in natural ways.

For most users of Visual Studio 2015, upgrading to Visual Studio 2017 will be a no-brainer. Let’s explore why.

Bigger and smaller

In some respects, Visual Studio 2017 looks even more like a big grab bag of tenuously related products than previous versions of Visual Studio. Its expanding collection of development targets now includes Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, MacOS, .Net Core, Anaconda, Azure web apps and connected services, Docker, Office, and web development with ASP.Net, HTML5/CSS3, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, or (big breath) TypeScript. What a list—and it’s not even complete, as there are additional supported technologies, such as SQL Server, Visual Studio Extensions, and R.

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