New features in Visual Studio 2008

This article discusses new features introduced in Visual Studio 2008.


Microsoft introduces new features in Visual Studio 2008, such as below:

AJAX Controls

The AJAX client-based and server-based approach gives us the following controls; it helps to create a web application that features of next-generation user interfaces and reusable of client components. Controls are:

  • Script Manager
  • Update Panel
  • Update Progress
  • Timer controls.

Now is possible to create rich client behavior, such as update progress during a post back, page rendering etc. with small or no client script.

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) Support

In Visual Studio 2008, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications have been introduced and it has four WPF project types:

  • WPF Application
  • WPF Browser Application
  • WPF Custom Control Library
  • WPF User Control Library

Web Application Project Design Support

Project Designer was included in Visual Studio 2008. The Setting Page and signing page of Project Designer supports in many designing aspects.

To access the Settings page, select project node in Solution Explorer, and then, on the Project menu, click Properties. When the Project Designer appears, click the Settings tab.

Deployment by Click Once

Web Applications are hosted in a Web browser therefore it requires special deployment and security settings, when we build and deploy applications by using Click Once, Visual Studio will provide appropriate user interface and default values for this. Now it enhances to build and deploy Visual Studio Tools for applications by using the Project Designer's Publish page or the Publish Wizard.

Multiple Processor Support

Now MS Build accepts, a system is using multiple processors, either multi core processors or multiple separate processors. MS Build will utilize all the available processors to reduce the overall build time of the projects. Logging also upgraded for handling multi-processor build. The file names and locations of the Build assemblies are updated as below:

  • Microsoft.Build.Conversion.v3.5.dll
  • Microsoft.Build.Utilities.v3.5.dll
  • Microsoft.Build.Tasks.v3.5.dll
  • And, also the following build assemblies are now located in \Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5\:
  • Microsoft.Build.Conversion.v3.5.dll
  • Microsoft.Build.Engine.dll
  • Microsoft.Build.Framework.dll
  • Microsoft.Build.Utilities.v3.5.dll

JavaScript Intelligence / Debugging supports

Visual Studio 2008 contains intelligence support for java script. It makes developers work easy when they do client side validation, AJAX applications and also when doing Silver light applications also.

Multi languages

In VS2008 Microsoft have introduced the MUI (Multilingual User Interface Architecture), which supports nine languages, which is English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Japanese, and Korean.This supports the user to change the text language display as their wish.

Data Repeater Control

The new Data Repeater control helps to display rows of data in a scrollable container. This control gives more flexibility compare to standard grid control. The Data Repeater control displays a group of related controls by creating multiple instances in a scrollable manner which ensures to users to view several records at a time. When to display large amounts of data's, we can set the Virtual Mode property is True, to display a subset of the available data. Virtual mode requires the implementation of a data cache and must control all interactions with the data cache at run time. It contains controlling the ability to add and delete records, adding search capabilities, and displaying related data in a master and detail format etc.

Reports / PDF Compression

When we create a new Reports Application project or ASP.NET Reports Web Site, The Report Wizard is started automatically, now we can use this wizard to build the report which gives guidelines by the steps to create a basic report. Now we can select a report data source, define a data set, select a report type (tabular or matrix), and apply a style to report. After we complete the wizard, we can enhance the report through using Report Designer , or alternatively, close the wizard and build the report manually.

In VS2008 the Report Viewer controls will now compress reports which are exported to the PDF format when they are configured for local processing.