What’s New in Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 Preview 2 for C++, Xamarin, and Azure Tooling Experiences

Ulzii Luvsanbat [MSFT]

Last week, Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 Preview 2 was released, bringing many new features and improvements for developers in Visual Studio to help you build better software faster. Please read some highlights of new features and improved developer experiences in this page.

Install this preview side-by-side with your Visual Studio release and try these highlighted features without replacing your current development environment.

C++ CMake Development

This preview comes with several improvements specific to CMake development, including CMake language services and the ability to easily add, remove, and rename files in CMake projects. Our in-box support for Clang/LLVM in Visual Studio has also been updated to ship Clang 9.0.0.

There are also improvements specific to Linux CMake development in this preview. Ability to leverage our native support for WSL when separating your build system from your remote deploy system. A command line utility to interact with the Connection Manager, and as well as performance improvements. For a full list of new CMake features in Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 Preview 2, check out our post on CMake, Linux targeting, and IntelliSense improvements in Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 Preview 2.

Xamarin Development

This preview brings new features and improvements for Xamarin developers to help you build better mobile apps, faster. In this latest version, XAML Hot Reload for Xamarin.Forms can now connect to multiple debug targets at the same time. This means you can change your XAML, hit Save, and see your changes on both Android and iOS simultaneously.

This release also adds support for Android Apply Changes. You can now apply Android resource changes at runtime. This allows you to quickly see changes made to your Android resource files (XML layouts, drawable, etc.) on an Android device or emulator without requiring the application to be restarted.

Azure Tooling Development

Azure Functions 3.0 is now generally available, so it’s now possible to build and deploy functions with the 3.0 runtime version in production. This new version of the Functions runtime brings new capabilities including the ability to target .NET Core 3.1 and Node 12. It’s also highly backwards compatible, so most existing apps running on older language versions should be able to upgrade to the 3.0 version and run on it without any code changes. Running on this new version of the runtime in production will receive support for those apps. For details on creating or migrating to this production-ready 3.0 version, read the Azure Functions documentation.

Applications running on earlier versions of the Azure Functions runtime will continue to be supported and we’re not deprecating either 1.0 or 2.0 at this time. Customers running Azure Functions targeting 1.0 or 2.0 will also continue to receive security updates and patches moving forward—to both the Azure Functions runtime and the underlying .NET runtime—for apps running in Azure. Whenever there’s a major version deprecation, we plan to provide notice at least a year in advance for users to migrate their apps to a newer version.

In order to get the latest tooling for Azure functions VS, please install Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 Preview 2.

C++ Unreal Engine Development

In this preview, there have been many significant improvements to IDE productivity, as well as build throughput and code generation quality. Please see our team posts on Quick fixes, quick info, peek header, goto document, Enhanced Syntax Colorization, Template Argument Filtering, and IntelliCode, and C++ Toolset Game performance improvements. We would like your feedback on your C++ Unreal Engine development experience in Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 Preview 2.

Microsoft is directly driven by your feedback, which means Visual Studio 2019 is full of features that were inspired by YOU! Make your voice heard by filing bug reports or sharing feature suggestions on Developer Community.


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  • SuperCocoLoco . 0

    And what about the restore of the old “Start Page” and the old tree-based “New Project” dialog? And also make permanent the option to show the title bar instead of the compact bar that is now a temporary option that will be removed on a future version.

    Please, don’t lie, Microsoft is directly not driven by your feedback, which means Visual Studio 2019 is full of features that is not inspired by us, your users. There are really features that users not want and be forced by Microsoft to use them, making things more complicate and desesperating alienating his users. Making our voice heard by filing bug reports or sharing feature suggestions on Developer Community is really a waste of time.

    • aco krstic 0

      Word up, son. Microsoft is topsht company IMO. But they should really work on their feedback/suggestions/bug-report.

      If I’d get a single piece of feedback for my game, I’d read it like 100 times min.

      So there should be a Microsoft web-page that sincerely displays all of the suggestions taken into account, including
      their authors.

      And for Christ’s sake, can someone please make EULA’s 100x shorter, or at least easier to read with
      table of contents hyperlinks or whatever?

      • aco krstic 0

        I got nothing against the new Start Dialog, but it should be an option to permanently set back to the old “Start Page”.

    • Serge Lussier 0

      Microsoft Windows platforms and Linux must NEVER-EVER mix together! Whatever Visual Studio native compilers/projects settings or Dedicated CMake settings, Linux/*nix/OSX/WIndows cannot be inter-mixed. I don’t know what the heck are you thinking MIcrosoft Dev teams, but just NO!

      When I use V.Studio for the same C++ project as on Linux, I do use the native project-solution settings dialog for MSVC.
      When I am on Linux for the same project, I use CMake. It is already so f*&$#’ing complicated to setup a REAL C++ project with CMake on Linux which is already THE NATURAL DEV PLATFORM for C++. I WILL NEVER-EVER TRY CMAKE on Windows Platform.


      • Erika SweetMicrosoft employee 0

        Hi Serge, you don’t need to use CMake to target Linux from Visual Studio. If you prefer MSBuild-based projects and solutions then you can use “Visual Studio Linux Projects” (as opposed to CMake projects). These leverage the exact same project property UI that you are used to and drive a remote build and debugging session on either a remote Linux system or WSL. Documentation can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/linux/configure-a-linux-project?view=vs-2019

    • Robert Linton 0

      Fully agree with you on the start page (and Developer News list–moved to the Installer App?, der) but now they are in a full-blown ego pissing match about that decision. This is def. a Ballmer-buddy left-over making these choices. Things will get better when THAT group finally retires.

  • aco krstic 0

    But regards the actual blog post…

    CMake — is complicated. I mean you can use for C++, DIrectX, Unreal Engine, Visual Studio IDE, Visual Code.

    Which comes with necessary knowledge of JSON, which is so complicated and poor-documented, that I have
    no idea where to start.

    Another thing for the Visual Studio team to consider… Microsoft Visual Studio Community version was once
    100s of € to pay. By making it free you made a lot of developers(including me) a first chance of using a real
    C++ integrated software development environment.

    So you have another chance of making a difference again…
    focus on CMake first(what regards C++) before downloadable modules in Visual Studio Installer.
    Also try to work on the CMake and JSON — Visual Studio Code extensions.

    • Gavin Williams 0

      VS Community never had a price, it was always free. If you ever paid for VS Community, you were scammed.

  • HGH 0

    Is there any chance of getting an updated C++ roadmap for 2020? How many new C++20 features can we expect to get implemented this year (including IntelliSense support)?

    • Ulzii Luvsanbat Microsoft employee 0

      Great question. We will be publishing broader feature roadmap for VS all up soon. In that roadmap list, you will be able to see C++20 related features at a high level. Please look for that.

  • b.ly.g 0

    I was trying to test the new feature “debug your iOS app built with Xamarin.Forms on a device connected to your Windows machine”. So I ran a debug on my app with Automatic Provisioning enabled. However when I tried to select a Team, the error “Authentication Error. Xcode 7.3 or later is required to continue developing with your Apple ID”. Did I miss anything in the installation?

  • Tony Henrique 0

    Visual Studio 2019 is awesome. Keep up the great work.

    • Ulzii Luvsanbat Microsoft employee 0

      Thank you Tony. Preview 3 of Visual Studio 2019 version 16.5 has released yesterday.

      • Dean Jackson 0

        Don’t be in a hurry to release 16.5 until it’s really ready. The latest 16.4.x and preview 3 of 16.5 are buggy. Preview 3 alone created a lot of new bugs.

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