Visual Studio 11 Gets Game, More Agile
Microsoft is releasing the first Developer Previews of Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework 4.5 in conjunction with its BUILD conference for developers this week. The Visual Studio 11 SDK is included in the Developer Preview.
The IDE adds support for HTML5 and Windows 8, according to Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jason Zander, who highlighted some of the new features outside of what's available in Visual Studio 11 Express during the Day 2 keynote at BUILD on Wednesday.
Zander took a spin through the new visual image editor and graphics tools in the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, which include debugging capabilities for 2D and 3D games based on DirectX. He also showcased a new Code-Clone Analysis Tool and explained how it works in his blog:
The Code-Clone Analysis tool in Visual Studio 11 examines your solution looking for logic that is duplicated, enabling you to factor this code out into one or more common methods. The tool does this very intelligently; it does not just search for identical blocks of code, rather it searches for semantically similar constructs using heuristics developed by Microsoft Research.
.According to Zander, .NET 4.5 focused on improvements requested by developers such as state machine support in Windows Workflow and asynchronous programming in C# and Visual Basic, which was previewed in the Async CTPs. He blogged about the key improvements:
Across ASP.NET, the BCL, MEF, WCF, WPF, Windows Workflow, and other key technologies, we’ve listened to developers and added functionality in .NET 4.5. Important examples include state machine support in Windows Workflow, and improved support for SQL Server and Windows Azure in ADO.NET. ASP.NET has increased investments in HTML5, CSS3, device detection, page optimization, and the NuGet package system, as well as introduces new functionality with MVC4.
A Developer Preview of Team Foundation Server 11 is also available this week. Among the highlights, according to Zander, is enhanced unit testing with an agile tool called Exploratory Testing – no formal test planning required. A new workflow feature in TFS saves project state for code reviews with Team Explorer. Microsoft also showcased Team Foundation Services hosted on Azure, and invited BUILD attendees and their co-workers and friends to register for the first public preview of TFS in the cloud, which went live on Wednesday. Outside of 250 first-come first-serve "bharry" code activations, you need to know someone who attended BUILD in order to sign up for the preview.
The Developer Previews are slated to be generally available on Friday at 10 a.m. PDT. MSDN subscribers had access to the previews on Wednesday. You can get the downloads here.
Are you optimistic about developing apps for Windows 8 after all the announcements at BUILD this week? Express your thoughts below or drop me a line.
Posted by Kathleen Richards on 09/15/2011 at 12:54 PM