Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 released

New version of popular integrated development environment available
17 August 2017   1429

Visual Studio 2017 is now version 15.3. The release date сoincided with the release of .NET Core 2.0.

What's new in the release? 

  • Accessibility Improvements make Visual Studio more accessible than ever.
  • Azure Function Tools are included in the Azure development workload. You can develop Azure Function applications locally and publish directly to Azure.
  • You can now build applications in Visual Studio 2017 that run on Azure Stack and government clouds, like Azure in China.
  • Improved .NET Core development support for .NET Core 2.0, and Windows Nano Server containers.
  • In Visual Studio IDE, team improved Sign In and Identity, the start page, Lightweight Solution Load, and setup CLI. Refactoring, code generation and Quick Actions were improved too.
  • The Visual Studio Editor has better accessibility due to the new ‘Blue (Extra Contrast)’ theme and improved screen reader support.
  • Improved the Debugger and diagnostics experience. This includes Point and Click to Set Next Statement. Nested values in variable window were refreshed, and made Open Folder debugging improvements.
  • Xamarin has a new standalone editor for editing app entitlements.
  • The Open Folder and CMake Tooling experience is updated. You can now use CMake 3.8.
  • Improvements to the IntelliSense engine, and to the project and the code wizards for C++ Language Services.
  • Visual C++ Toolset supports command-prompt initialization targeting.
  • Added the ability to use C# 7.1 Language features.
  • You can install TypeScript versions independent of Visual Studio updates.
  • Added support for Node 8 debugging.
  • NuGet has added support for new TFMs (netcoreapp2.0, netstandard2.0, Tizen), Semantic Versioning 2.0.0, and MSBuild integration of NuGet warnings and errors.
  • Visual Studio now offers .NET Framework 4.7 development tools to supported platforms with 4.7 runtime included.
  • Added clusters of related events to the search query results in the Application Insights Search tool.
  • Improved syntax support for SQL Server 2016 in Redgate SQL Search.
  • Support for Microsoft Graph APIs in Connected Services.

Top Fixes

The creators of Visual Studio listened to the communities feedback and fixed 10 most voted issues in this release

  • Dark theme fails to load after F# install.
  • Visual Studio installer update causes endless loop.
  • List of recent projects not displayed correctly.
  • Cannot add a name to a new Custom Profile.
  • Moving DSL extension from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2017 gives runtime error.
  • Try...catch block throws 'TextBuffer edit operation while another edit is in progress' error message.
  • Visual Studio self-signed certificate not accepted in Chrome 58.
  • Publish fails with 'All build submissions in a build must use project instances originating from the same project collection'.
  • 'Scanning new and updated MEF componets' runs every time Visual Studio 2017 is launched and slows startup time.
  • Page loads are slow when debugging Visual Studio 2017 locally.

Learn more at official blog.

.NET Standard 2.1 to be Released

IT giant added a lot of new features and updates to its programming platform standard
07 November 2018   277

Microsoft developers have updated .NET Standard to version 2.1, adding to it a number of improvements and a large number of APIs. .NET Standard is a set of common interface specifications for the .NET Framework, .NET Core, Mono, Xamarin, and others. A library that meets the specifications of .NET Standard can be used on other .NET platforms.

Main updates:

  • Span data type support for all platforms. Span allows to work with strings, arrays and other types of data, and also introduces an abstraction of access to a certain section of memory for both read and write. This will simplify development. In general, Span is at the heart of most performance improvements in .NET Core 2.1.
  • Foundational-API - updated standard for performance. It, unlike Span, expands the list of program interfaces, and not data types.
  • Updated ValueTask type for high load scripts. ValueTask returns the result if the operation is performed synchronously without creating a new task, which affects the overall software performance. Using ValueTask allows to minimize the overhead of a PC or server. The type itself appeared in .NET Core 2.1, and in the new version it additionally uses such types as Socket and NetworkStream.
  • Reflection emit adds type generation technology 'on the fly'. Separately, it has already been used, but now it is included in the standard. The .NET ecosystem usually makes extensive use of dynamic functions, so Reflection emit allows to optimize system performance.
  • The previously used SIMD API is now included in .NET Standard in the NuGet package.
  • There was a primitive DbProviderFactories. It makes it easier for libraries and applications to use ADO.NET technology. The registered instance of DbProviderFactory is selected by name from the database configuration parameters.
  • Functions System.HashCode and System.String added to base class libraries.

In .NET Standard 2.1, it is planned to add about 3 thousand APIs, some of which will be simply updated, while others will be completely new. This solves the problem of sharing code for .NET developers on all platforms. Learn more at official blog.