Visual Studio developments

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
Microsoft has been busy making its latest improvements to Visual Studio available in the past few weeks, including Visual Studio 2005 SP1 Update for Windows Vista. The only development products Microsoft is supporting under Vista are Visual FoxPro 9.0, VB 6.0 and VS 2005. VS.NET 2002 and 2003 are specifically not supported, and Microsoft recommends upgrading. The reason is that changes in Vista security and in networking support make it difficult to ensure that the older versions of VS will work correctly.

What Microsoft expects to be the last release of the VS SDK has also been made available for download. VS 2005 SDK 4.0 contains tools to help you extend Visual Studio, including the VS SDK Browser, the Package Load Analyzer to assist with debugging, and a toolbox control installer. The Team Foundation Server samples and contents have been updated to include new samples and documentation, and there are lots of bug fixes including to IronPython. Finally there is Sandcastle – a tool that lets developers automate the creation of managed class library documentation with a common look and feel.

The reason for this being the last of the current SDKs is that Orcas, the next version of Visual Studio, is just around the corner. The preview release of the Orcas SDK is available with the Orcas March CTP. It includes the long-awaited WPF designer (code name “Cider”), new WF and WCF tools, and Language Integrated Query (LINQ) built in. There are also many improvements to Team Foundation Server, AJAX, Office development and .NET 3.5. The first beta is expected later this year. One problem is that it can’t be used side-by-side with the VS 2005 SDK. Both SDKs, the update to SP1 and the CTP release of Orcas are available for download from the Microsoft website.

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