Dec 07, 2009

New Features in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4

Denis Stetsenko

Denis Stetsenko

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As a developer working with Microsoft technologies, I use Visual Studio on a daily basis. Therefore, I’m really looking forward to the new version that is currently under development – Visual Studio 2010. It has a number of new and improved features, and will support the upcoming .NET Framework 4. In this post, I’m going to highlight the most significant new and improved features of Visual Studio 2010 IDE and .NET Framework 4. Please note that this information is based on the Beta 2 version of the product.

VS 2010 B2 Start Page

Enhanced Experience Design

Overall, Microsoft has done a great job cleaning up and organizing the UI and making it easier to use.

  • Reduced complexity lets you focus on the task at hand

  • Better support for floating documents and windows

  • Multi-monitor support increases productivity

  • Customizable Start page (XAML)

Code Editor

New code editor is a great step forward from the usability aspect. It’s been rebuilt using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology, which enables code editor to present the information in a rich way that was not possible before.

  • Zooming lets you easily zoom in or out any text document or graph

  • Document Map Margin feature renders a graphical view of the source file

  • Inline Call Hierarchy feature displays code calls for an entity or method

  • Highlight References feature instantly highlights all references of a particular object

  • Quick Search feature delivers a word wheel based search

    • Integrated with Highlight References feature

    • Supports CamelHumps in code completion

  • TDD – consume first, declare second

  • Extensible, so possibilities are endless

  • Many Debugger improvements (WPF Visualizer, grouping/labeling of breakpoints, etc.)

Web Development

There are a lot of improvements in the Web Development experience.

  • Full ASP.NET MVC support

  • A high-performance and standards-compliant JavaScript IntelliSense engine

  • Native jQuery support and IntelliSense

  • HTML Snippets

  • One Click Deployment quickly publishes files and configuration settings from development machines to the final deployed site

  • Full support for Silverlight for rich Internet applications

  • ASP.NET 4

    • Static IDs for ASP.NET Controls

    • New Chart control

    • Web.config Transformations

    • Controls output clean markup by default (no need for CSS control adapters)

    • Many improvements to existing controls

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SharePoint Development

If you have done any SharePoint development work in the past, your must know how time-consuming and cumbersome it can be. Visual Studio 2010 includes tools and wizards to greatly simplify and speed up SharePoint development. Of course, it will also include all tools needed for SharePoint 2010 development. I’m very excited about this and can’t wait to try these new tools.

  • Advance in usability and functionality

  • New project templates

    • Workflow, Content types, List Definitions, Site Definitions, Web Parts, Application pages, Master pages, Server controls, Modules, Fields

  • New visual designers

    • Web Parts, app pages, user controls, packages

  • Project wizards simplify solution development

  • Improved experience in the code -> debug -> deploy process

  • Create workflows at the site level and add association/initiation forms for either list or site workflows

  • Design BDC models that can pull data from MS SQL Server, Siebel and SAP

  • Import BDC models created in other tools, add custom code, or just package and deploy them to farms

  • VS extensibility API lets you create new or extend existing SharePoint project items, enhance deployment and retraction functionality, and extend the display and actions of SharePoint nodes in Server Explorer

  • Server Explorer can browse SharePoint Sites

Windows 7 Development

Windows 7 is quickly gaining traction and Visual Studio 2010 includes all the tools you need for developing desktop applications.

  • Added tools to assist developers in building new apps and making existing native apps take advantage of new Windows features

  • Full library and header support for Windows 7

  • Significant updates to MFC to support Windows 7 UI elements (ribbon, live icons, search access, multi-touch enabled interfaces)

  • Improvements to the WPF support and integrated data binding from the properties grid and data sources windows

Office Business Application Development

The new tools will simplify OBA development and support the upcoming Microsoft Office 2010 suite.

  • Build Office client apps that span multiple versions of Office and are delivered as a single deployment package

  • Graphically assemble the package, leverage ClickOnce, CD or Web installs to get the apps to the end users

  • Designer support for building flexible UI in either WPF or Fluent allows developers to customize the Office File Menu, Task Panes, Outlook Form Regions and the Fluent UI itself (i.e. ribbon view)

  • Improved data binding, integration of various Office data sources with LINQ, ability to data bind to the BDC

  • Apps can interoperate with many Office objects

Cloud Development

Cloud computing is gaining momentum and Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio will let you start developing services and applications for Microsoft’s cloud platform.

  • C# and VB Project Templates for building Cloud Services

  • Tools to change the Service Role configuration

  • Integrated local development via Development Fabric and Development Storage services

  • Debugging Cloud Service Roles running in the Development Fabric

  • Building and packaging of Cloud Service Packages

  • Browsing to the Azure Services Developer Portal

Application Lifecycle Management (Visual Studio Team System 2010)

Everyone on the project team will benefit from these new features.

  • Architecture Explorer lets you discover existing code assets

  • Support for multiple diagram types, including use case, activity and sequence diagrams

  • Tools for better documentation of test scenarios and collection of test data

  • Test Impact View lets you run tests impacted by a code change

  • Enhanced version control includes gated check-in, branch visualization and build workflow

Parallel Programming, Simplified

  • Full IDE support for parallel programming

  • Native C++ libraries that use lambda functions and align well with STL

  • Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework offer support for imperative data and task parallelism, declarative data parallelism, etc.

  • Resource management of the multicore hardware and task scheduling enabled by Concurrency Runtime

  • Parallel capable performance analyzer enables visual representation of concurrency issues

  • Parallel debugging windows and profiling views

Database Support

  • Work with IBM DB2 and Oracle databases in addition to Microsoft SQL Server databases

  • IBM and Quest Software committed to provide Database Schema Providers (DSPs), which will allow offline design, development, testing and change management

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 include a lot of exciting new features and improvements for project managers, architects, developers and testers. You can find more information about Visual Studio 2010 and download the latest version by visiting the Visual Studio website or Visual Studio Developer Center.

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