A Few of My Favorite Things...in Visual Studio 2010
Since my last post I've switched from Visual Studio 2008/.Net 3.5 to VS 2010/.Net 4.0 for most of my day-to-day work. I haven't had time to explore them thoroughly, but there are a couple of things that I really like.
The first is that optional parameters have been added to C#. There haven't been many concepts that I've missed in the move from C++ to C# but optional parameters was one of them. No longer do I have to have to write a series of functions to supply default parameters like this:
I can now achieve the same result like this:
The second is the historical debugger. This feature allows you to step back through the events that have occurred in your application to find the context for a failure. There is an episode of the 10-4 show on Channel 9 gives a nice, concise explanation of how to use the feature, so I won't go into details.
A third feature that I find useful is the ability to generate a database from an entity model. I find it much easier to think about the data I need to manipulate as business objects rather than data tables, particularly when I need to model many-to-many relationships. With this feature, I create a new ADO.NET Entity Data Model, design the entities that I need conceptually, and Visual Studio will generate the DDL for creating the database. Now, I'm not a database analyst by profession, so I can't speak to the quality of the generated database; however, for the type of databases I usually need, it works great. Take a look at the Model-First Development with the Entity Framework 4.0 episode of 10-4 on Channel9 or Julie Lerman's tutorial on MSDN.
If you've found features that you like (or don't) in VS 2010, leave a comment to let me know what they are.
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