Experience The New Features In Visual Studio 2017

Introduction

Microsoft launched Visual Studio 2017 on the 20th Anniversary of Visual Studio IDE. It launched on Wednesday, March 7, 2017. Everyone is excited about the new release of Visual Studio 2017 as it is the most awaited software from Microsoft. Now it came along with with a lot of excitement for the developers. Being a developer I am very excited to share some of the important features of Visual Studio 2017 with the techies.

History

Product nameVersion numberSupported .NET
Framework versions
Release date
Visual Studio 975.0N/AFebruary 1997
Visual Studio 6.06.0N/AJune 1998
Visual Studio .NET (2002)7.01.0February 13, 2002
Visual Studio .NET 20037.11.1April 24, 2003
Visual Studio 20058.02.0, 3.0November 7, 2005
Visual Studio 20089.02.0, 3.0, 3.5November 19, 2007
Visual Studio 201010.02.0 – 4.0April 12, 2010
Visual Studio 201211.02.0 – 4.5.2September 12, 2012
Visual Studio 201312.02.0 – 4.5.2October 17, 2013
Visual Studio 201514.02.0 – 4.6July 20, 2015
Visual Studio 201715.02.0 – 4.6.2; Core 1.0March 7, 2017

What exactly Visual Studio 2017 brings to the party?

Unparalleled productivity for any dev, any app, and any platform. Use Visual Studio 2017 to develop apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, web, and cloud. Code fast, debug and diagnose with ease, test often, and release with confidence. You can also extend and customize Visual Studio by building your own extensions. Use version control, be agile, and collaborate efficiently with this new release!

Installing Visual Studio 2017

Visual Studio 2017 offers a brand new way of choosing the parts you want to install.

We can choose one of the following.

  1. Workload; i.e., what exactly you do or want to develop.
  2. Individual components; i.e., hand pick all the components individually.
  3. Language Packs; i.e., select language of your choice.

Workloads

We can choose the appropriate development section from Visual Studio Workloads as per your requirement for what kind of application we are going to build.

I have selected "ASP.NET and Web development”, which can be used to build ASP.Net and ASP.Net Core web applications & “.NET Core cross-platform development", which can be used to build WPF, Windows Forms and Console applications.

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Individual components

We can choose the required component from this section.

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Language Packs

We can use different languages in Visual Studio. Thus, we can choose the appropriate language in this section.

Visual Studio

Installation Process

We are going to install Visual Studio Community 2017 edition in our machine. Once the following process is complete, we can launch & access the new features in Visual Studio 2017.
Visual Studio

Let’s discuss some key features of Visual Studio 2017

Start Visual Studio faster

The new Visual Studio Performance Center can help you optimize your IDE start-up time. The Performance Center lists all the extensions and tool windows that might slow down the IDE startup. You can use it to improve startup performance by determining when extensions start, or whether tool windows are open at startup.

Decrease Solution Load Time

Visual Studio 2017 comes with an option, which helps to load the solution very fast. If we are working on solutions that contain large numbers of projects doesn't mean you have to work with all the files or projects at one time. Now you can edit and debug without waiting for Visual Studio to load every project. To try this out with managed projects, turn on the Lightweight Solution load from Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions.

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Visual Studio

After enabling the lightweight solution load features, it will load the solution faster and look, as shown below.

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Faster on-demand loading of extensions

Visual Studio is moving its extensions (and working with third-party extensions too) so that they load on-demand, rather than at IDE startup. Curious about which extensions impact startup, solution load, and typing performance? You can see this information in Help -> Manage Visual Studio Performance.

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Live Unit Testing

In Visual Studio Enterprise 2017, live unit testing gives us live unit test results and code coverage in the editor while you are coding. It works with C# and Visual Basic projects for the .NET Framework and supports three test frameworks of MSTest, xUnit, and NUnit.

Go to Test >> Live Unit Testing >> Start.

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We noticed that 3 symbols appeared in our code due to running on background Live Testing.

  • Cross Sign – The test is covered and it indicates a failure test. 
  • Tick Mark – The test is covered and it indicates a success test.
  • Minus – Not yet covered a single test.

Interact with Git

When you are working with a project in Visual Studio, you can setup and quickly commit and publish your code to a Git service. You can also manage your Git repositories by using menu clicks from buttons in the bottom right-hand corner of the IDE.

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Improved Navigation Controls

This is the new feature added with Visual Studio 2017, which is only applicable with C#, Visual Basic and F#. Using this, we can quickly find out Types, Method and even files in our code.

Press "Ctrl + T", then it will display one tray above the search bar. Thus, we can search the contents with the help of the options given below like Line/File/Type/Member/Symbol. 

Visual Studio

Visual Studio

Here we can Go to a specific option by entering the specific character:

For example

: Line Number --------------->: 10

f Files ---------------> f Program.cs

m Members ---------------> f Main

t Types ---------------> t Student

# Symbols ---------------> #

Find All References (Shift + F12)

As compared to the earlier Visual Studio, VS 2017 improves Find All References functionality.

Find All References will now show us the references in different format as shown below.

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In VS 2015

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In VS 2017

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Filtered IntelliSense

The new Filtering IntelliSense option is available in Visual Studio 2017. This option is one of the powerful ways to consume the developers time, which alternatives increases productivity.

The following IntelliSense bottom tray contains icons to select a specific type to filter the results we are especially interested in.

We can filter the IntelliSense list by,

  • Locals and Parameters 
  • Constants 
  • Properties
  • Events
  • Fields 
  • Methods 
  • Interfaces 
  • Classes 
  • Modules 
  • Structures 
  • Enums 
  • Namespaces 
  • Keywords
  • Snippets

For example, if I want to search a Property, then I can choose a Property Icon from the bottom of the tray, else it will show all the possible options.

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Dotted Line

This is a very cool feature in Visual Studio 2017 because this option helps to identify the scope of the code block with the exact open and close curly braces "{}" through dotted line in our code.

This is really helpful for when you are working on a bulk amount of code in a single page.

Visual Studio

Improved Debugging Techniques (Run-To-Click)

Breakpoint has been improved a lot in Visual Studio 2017. Normally, we go step by step but here, we can skip many lines, where moving to breakpoint directly specifies line, using “Run-To-Click”.

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Reference

Conclusion

Visual Studio 2017 seems particularly focused on boosting productivity and resolving performance issues with large, enterprise-grade solutions.

In this article we have covered the installation process and new features in Visual Studio 2017. I hope, you liked this article. Please share your valuable suggestions and feedback.

Happy Coding!!!