News and Announcements at Connect(); //2015

Visual Studio Blog

Today we held the Connect(); //2015 event in New York, where we introduced many new products and features that we’ve been working on. In this post I’ll share the highlights with you, and you can watch the Connect(); event along with many additional on-demand videos on

Visual Studio Code beta release. In this beta of Visual Studio Code we have done the following:

To find out more about the VS Code announcements visit the VS Code blog.

Visual Studio Code Beta

.NET Core 5 RC and ASP.NET 5 RC with Go-Live license.
The release candidates of both .NET Core 5 and ASP.NET 5 are now available for Linux, Windows, and OS X with a Go-Live license, so that you can start using it in production environments even though it’s still not at full release yet. ASP.NET 5 RC includes enhancements to both the runtime and tools with a simplified hosting model across Windows, OS X and Linux. You can read more about .NET Core on the .NET team blog, and more on ASP.NET 5 on the ASP.NET team blog and Scott Hanselman’s blog.

Visual Studio Online is now Visual Studio Team Services and extends its features.
We’ve changed the name of Visual Studio Online to Visual Studio Team Services to help make it clear in the name that these cloud development services have become a central part of agile team collaboration and DevOps services. New features in Team Services include a plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, a new customizable and task-based Build service, dashboards that provide visibility into a team’s progress, and preview extensions for Code Search, Package Management, and Release Management. The team has a number of posts on the Visual Studio ALM blog where you can explore all these improvements in depth.

Visual Studio Dev Essentials
is a new, free program that brings together everything developers need to create applications on any device or operating system including Visual Studio Community and Visual Studio Code, and the free tier of Visual Studio Team Services. Dev Essentials adds priority forum support, training services from Pluralsight, Wintellect, and Xamarin, and—something that many have asked for—monthly credits to use in Azure, which will be coming in early 2016. You can find all the details on

Visual Studio cloud subscriptions.
We are adding Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise monthly and annual subscriptions to our existing MSDN subscription lineup. Monthly subscriptions include the Visual Studio Professional or Enterprise IDE, access to Visual Studio Team Services with the optional Test Manager extension (for VS Enterprise subscriptions), and Team Foundation Server client access license. Annual subscriptions add benefits equivalent to those currently offered through MSDN subscriptions, including technical support incidents, Azure credits, Pluralsight training, access to dev/test software, a Windows developer account, Office ProPlus, an Office 365 developer subscription, Power BI Pro, and partner offers, depending on the subscription level. You can find all the details on

We’ll offer these subscriptions through the new Visual Studio Marketplace, giving you the convenience of a single bill for both subscription purchases and other Microsoft Azure cloud services like virtual machines and storage.

Visual Studio Marketplace.
We’ve had the Visual Studio Gallery for VS extensions for a long time. Today we’re announcing the Visual Studio Marketplace, a central place for developers to find, acquire, and install extensions for all editions of Visual Studio (Enterprise, Professional, and Community), for Visual Studio Team Services (formerly Visual Studio Online), and for Visual Studio Code.

The new Visual Studio cloud subscriptions, as well as the Test Manager extension for Visual Studio Team Services, are now available for purchase in the Marketplace. And at a future date, partners will be able to sell extensions in the Visual Studio Marketplace. Explore for more.

Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 and Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 1.
We’re closing in on the release of Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 and Team Foundation Server Update 1, which will both happen on November 30th.

I’ve previously shared details on this blog about the many features that we put out in the CTP and RC releases; in the full update you can look forward to even more like MS Test and Code Coverage support for ASP.NET 5, parallel test execution, improved code analysis, and an improved NuGet Package Manager experience, along with updated tools for the Universal Windows Platform. Watch this blog for the announcement on November 30th.

With Team Foundation Server, new features include dashboards that provide visibility to a team’s progress of work, code, tests and builds, Git and Team Foundation Version Control in the same team project, the ability to query Kanban columns and SonarQube Analysis build tasks work with on-premises and hosted agents. Brian Harry will let you know all about TFS 2015 Update 1 on his blog also on November 30th.

Xamarin 4 support
. We’re excited to announce that Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 will include Xamarin 4 support, providing an end-to-end solution to build, test, and monitor native mobile apps at scale with Visual Studio. Xamarin 4 includes updates to Xamarin Platform, notably rebuilt support for developing iOS apps in VS, making it more convenient to build, debug, and deploy Xamarin.iOS projects from Visual Studio. Xamarin now uses a SSH-based connection to simplify the Visual Studio-to-Mac network connection and provide a faster, more reliable connection over a well-known port. Configuring a Mac for Xamarin and Visual Studio only requires enabling Remote Login, and allows multiple Visual Studio instances to connect simultaneously, making it easier to work in multiple iOS projects at the same time. Xamarin 4 is a big release, with the Xamarin team investing hundreds of hours to improving the performance and stability of mobile development in C#. Visit the Xamarin blog to learn more and get started.

iOS Build with MacinCloud on Visual Studio Team Services.
We’ve partnered with MacinCloud to introduce a VS Team Services / VSO build agent plan. For organizations that prefer to not manage Macs in their datacenters or for smaller organizations that would prefer to not maintain dedicated Mac hardware for continuous integration, they can now use Team Services with MacinCloud to do their iOS builds. The plan is currently in preview at $30/month per agent with no limits on build hours. You’ll still need to sign up for the Apple Developer Program to obtain signing certificates and the necessary provisioning profiles to build and release your app, but a MacinCloud agent can be used with the free tier of Visual Studio Team Services through its one complementary “private” agent slot.

iOS build with MacinCloud

For details, visit the full ALM blog post, MacinCloud’s plan, the Xcode Build tutorial, the Cordova build tutorials, and this blog post on React Native.

Additional Announcements

  • Take an early peek at the next major version of Visual Studio by watching the videos on Features include a dramatically improved setup experience, lightweight installation options for any language, and innovation themes for the next version of C#.
  • Visual Studio Emulator for Android is coming to Mac OS X, enabling Android developers working either in OS X or Windows to use Microsoft’s fast, powerful and free Android emulator. You can sign up to be notified when the emulator is available on Mac OS X here. Plus, we’ve added new features in the Windows version of the emulator, including support for Marshmallow (API Level 23).
  • The HockeyApp extension is available in the Visual Studio Marketplace, which enables developers to extend their existing DevOps workflow to their mobile apps. A free tier lets a single developer manage two apps with all the capabilities of HockeyApp.
  • Public Preview of Visual Studio GDB Debugger Extension, enabling Linux native remote debugging support in Visual Studio for Linux servers or IoT devices among others.
  • Node.js Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 RTM delivers higher developer productivity and Node.js v4.x support in Visual Studio.
  • Azure Service Fabric and Azure DevTest Labs in Public Preview. Azure Service Fabric helps developers build and operate microservice-based applications at scale with full integration with Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio. Azure DevTest Labs helps developers and testers quickly create environments in Azure while helping IT professionals minimize waste and control costs.
  • Azure SDK 2.8 for .NET includes updates to the Mobile Apps templates, big data tools for HDInsight customers, and updates to Docker and Data Factory tools. We’ve also announced new Azure Service Fabric tools for Visual Studio 2015 along with a standalone version a new client that runs on both the Windows and Mac desktops known as Storage Explorer.
  • Microsoft Graph (GA and Preview), described in detail on the Office Blog and Office Dev Blog and found on, offers developers a consistent way to access data, intelligence and APIs within the Microsoft cloud, and with a single authorization token. Any developer capable of making an HTTP request can call the API from any platform, and once-siloed Office 365 services can now be directly navigated via the Microsoft Graph.
  • Additional updates for mobile development include CodePush Open Beta and the Intune App SDK, in addition to the partnership with MacinCloud (discussed earlier) that enables Visual Studio Team Services to build for iOS and other platforms in the cloud.
  • Docker tools for Visual Studio RC, enabling developers to work with Docker containers from Visual Studio target both Linux and Windows.
  • Azure diagnostics, now offered as part of Visual Studio Application Insights, provide system and infrastructure data in one place.

Again, you can enjoy the videos from the live announcements as well as more than 70 on-demand videos with additional details on And of course we’re already underway with future updates and releases. Let us know what you’d like to see by sharing your feedback, suggestions, thoughts, and ideas on UserVoice , through the in-product feedback UI, or file a bug through the Visual Studio Connect site.


John Montgomery

John Montgomery is the Director of Program Management for Visual Studio, responsible for product design and customer success for all of Visual Studio, C++, C#, F#, VB, TypeScript, JavaScript, and .NET. John has been at Microsoft for 17 years, working in developer technologies the whole time. Reach him on Twitter @JohnMont


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