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First Date with Visual Studio 2015

Get a walkthrough of the cool new features made available by the long-awaited release of Visual Studio 2015.


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Last month, Microsoft finally made the announcement for general availability of Visual Studio 2015 along with an Update 5 for Visual Studio 2013 to enable support for some of the updated framework features and the latest Framework 4.6. While the release of Visual Studio 2015 was no less a fanfare event, the release of Framework 4.6 has been marred by some inherent issues in the framework. We are still anticipating some announcements from Microsoft as to when the issues are expected to be resolved.

As far as Visual Studio 2015 is concerned, it comes with some cool new features. A bunch of those are illustrated by Scott Guthrie in his blog post. There are some significant tooling improvements in terms of supporting JavaScript frameworks such as Node.js. Configuration is now managed through JSON-based configuration files and the JSON editor is rich even with support for Bower. The JavaScript editor now supports rich syntax for Angular.js and Facebook's React.js framework.

I liked the out-of-the-box feature integration with Azure App Insights (much as they did with integrating Azure Web Sites with an ASP.NET VS template sometime back). It is a nifty add-in to instrument user behaviour in your application without having to program them in. Of course, if you want more, you can still program with the Data Collection API, but this OOB integration allows you immediate traceability.



The update also offers the availability of ASP.NET 5.0 preview templates. You can now create an ASP.NET 5.0 application (a radical shift from traditional ASP.NET web applications) as an open source cross platform framework for building modern web applications. ASP.NET 5 applications are run using the .NET Execution Environment (more on this in the next post) that allows it to be run cross platform (equally efficient on Mac, Linux and Windows).

After creating an ASP.NET 5.0 project, when you look at the solution, there are a bunch of new additions. You have the new Startup.cs class to define the ASP.NET pipeline using configuration. You would also notice a bunch of .JSON files for packaging different components and configuration information. You will also notice configuration for task-based JS runners like Gulp.

Another item you will find is the presence of wwwroot. This represents the root location from where the HTTP requests are handled and you will see the presence of static content in this folder.

Edition wise, there are certain changes. You now get a fully loaded Enterprise Edition, which replaces the Ultimate version in the outgoing platform. More on the tools and especially the .NET Execution Environment in future posts!



   
Sandeep Chanda is a Director of Solutions at Neudesic, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator and Gold Certified Partner. He has been working on several Microsoft Technologies (including but not limited to .NET, Azure, BizTalk, SharePoint and Dynamics CRM) for the past ten years, building large scale enterprise applications spanning multiple industries. He is a technology enthusiast and a speaker at various corporate events and public webinars. He has authored several articles on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 in DevX, and is the Author of the books Windows Identity Foundation Cookbook by PacktPub, and Beginning ASP.NET 4.5 Databases by Apress. Most recently he has been involved in evangelizing aspects of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and developer collaboration using Team Foundation Server 2012 and was the speaker on the subject at the Great Indian Developer Summit 2012. He is currently co-authoring a book on Dynamics CRM Marketing Automation with PacktPub. Sandeep holds an MS degree in Software Systems from BITS, Pilani and his areas of interest include Service Oriented Computing, Cross Platform Mobility, Pervasive Computing, Haptic Devices and Cloud Computing.
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