What's new in Visual Studio 2008 (Long!)

From the new product guide, I thought I'd post this stuff up here:


What’s New in Visual Studio 2008

Product Guide

Nov 2007

Introduction to the Visual Studio Development System

Visual Studio 2008 provides advanced development tools, debugging features, database functionality, and innovative features for quickly creating tomorrow’s cutting-edge applications across a variety of platforms.

Visual Studio 2008 includes enhancements such as visual designers for faster development with the .NET Framework 3.5, substantial improvements to web development tools and language enhancements that speed development with all types of data. Visual Studio 2008 provides developers with all the tools and framework support required to create compelling, expressive, AJAX-enabled web applications.

Developers will be able to take advantage of these rich client-side and server-side frameworks to easily build client-centric web applications that integrate with any back-end data provider, run within any modern browser and have complete access to ASP.NET application services and the Microsoft platform.

Rapid Application Development

To help developers rapidly create modern software, Visual Studio 2008 delivers improved language and data features, such as Microsoft Language Integrated Query (LINQ), that make it easier for individual programmers to build solutions that analyse and act on information.

Visual Studio 2008 also provides developers with the ability to target multiple versions of the .NET Framework from within the same development environment. Developers will be able to build applications that target the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 or 3.5, meaning that they can support a wide variety of projects in the same environment.

Breakthrough User Experience

Visual Studio 2008 offers developers new tools that speed creation of connected applications on the latest platforms including the web, Windows Vista, Office 2007, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008. For the web, ASP.NET, AJAX and other new technologies will enable developers to quickly create a new generation of more efficient, interactive and personalised web experiences.

Effective Team Collaboration

Visual Studio 2008 delivers expanded and improved offerings that help improve collaboration in development teams, including tools that help integrate database professionals and graphic designers into the development process.

Use the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

The .NET Framework enables the rapid construction of connected applications that provide outstanding end-user experiences by providing the building blocks (pre-fabricated software) for solving common programming tasks. Connected applications built on the .NET Framework model business processes effectively and facilitate the integration of systems in heterogeneous environments.

Together Visual Studio and the .NET Framework reduce the need for common plumbing code, reducing development time and enabling developers to concentrate on solving business problems.

The .NET Framework 3.5 builds incrementally on the .NET Framework 3.0. Enhancements have been made to feature areas including the base class library, Windows Workflow Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows CardSpace.

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Visual Studio Team System 2008 Overview

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System is an integrated application life-cycle management (ALM) solution comprising tools, processes and guidance to help everyone on the team improve their skills and work more effectively together. Visual Studio Team System enables members of the team to collaborate and communicate more effectively, ensure software quality and gain visibility into the software development life cycle.

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Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server is an integrated collaboration server for Visual Studio Team System. It combines team portal, version control, work item tracking, build management, process guidance and business intelligence into a unified server. It allows everyone on the team to collaborate more effectively and deliver better quality software.

What’s New in 2008

  • Support for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 on any server and any port
  • Support for Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008
  • Improved performance, scalability and security
  • Easier installation and migration from other legacy systems
  • Support for additional configurations including clusters, mirrors, virtual machines and more
  • Continuous integration and scheduled builds
  • New version-control features
  • Query builder usability improvements
  • Web Access to provide access over the web to version control, work item tracking, status reports and other team artefacts [1]

Feature Highlights

  • Version control to manage change to project artefacts
  • Work item tracking to communicate and manage work across the team
  • Team build to regularly integrate the team's work
  • Reporting and business intelligence on project status, performance and quality metrics
  • Customisable process templates to define the development process
  • Integration with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project for project management
  • Team portal for team collaboration


Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite provides multi-disciplined team members with an integrated set of tools for architecture, design, development, database development and testing of applications. Team members can continuously collaborate and use a complete set of tools and guidance at every step of the application life cycle.

What’s New in 2008

  • Database development: Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition and related MSF process guidance is fully integrated into Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite
  • Development and test integration: run profiling during load and test procedures for a system, to see how it behaves, and use integrated tools to profile, debug and tune

Feature Highlights

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite integrates all the functions of the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Edition products to provide:

  • Powerful visual designers for service-oriented solution modelling
  • A complete set of quality tools for static analysis, code metrics, unit testing and code coverage, web testing, and database testing
  • Performance tools to identify issues and optimise your code
  • Database development tools, including Schema Compare, to reduce risks associated with database schema changes, streamline changes and take control of your database


Visual Studio Team System 2008 Architecture Edition

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Architecture Edition focuses on improving the design and validation of distributed systems. It gives architects, operations managers and developers the ability to visually construct service-oriented solutions and validate them against their operational environments before deployment.

What’s New in 2008

  • Top-down system design: design business solutions before choosing technology
  • Conform to Web Services Description Language (WSDL): update web services to automatically conform to a WSDL contract
  • Web Application Projects: generate and maintain Web Application Projects just as websites are created using visual designers
  • Architectural roles: introduce elements that play specific pre-defined architectural roles within architectural patterns into the design

Feature Highlights

  • Application Designer to visually define service-oriented applications and generate code
  • System Designer to compose applications into systems or reusable subsystems and validate the resulting configurations
  • Deployment Designer to validate application designs against a target datacenter and identify issues before deployment begins
  • Logical Datacenter Designer to visualise the logical structure of datacenters, specify operational policies and validate applications before deployment


Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition provides advanced tools for database change management and testing and offers functionality to enable database developers and administrators to be more productive and increase application quality in the database tier.

What’s New in 2008

  • T-SQL Static Code Analysis: automatically review T-SQL code to help improve code quality and security
  • Dependency Tree: visualise the dependencies (incoming/outgoing) for selected objects in a new tool window
  • Schema reporting: easily document your database schema
  • Refactoring tools: automatically update and generate new code for operations including moving schemas, expanding ‘select*’ SQL statements, and fully qualifying names in scripts
  • Data Generator: gain flexibility in generating data with new data generator and editors

Feature Highlights

  • Rename refactoring support for database objects
  • Schema compare to keep two schema versions synchronised
  • Data compare to keep the data in two databases synchronised
  • Offline database projects for change isolation
  • Extensible unit test functionality
  • Data Generator to define sets of repeatable test data
  • New designer enables users to create T-SQL with the same fidelity as managed code


Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition provides developers with an advanced set of tools to identify inefficient, insecure or poor-quality code, specify coding best practices, and automate software unit testing. These tools help team members write better quality code, reduce security-related issues and avoid bugs later in the development life cycle.

What’s New in 2008

  • Code Metrics: identify complex and error-prone code
  • Custom code correctness policies: communicate to a developer why the check-in policies failed and to provide guidance on how to pass the policy requirements
  • Hotpathing: discover code paths that account for performance issues
  • Performance baseline comparison: compare performance baseline reports to identify the source of performance regressions
  • Code Analysis rules: Code Analysis is more accurate with new and improved rules
  • Feature Highlights
  • Static Code Analysis to improve code quality and security
  • Code Profiler to measure code performance and find performance bottlenecks
  • Unit testing with code coverage to test code early and often and measure the effectiveness of your tests
  • Check-in policies to ensure coding best practices[2]


Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Edition

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Edition provides a comprehensive suite of testing tools for web applications and services that are integrated into the Visual Studio environment. These testing tools enable testers to author, execute and manage tests and related work items — all from within Visual Studio.

What’s New in 2008

Web and load test improvements, including:

  • Web Test Validation Rule improvements: enable testers to create more comprehensive validation rules for the application being tested
  • Better Web Test Data Binding: bind CSV and XML data files, as well as databases to a web test, using a simple data binding wizard
  • Improved Load Test Results Management: Open or remove an existing load test result from the load test repository
  • Load Test Summary Report Support: Multiple machine graphs support in the Load Test Analyzer
  • Web Test Recorder: record AJAX requests and JavaScript pop-ups
  • Load Modeling: more closely simulate real-world usage of your web applications with the new load-modelling tools

Feature Highlights

  • Comprehensive web testing tools for web services, HTTP, XML and ASP.NET applications
  • Load testing to simulate production loads and diagnose performance issues in labs and pre-production environments
  • Code coverage to measure the effectiveness of tests
  • Integrated defect and test list management[3]


Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent

Product Description

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent generates test loads for web applications. It enables organisations to improve quality of service by more accurately testing the performance of Web applications and servers under load.

Feature Highlights

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent, which includes both agent and controller software, is highly extensible and customisable, giving testers an enormous amount of flexibility, including the following capabilities:

  • Simulation of approximately 1,000 users per processor
  • More accurate simulation and performance testing of web applications and servers
  • License that grants unlimited virtual user simulation per process (dual core processors included)
  • Tight integration with Visual Studio Team System Team Foundation Server, enabling test data to be incorporated into multiple types of analytic reports


Visual Studio 2008 Standard and Professional Overview

Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition and Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition empower individuals and small development teams to deliver connected applications that take advantage of the latest technology while more effectively meeting business goals.

Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition provides a full-featured development environment for Windows and web developers. It offers productivity enhancements for building data-driven client and web applications. Individual developers looking to create connected applications with next-generation user experiences will find Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition a perfect fit.

Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition is a comprehensive set of tools that accelerates the process of turning the developer’s vision into reality. Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition was engineered to support development projects that target the web (including ASP, .NET and AJAX), Windows Vista*, Windows Server 2008*, the 2007 Microsoft Office system*, SQL Server 2008* and Windows Mobile devices. The number of platforms that developers must target to meet business needs is increasing rapidly. Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition provides the integrated toolset for addressing all of these needs by providing a superset of the functionality available in Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition.

Visual Studio’s integrated development environment (IDE) improvements reduce the complexity of building, managing, and deploying all types of applications, giving developers more time to focus on solving development challenges. Visual Studio supports several of the world’s most popular programming languages, enabling programmers of all backgrounds to rapidly create outstanding end-user experiences.

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What's New in 2008

  • Build applications that use the latest web technologies with improved support for AJAX and web controls and the Microsoft AJAX Library
  • Create web applications more easily with an improved design surface and standards support
  • Use data from any data source more smoothly with LINQ, a set of language extensions to Visual Basic and Visual C#
  • Manage and build applications that target multiple versions of the .NET Framework. For the first time, you can use one tool to work on applications that run on .NET Framework versions 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5
  • Ensure application correctness more easily with integrated unit testing in Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Discover the full power of the .NET Framework 3.5 with integrated tools that simplify building great user experiences and connected systems
  • Build stunning user experiences with integrated designers for Windows Presentation Foundation. Experiences built with Windows Presentation Foundation can interoperate seamlessly with Windows Forms
  • Create connected applications using new visual designers for Windows Communications Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation
  • Use Visual Studio’s professional development environment to build Microsoft Office-based solutions that are reliable, scalable and easy to maintain (available in Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition only)
  • Enhance collaboration between developers and designers to create more compelling user experiences

Feature Highlights

  • Build applications for Windows, the web, the Microsoft Office system, the .NET Framework, SQL Server and Windows Mobile with integrated drag-and-drop designers
  • Visual Studio integrates Visual Basic, Visual C# and Visual C++ to support a wide variety of development styles
  • Editor features such as Edit and Continue and Microsoft IntelliSense simplify the cycle of designing, developing and debugging an application
  • Deploy client applications easily with ClickOnce, which enables developers and IT pros to deploy an application and its prerequisites and then ensure that the application remains up-to-date
  • Build applications which target the .NET Framework, shortening development time by reducing the need for infrastructure code and helping to enhance application security
  • Use ASP.NET to speed the creation of interactive, highly appealing web applications and web services. Master Pages allow developers to easily manage a consistent site layout in one place
  • A community of millions of developers ensures that developers can find partners and other community members addressing the same challenges

Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions

Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions are free, simple and easy to learn entry-level software development tools. These tools are developed for beginners. Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions are perfect for building Windows applications and basic interactive websites.

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[1] Web Access will be available as a separate add-in

[2] Requires Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

[3] Requires Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

* This information is representative and not comprehensive. Version numbers are subject to change.