First teased in 2016, the latest version of Microsoft’s Visual Studio has been released on March 7 as a digital download. The company describes its latest integrated development environment as a “faster and more responsive IDE from startup to shutdown.”
According to a blog post by Karan Nandwani, program manager for Microsoft, they focused on maximizing the efficiency of basic tasks. These fundamentals have been simplified and made more efficient in Visual Studio 2017. Microsoft made the installer lightweight and modular, enhanced the IDE to be faster and more responsive, and made editing and debugging easier.
Modular installation means installation components have been broken into smaller parts. According to Nandwani, they made a “componentized installer” for Visual Studio, which means they broke it down into “independent workloads.” Just install whichever component you need, as simple as that. This means coding is much faster and not bogged down by components you don’t need.
“The Universal Windows Platform development workload gives you the right tools to be productive in authoring, debugging and publishing UWP apps,” wrote Nandwani. “If something is missing, you will be able to add it later using the Visual Studio Installer.”
The IDE itself has been made faster and more responsive, which means goodbye to slow loading times. According to Nandwani, Visual Studio is up to three times faster when in terms of solution loading, and three times faster for a cold start. Visual Studio startup times improved from 206 seconds in the 2015 version to 64.2 seconds in the latest version.
To accomplish this, Microsoft used an on-demand-load approach to move extensions from the startup path. The company also optimized and deferred initializations related to the cache.
Finally, coding is now faster and easier because of enhancements in code navigation, code fixes, refactoring, debugging, and IntelliSense. This means less time troubleshooting and more time for actual coding.
IntelliSense refers to code editing features that include “code completion, parameter info, quick info, and member lists.” In other words, it is like a coding assistant that speeds up coding through context-aware suggestions. This is helpful in preventing typo errors and other coding mistakes. With Visual Studio 2017, Microsoft made IntelliSense more intelligent. According to Nandwani, IntelliSense has been improved with better filtering to help users manage long code lists easier.
“IntelliSense is also smarter with CamelCase search and the ability to select the best matching result from the list instead of simply picking the top result,” Nandwani added.
Visual Studio 2017 Features
Here’s a quick rundown of all the features that have arrived on Visual Studio 2017:
• Better startup and load time
• Modified navigation with new features
• Visual C++
• Extended support for C# 7.0 and Visual Basic
• Support for F# 4.1 language
• Live Unit Testing
• Introduction of Git features
• Enhanced Visual Studio Feedback Workflow
• Inclusion of .NET Core and ASP.NET Core libraries
• Xamarin 4.3 support
• NuGet support
• Azure SDK for .NET
• Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio
• Developer Command Prompt
• Installation Nickname and other IDE improvements
To download and view the complete details about Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2017, visit the official site.
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