January 17th What’s Happening Around Visual Studio

I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and is off to a good new year. I enjoyed taking some time off to spend with my family.

I wanted to share some of what’s been going on in the Visual Studio team since BUILD.

In October we released the Microsoft “Roslyn” CTP. Roslyn is a long lead project (post-Visual Studio 11), in which we’re rewriting the C# and Visual Basic compilers in C# and Visual Basic! In the process, we’re opening up these compilers as APIs that are accessible to developers. This is a significant shift from traditional black box compilers, where source code goes in and assemblies come out. One advantage of opening up these compilers is that it will make it easier to create amazing tools for these languages. We’re looking forward to seeing what you will build with this support. For more information on “Roslyn”, please visit https://msdn.com/en-us/roslyn.

In November we released the latest Windows Azure SDK for .NET, which included updates to the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010 and the Windows Azure Emulator. If you’ve been targeting Windows Azure, a couple of improvements you’ll enjoy are the Publish Windows Azure Application wizard and command-line build support. For the full list of changes, please see the Windows Azure team blog post or the Windows Azure documentation. If you’re new to Windows Azure, there are also some great new resources to get you started, such as the redesigned Windows Azure website at https://www.windowsazure.com/. If you’re looking for hands-on labs, slides, and demos, be sure to also download the Windows Azure Training Kit. For presentations, I recommend watching the session videos from the recent Learn Windows Azure event in December.

Following the Windows Azure release in November, we released a refresh of our Team Foundation Service (Team Foundation Server running on Windows Azure) in December. Team Foundation Service is the fastest and easiest way to get up and running on a team project. Team Foundation Service preview has been running as a private preview since April, and with public invitation codes since September at BUILD. The most recent enhancements in the December release include navigation updates, richer homepages, simplified web UI for small teams, performance, email notifications, forecast lines, and in-tile taskboard editing. These changes are in response to feedback from our early adopters, and make the tool even more helpful and easy to use. We are very interested in your feedback at this point in the product development (both on UserVoice and Connect), so we can make the right improvements as we develop the product. To learn more about the Team Foundation Service preview, please visit Brian Harry’s blog, the ALM Team blog, or Channel9.

December was a big month for TFS. In addition to the Team Foundation Service preview, we also released an update of the Team Foundation Server Power Tools. While the Team Foundation Service preview is an early look at a future technology, the Team Foundation Server Power Tools are an extension to the released product, Team Foundation Server 2010. I’ve blogged about power tools before, and explained that we release them to try out new ideas or answer common requests more quickly than in the next product release. In the December TFS Power Tools release we focused on developers using TFS from Eclipse. We want to make sure that TFS is accessible to developers using any tools, and therefore we add support to additional tools beyond Visual Studio, where it makes sense. Eclipse users can download the December release, and get additional features including TFS alerts, work item templates, and improved Find in Source Control. Another improvement available in the December release is 64-bit MSSCCI support.

In November, I also participated in the ALM Summit which was held at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond Washington. This event is a great opportunity to discuss application lifecycle management challenges, learn how to apply Microsoft’s solutions, and pick up best practices from industry experts. At the Summit I gave a presentation on The Microsoft Vision for ALM, which you can find recorded on Channel9. In this talk, I shared the trends I’m seeing in the industry, and how we’re advancing the Visual Studio product offerings to address them. If you missed this event and are interested in ALM, I’d definitely recommend viewing this and the other session videos available online.


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