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Visual Studio 17 RC: First Look from GrapeCity Developers

Microsoft announced Visual Studio 2017 RC today at Connect! We've updated this post to reflect the name of the new version of Visual Studio. (November 16, 2016)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, you’ve probably heard that Visual Studio 2017 RC is going to be released in November. GrapeCity’s VSIP conference attendees, Brad Keller and Lucas Mays, returned in August with accounts of how Visual Studio 2017 RC would revolutionize the installation process and add crucial productivity improvements. While VS17 isn’t as big of a jump as Visual Studio 2015 was, we’ve been promised key enhancements that will reduce developer friction.

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Our developers have tested the preview, and have chimed in with their assessments. Our testers included: Tyne Cho, QA leader; Prantik Sarmah, Senior Developer; Henry Wang, Team Leader; and three program managers: Dmitry Yaitskov, Alex Ivanenko, and Alvaro Rivoir.

Installation Expectations: Does the new installation deliver?

All of the developers confirmed what Microsoft has told us: yes, the installation time is faster. One developers specifically said the installation completed after about 50 minutes, which is far faster than older versions of Visual Studio. In addition, the new installation UI was praised across the board. The category installation—UWP, web development, mobile development, Linux, .NET, etc.—is much clearer and more convenient than in the past. Visual Studio 15 Installation UI Visual Studio 15 Installation UI Granted, not everyone installs VS every day, so we’re not all going to feel the enormous impact of a better installation on the regular. But if you’re in IT, setting up new machines for developers with some frequency, you’re likely to savor that shorter 50-minute installation time.

Lightweight Solution Load: Shorter Launch and Load Time in Visual Studio 2017 RC

The “lightweight solution load” has been much touted as a boon to developers. Here’s what the release notes had to say about it:

Lightweight Solution load enables faster loading of a solution that supports Navigate To, Find in Files, Build, Debug, and single file IntelliSense. It provides an order of magnitude improvement in solution load time and memory usage for large solutions.

The verdict? Developers praised the improved CPU usage and reported that the debugging CPU usage improved quite a bit. That said, the lightweight solution load got some mixed reviews; while they praised the faster solution load, some developers mentioned that when you right-click on a project, there’s a longer pause. So the solution loads faster, but you may have to wait at other moments. Lightweight solution load aside, several developers mentioned that the overall launch time is faster, even without the lightweight version. So you’ll spend less daily time waiting for VS15 to kick into gear.

Productivity Improvements in Visual Studio 2017 RC

Here’s a quick list of the favorite productivity improvements from our developers:

  • In the text or batch file editor, VS15 now provides line numbers.
  • You now have an option to connect and check out from TFS in the Start Page, which our teams found to be very convenient.
  • XAML files can be edited while the application is being debugged, a big improvement for our UWP and WPF developers.
  • The string in code can be split to a new line by just pressing the Enter key, which is a nice efficiency add.

Language Improvement in Visual Studio 2017 RC: C# and IntelliSense

The new language improvements were praised by several developers, and one even called them most attractive new features in Visual Studio 2017 RC. We’ll be getting more into C# IntelliSense in another blog, but they also mentioned code conventions and language extensions. A WinForms developer said the pattern matching was “extremely useful.”

ComponentOne Studio controls and Visual Studio 2017 RC

As we hoped, our controls work seamlessly with Visual Studio 2017 RC, with our components and samples working the same as they did in Visual Studio 2015. No news is good news! Stay tuned for deeper walk-throughs on Visual Studio 2017 RC and C1Studio controls. Happy coding!

Try Visual Studio 2017 RC


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