Ahead of the Windows 10 launch, Microsoft has released a huge update for developers. Yup, Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6. Visual Studio 2015 adds new tools for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) development, including a Visual Diagnostics tool, a Timeline tool, and a redesigned Blend designer experience. The next version of the desktop .NET framework, .NET 4.6, includes key improvements to the WPF platform, such as support for transparent windows and multi-image cursor files. Let’s take a look at all the new stuff that developers now have the freedom to do with Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6:
Debugging and Diagnostics
Developers and designers will be pleased to know that checking how their app development is coming along is easier than ever. Now, there’s just one Diagnostics Tool window for debugging and profiling and checking code corrections. The PerfTips (performance tips) feature lets you access your code’s performance information when you’re setting breakpoints and stepping with the debugger.
Code Editing and Refactoring
C# and VB developers can use the new Roslyn-based tooling, including Light Bulbs that proactively suggest potential fixes or code refactorings and code analyzers to customize the warnings and suggestions delivered inside the editor. To help developers navigate through code more efficiently, the new releases also come with a reinvented XAML editor that has new features.
The final versions of C# 6 and VB.NET 12 bring dozens of new language features that simplify common coding patterns. Developers and designers should also anticipate better support for C++ 11/14/17 together with TypeScript 1.5 and F# 4.0. Finally, there are also new tools for Python and lots of other languages.
Web and Cloud Development
ASP.NET 4.6 is the newest version of the web development framework from Microsoft. Thanks to these new releases, it adds support for HTTP/2, the newest C# features and the latest Entity Framework 6.1.3. Both CSS and HTML tooling have enjoyed current standards support and a far more vibrant JSON editor. The newest Azure SDK 2.6 offers one-click provisioning together with deployment to Azure for cloud services and sites. You can also use the ASP.NET 5 preview, which runs on the CoreCLR, so it can be deployed to not just Windows, but Mac and Linux as well.
This is the biggest thing that should have many developers and designers excited. You can now use .NET to create Universal Windows Apps that are suitable for Windows tablets, phones and PCs, not to mention the Internet of Things and HoloLens. It’s possible to use C++ to create shared components that target iOS, Android and Windows. The simultaneous integration with game engines such as Unity means that it’s also possible to build cross-platform games. Cross-platform development deserves a more detailed exploration. Microsoft is turning its back on its policy of providing development tools that would just be suitable for its own platforms. As such, Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 truly are cross-platform tools.
In addition to the major updates on the features outlined above, Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 also offers developers and designers additional tools for Windows Presentation Foundation development, which refers to a Visual Diagnostics tool, a Timeline tool, and a reworked Blend designer experience. At the same time, .NET 4.6 includes significant improvements to the Windows Presentation Foundation platform. These are transparent-windows and multi-image-cursor-files support.
Before downloading and installing, Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 comes with Preview. This Preview are for testing and feedback purposes only. If you want to try it to do some hands-on experience before the final version releases, we recommend you to install it in a virtual machine or on a computer that is available for reformatting.
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