C++ Tools and Features in Visual Studio Editions

The following C++ features are available in Visual Studio 2019. Unless stated otherwise, all features are available in all editions: Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Professional, and Visual Studio Enterprise. Some features require specific workloads or optional components, which you can install with the Visual Studio Installer.

Platforms

  • Windows Desktop
  • Universal Windows Platform ((tablet, PC, Xbox, IoT, and HoloLens))
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS

Compilers

  • MSVC 32-bit compiler for x86, x64, ARM, and ARM64
  • MSVC 64-bit compiler for x86, x64, ARM, and ARM64
  • GCC cross-compiler for ARM
  • Clang/LLVM
    • On Windows, Clang/LLVM 7.0, targeting x86 or x64 (CMake support only). Other Clang versions might work but are not officially supported.
    • On Linux, any Clang/LLVM installation supported by the distro.

C++ Workloads

Visual Studio includes the following workloads for C++ development. You can install any or all of these, along with other workloads such as .NET Desktop Development, Python Development, Azure Development, Visual Studio Extension Development, and others.

Desktop development with C++

Included:

  • C++ core desktop features

Optional Components:

  • MSVC v142 - VS 2019 C++ x64/x86 build tools (v14.21)
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17763.0)
  • Just-In-Time debugger
  • C++ profiling tools
  • C++ CMake tools for Windows
  • C++ ATL for v142 build tools (x86 & x64)
  • Test Adapter for Boost.Test
  • Test Adapter for Google Test
  • Live Share
  • IntelliCode
  • IntelliTrace (Enterprise only)
  • C++ MFC for v142 build tools (x86 & x64)
  • C++/CLI support for v142 build tools (14.21)
  • C++ Modules for v142 build tools (x64/x86 – experimental)
  • Clang compiler for Windows
  • IncrediBuild - Build Acceleration
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17134.0)
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.16299.0)
  • MSVC v141 - VS 2017 C++ x64/x86 build tools (v14.16)
  • MSVC v140 - VS 2015 C++ build tools (v14.00)

Linux development with C++

Included:

  • C++ core features
  • Windows Universal C Runtime
  • C++ for Linux Development

Optional Components:

  • C++ CMake tools for Linux
  • Embedded and IoT development tools

Universal Windows Platform development

Included:

  • Blend for Visual Studio
  • .NET Native and .NET Standard
  • NuGet package manager
  • Universal Windows Platform tools
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17763.0)

Optional Components:

  • IntelliCode
  • IntelliTrace (Enterprise only)
  • USB Device Connectivity
  • C++ (v142) Universal Windows Platform tools
  • C++ (v141) Universal Windows Platform tools
  • Graphics debugger and GPU profiler for DirectX
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.18362.0)
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17134.0)
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.16299.0)
  • Architecture and analysis tools

C++ Game Development

Included:

  • C++ core features
  • Windows Universal C Runtime
  • C++ 2019 Redistributable Update
  • MSVC v142 - VS 2019 C++ x64/x86 build tools (v14.21)

Optional Components:

  • C++ profiling tools
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17763.0)
  • IntelliCode
  • IntelliTrace (Enterprise only)
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17134.0)
  • Windows 10 SDK (10.0.16299.0)
  • IncrediBuild - Build Acceleration
  • Cocos
  • Unreal Engine installer
  • Android IDE support for Unreal engine

Mobile development with C++

Included:

  • C++ core features
  • Android SDK setup (API level 25) (local install for Mobile development with C++)

Optional Components:

  • Android NDK (R16B)
  • Apache Ant (1.9.3)
  • C++ Android development tools
  • IntelliCode
  • Google Android Emulator (API Level 25) (local install)
  • Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM) (local install)
  • Android NDK (R16B) (32bit)
  • C++ iOS development tools
  • IncrediBuild - Build Acceleration

Individual components

You can install these components independently from any workload.

  • JavaScript diagnostics
  • Live Share
  • C++ Universal Windows Platform runtime for v142 build tools
  • ClickOnce Publishing
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects

Libraries and Headers

  • Windows headers and libraries
  • Windows Universal C Runtime (CRT)
  • C++ Standard Library
  • ATL
  • MFC
  • .NET Framework class library
  • C++ Support Library for .NET
  • OpenMP 2.0
  • Over 900 open-source libraries via vcpkg catalog

Build and Project Systems

  • CMake
  • Any build system via Open Folder
  • Command line builds (msbuild.exe)
  • Native Multi-targeting
  • Managed Multi-targeting
  • Parallel Builds
  • Build Customizations
  • Property Pages Extensibility

Project Templates

The following project templates are available depending on which workloads you have installed.

Windows Desktop:

  • Empty Project
  • Console App
  • Windows Desktop Wizard
  • Windows Desktop Application
  • Shared Items Project
  • MFC App
  • Dynamic Link Library
  • CLR Empty Project
  • CLR Console App
  • Static Library
  • CMake Project
  • ATL Project
  • MFC Dynamic Link Library
  • CLR Class Library
  • Makefile Project (Windows)
  • MFC ActiveXControl
  • Native Unit Test Project
  • Google Test

Universal Windows Platform (C++/CX):

  • Blank App
  • DirectX 11 and XAML App
  • DirectX 11 App
  • DirectX 12 App
  • Unit Test App
  • DLL
  • Windows Runtime Component
  • Static Library
  • Windows Application Packaging Project

Linux:

  • Console App (Linux)
  • Empty Project (Linux)
  • Raspberry Pi Blink
  • Makefile Project (Linux)

Tools

  • Incremental Linker (Link.exe)
  • Microsoft Makefile Utility (Nmake.exe)
  • Lib Generator (Lib.exe)
  • Windows Resource Compiler (Rc.exe)
  • Windows Resource to Object Converter (CvtRes.exe)
  • Browse Information Maintenance Utility (BscMake.exe)
  • C++ Name Undecorator (Undname.exe)
  • COFF/PE Dumper (Dumpbin.exe)
  • COFF/PE Editor (Editbin.exe)
  • MASM (Ml.exe)
  • Spy++
  • ErrLook
  • AtlTrace
  • Inference Rules
  • Profile Guided Optimizations

Debugging Features

  • Native Debugging
  • natvis (native type visualization)
  • Graphics Debugging
  • Managed Debugging
  • GPU usage
  • Memory usage
  • Remote Debugging
  • SQL Debugging
  • Static Code Analysis

Designers and Editors

  • XAML Designer
  • CSS Style Designer/Editor
  • HTML Designer/Editor
  • XML Editor
  • Source Code Editor
  • Productivity Features: Refactoring, EDG IntelliSense engine, C++ Code Formatting
  • Windows Forms Designer
  • Data Designer
  • Native Resource Editor (.rc files)
  • Resource Editors
  • Model editor
  • Shader designer
  • Live Dependency Validation (Enterprise Only)
  • Architectural Layer Diagrams (Enterprise Only)
  • Architecture Validation (Enterprise Only)
  • Code Clone (Enterprise Only)

Data Features

  • Data Designer
  • Data Objects
  • Web Services
  • Server Explorer

Automation and Extensibility

  • Extensibility Object Models
  • Code Model
  • Project Model
  • Resource Editor Model
  • Wizard Model
  • Debugger Object Model

Application Lifecycle Management Tools

  • Unit Testing (Microsoft Native C++, Boost.Test, Google Test, CTest)
  • Code map and dependency graphs (Professional and Enterprise)
  • Code coverage (Enterprise Only)
  • Manual testing (Enterprise only)
  • Exploratory testing (Enterprise only)
  • Test case management (Enterprise only)
  • Code map debugger integration (Enterprise only)
  • Live Unit Testing (Enterprise only)
  • IntelliTrace (Enterprise only)
  • IntelliTest (Enterprise only)
  • Microsoft Fakes (Unit Test Isolation) (Enterprise only)
  • Code Coverage (Enterprise only)

See also

Install Visual Studio
What's New in Visual Studio
C++ project types in Visual Studio

The following tables show Visual C++ features that are available in Visual Studio 2017. An X in a cell indicates that the feature is available; an empty cell indicates that the feature is not available. Notes in parentheses indicate that a feature is available, but restricted.

Platforms

Platform Visual Studio Express for Windows 10 Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Community/Professional Visual Studio Enterprise
Windows Desktop X X X
Universal Windows Platform ((phone, tablet, PC, Xbox, IoT, and HoloLens)) X X X
Linux X X
Microsoft Store 8.1 X X
Windows Phone 8.0 X X
Android X X
iOS X X

Compilers

Compiler Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
MSVC 32-bit X86 compiler X X X X
X86_arm cross-compiler X X X
MSVC 64-bit x64 compiler X X
X86_ x64 cross-compiler X X X X

Libraries and Headers

Library or Header Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Windows headers and libraries and CRT library (X) X X X
C++ Standard Library X X X X
ATL X X
MFC X X
.NET Framework class library X X X
C++ Support Library for .NET X X X
OpenMP 2.0 X X X X

Project Templates

Template Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
XAML Templates for UWP, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.0 X X X
Direct3D App X X X
DLL (Universal Windows) X X X
Static Library (Universal Windows) X X X
Windows Runtime Component X X X
Unit Test App (Universal Windows) X X X
ATL Project X X
Class Library (CLR) X X X
CLR Console Application X X X
CLR Empty Project X X X
Custom Wizard X X
Empty Project X X X
Makefile Project X X X
MFC ActiveX Control X X
MFC Application X X
MFC DLL X X
Test Project X X X X
Win32 Console Application X X X
Win32 Project X X X

Tools

Tool Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Incremental Linker (Link.exe) X X X X
Program Maintenance Utility (Nmake.exe) X X X
Lib Generator (Lib.exe) X X X X
Windows Resource Compiler (Rc.exe) X X X X
Windows Resource to Object Converter (CvtRes.exe) X X X
Browse Information Maintenance Utility (BscMake.exe) X X X X
C++ Name Undecorator (Undname.exe) X X X X
COFF/PE Dumper (Dumpbin.exe) X X X X
COFF/PE Editor (Editbin.exe) X X X X
MASM (Ml.exe) X X
Spy++ X X
ErrLook X X
AtlTrace X X
Devenv.com X X
Inference Rules X X
Upgrade VCBuild .vcproj projects to MSBuild (VCUpgrade.exe) X X X X
Profile Guided Optimizations X X

Debugging Features

Debugging Feature Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Native Debugging X X X X
natvis (native type visualization) X X X X
Graphics Debugging X X X
Managed Debugging X X X
GPU usage X X X
Memory usage X X X
Remote Debugging X X X X
SQL Debugging X X
Static Code Analysis Limited Limited X X

Designers and Editors

Designer or Editor Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
XAML Designer X X X
CSS Style Designer/Editor X X X X
HTML Designer/Editor X X X X
XML Editor X X X X
Source Code Editor X X X X
Productivity Features: Refactoring, IntelliSense, C++ Code Formatting X X X X
Windows Forms Designer X X X
Data Designer X X
Native Resource Editor (.rc files) X X
Resource Editors X X X X
Model editor X X X
Shader designer X X X

Data Features

Data Feature Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Data Designer X X
Data Objects X X
Web Services X X
Server Explorer X X

Build and Project Systems

Build or Project Feature Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Command line builds (msbuild.exe) X X X X
Native Multi-targeting X X X
Managed Multi-targeting X X X
Parallel Builds X X X X
Build Customizations X X X X
Property Pages Extensibility X X X X

Automation and Extensibility

Automation and Extensibility Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Extensibility Object Models X X
Code Model X X
Project Model X X
Resource Editor Model X X
Wizard Model X X
Debugger Object Model X X

Application Lifecycle Management Tools

Tool Visual Studio Express for Windows Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop Visual Studio Professional / Community Visual Studio Enterprise
Unit Testing (native framework) X X X X
Unit Testing (managed framework) X X X
Code coverage X
Manual testing X
Exploratory testing X
Test case management X
Code map and dependency graphs read-only X
Code map debugging X

See also

Install Visual Studio
What's New in Visual Studio
C++ project types in Visual Studio