All Things Developer Tools at Microsoft Ignite
There is a lot of developer goodness happening at Ignite this week. Visual Studio Online is available as a public preview for developers to try cloud hosted development environments with your tool of choice. Visual Studio 2019 version 16.4 Preview 3 and Visual Studio 2019 for Mac version 8.3 Preview 2 just released with tons of new productivity features. There are also a bunch of great sessions that deep dive into all this and much more.
Welcome to the family Visual Studio Online
Today Visual Studio Online moved to a public preview; providing managed, on-demand development environments for long-term projects, to quickly prototype a new feature, or for quick tasks like reviewing pull requests. You can work with environments from any device using Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio 2019 or the built-in browser-based editor. The features for connecting to a cloud environment from the Visual Studio 2019 IDE are available in private preview. Read more about the exciting announcement in the Visual Studio Online blog post.
The Visual Studio 2019 IDE can also create and connect to Visual Studio Online environments and take advantage of all the benefits of a cloud powered development environment to build any application.
- Get up and running quickly by letting Visual Studio Online install runtimes, SDKs and dev tools
- Create environments quickly to isolate your work across different projects
- Spin up extra capacity with a premium environment to gives you the memory and compute to run your toughest workloads
- Give your teammates a ready to go environment for rich code reviews without tying up your dev box or asking anyone to setup their own environment
We’re eager to invite developers that love working in a full IDE to join our private preview.
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.4 Preview 3 is here
Preview 3 of Visual Studio 2019 version 16.4 is now available. If you aren’t already running the Preview builds you can download and try out the latest side by side with our current version of Visual Studio. Of course, if you already have a Preview installed just click the notification or go to Help menu and click Check for updates.
Speedy code navigation
In 16.3 we introduced file search for all languages and semantic code search for C# and VB into the new Search bar. In 16.4 we have rewritten the Find in files tool window to address suggestions and feedback on the most popular search control in the IDE. Performance has been significantly improved and reliability issues that previously led to frustrating hangs have been fixed. We cleaned up the UI and added a few improvements like adding exclusions to a search query.
IntelliSense without Using Directives
IntelliSense is indispensable for browsing and finding members of a type but if you’re missing a Using directive you might not find what you need. In 16.4 IntelliSense shows members and types for any assemblies referenced from your project and automatically adds the Using directive to keep your code neat and tidy.
IntelliCode helps with argument completion
IntelliCode saves you time by putting what you’re most likely to use at the top of your IntelliSense completion list. IntelliCode can also provide suggestion for arguments as you type, bringing the most likely arguments to the top of your completion list. Set your cursor on a method and type CTRL+SPACE to give it a try.
Automatically re-train and acquire IntelliCode team models
Since we released the ability to create team models trained on your own code last year, we’ve heard feedback that sharing team models through links can be cumbersome and it’s difficult to remember to retrain your models. With our new Azure DevOps task and automatic acquisition of models, you can set up your pipeline to take care of team model updates and automatically share the model with others working in the same repository.
Refactoring with help from IntelliCode
ItelliCode goes beyond smarter IntelliSense. IntelliCode learns from your edits and provides refactoring suggestions for repeated edits as you type. IntelliCode understands the syntactic structure of your changes so suggestions include locations with similar structure but different variables and formatting. These suggestions appear with your other refactoring quick fixes and are available from the CTRL + ”.” shortcut. Remember to enable this early IntelliCode feature from Tools Options.
More real estate for code and easier navigation with vertical document tabs
We’re excited to include with 16.4 the most popular customer suggestion, vertical document tabs. Real estate for code is a premium in many environments. Vertical document tabs give vertical space to your source code while better utilizing your horizontal screen space. Stretch to bring long file names into view, sort tabs alphabetically and use tab groups to get more code on the screen.
XAML code editor pop up, merge resource dictionaries and more
In this release there are multiple new features for desktop developers building WPF or UWP applications. One such feature is the ability to open the XAML code editor window separately from the XAML designer using our new “pop up” button next to XAML tab:
Other features include the ability to easily merge an existing resource dictionary into your application with our new solution explorer command “Merge Resource Dictionary Into Active Window”, the ability to filter Live Visual Tree to “Just My XAML” and more. For a complete list of what’s new for desktop developers see the release notes.
Audio calls and app sharing for desktop apps in Live Share
Real time collaboration with Live Share opens the door for pair programming, rich code reviews, and help from experts even when they are remote. A quick call can often provide more context behind the code. Now the Live share tool window lets you start an audio call with other collaborators in a Live Share session.
You can now App Share a desktop and web apps in a Live Share conversation. Start a Live Share conversation with another developer or tester and start debugging. Guests will see the same running app you see on your local machine. They can even interact with the application and trigger breakpoints in the debugger.
Pin Properties in the Debugger
Identifying objects by their properties while debugging has just become easier and more discoverable with the new Pinnable Properties tool. In short, hover over a property you want to display in the debugger window of the Watch, Autos, and Locals windows, click that pin icon, and immediately see the information you are looking for at the top of your display!
Visual Studio 2019 for Mac version 8.4 Preview 2
Today we’re releasing Visual Studio 2019 for Mac version 8.4 Preview 2. This is an exciting release because it adds significant accessibility improvements to the overall IDE as well as support for .NET Core 3.1 Preview and full Blazor (server-side) support. With the latest version you can create, build, debug and run Blazor projects and then deploy your Blazor app directly to Azure without ever leaving the IDE. Learn more about this release on the latest Visual Studio for Mac blog post.
Ignite sessions to check out this week
The above is just a glimpse of the developer topics that will be covered at Microsoft Ignite this week. Make sure you head on over to https://www.microsoft.com/ignite to catch the following sessions and more. Times listed are in Eastern Time (ET).
If you’re at the event in Orlando this week, be sure to stop by the Development & Architecture Center to chat with our team and catch one of the many theater and lightning talks. There are also hands-on workshops throughout the week for you to experience these technologies first-hand.
Anthony & the entire Visual Studio team