Special connect() issue 2014

Volume 29 Number 12A

Editor's Note : Building on Connect();

Michael Desmond; issue 2014

Michael DesmondBack in mid-November, before the holiday rush made mincemeat of everyone’s work schedules, Microsoft did a rather remarkable thing. A bunch of things, actually.

At the Connect(); event in New York City, the company rolled out a series of products and initiatives that portend the next generation in Microsoft-borne software development, and point to a world that’s becoming significantly more open, mobile and cross-platform than before. From the release of Preview editions of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015, to the open sourcing of the .NET Core Runtime and Base Class Libraries, the message is clear: Microsoft aims to equip developers with the best tools and solutions, whether they’re writing code in an enterprise .NET shop or banging out mobile games in a home office.

In this special issue of MSDN Magazine, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the deep and broad innovation coming out of the Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, and other teams at Microsoft. You’ll learn about the latest versions of Visual Studio, the .NET Framework and languages such as C# and C++. You’ll be introduced to the exciting realm of Visual Studio Extensions, which enable developers to customize and tune the IDE—including the new, freely available Community Edition. And you’ll gain a foothold in powerful, cross-platform development frameworks, such as Xamarin, Apache Cordova and Unity.

Microsoft likes to say that it’s a “mobile-first, cloud-first world,” and the events at the Connect(); conference put emphatic action to those words.

“Announcements of this magnitude don’t happen very often, and if this doesn’t get you excited as a developer using Microsoft platforms, tools and services, I’m not sure what will,” says Microsoft Principal Director Keith Boyd.

Visual Studio 2015 is at the heart of the evolving developer experience, and this special issue directly addresses that. Cross-platform-themed articles like Adam Tuliper’s dive into Unity game development and Kraig Brockschmidt and Mike Jones’ look at building hybrid apps for Apache Cordova show how Visual Studio integration enables developers to reach new markets. Doug Erickson and Susan Norwood explore Visual Studio Extensions, while Alex Turner dives into the .NET Compiler Platform (aka, “Roslyn”) and the new diagnostic analyzer functionality in Visual Studio 2015. There’s plenty of Visual Studio insight, as well, in articles that explore the latest versions of C# and C++.

Microsoft Azure is also on full display in this issue. Mohit Srivastava and Saurabh Bhatia offer an in-depth look at the new Azure SDK for .NET, which enables .NET-based cloud applications to consume Azure resources. And Glenn Gailey explores how developers can leverage the Azure platform to send push notifications to hybrid Cordova apps.

There’s a lot more going on here than I can explain in one page, and even more than we can publish in a single issue. Just days after this special issue reaches readers, you can expect to receive our regular January issue. In it you’ll find additional coverage of the new tools and technologies debuted by Microsoft in November, including the latest on Visual Basic 14, an exploration of new Visual Studio tooling for HDInsight, and a glimpse at how Test Hubs enable management of manual tests with Visual Studio Online and Team Foundation Server.

Dmitry Lyalin, senior product manager for Visual Studio and Azure, has been instrumental in putting this special issue together. He describes the Connect(); event as “an extremely important developer moment,” and one that will echo forward in the coming years.

“One would think that releasing Visual Studio 2015 Preview, a Microsoft-built Android emulator, Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 and Azure SDK 2.5 would be enough. But we also made two huge announcements, open sourcing the full, server-side .NET Core stack and shipping a free version of Visual Studio called Visual Studio Community 2013,” he says. “It’s just an amazing time to be a developer on the Microsoft stack.”

Indeed it is.

Michael Desmond is the Editor-in-Chief of MSDN Magazine.