Visual Studio 2008: RAD Gets RADer
Visual Studio 2008 is all about making it easier for developers and development teams to create software for the latest and greatest platforms with technologies such as .NET Language Integrated Query (LINQ), ASP.NET AJAX, and the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) designer, to name just a few. In this brief article I will highlight just a few of the code editing and designer improvements that are new to Visual Studio 2008.
LINQ and IntelliSense
Integrating query syntax into Visual Basic and Visual C# enables functionality such as statement completion and IntelliSense when working with data queries. The approach for querying data with LINQ is the same whether you are accessing an in-memory list, XML data, a SQL database or any combination of these together. In addition to the design-time assistance provided by statement completion, smart compile auto correction (that squiggle under syntax errors) and IntelliSense, LINQ enables compile-time validation of queries so that you catch potential bugs before your code is executed.
LINQ’s expressive style enables a cleaner code base which is ultimately easier to understand and maintain.
Visual Studio 2008 uses the same Web designer that ships with the Microsoft Expression products. The result is a snappier Web development experience and a swag of new designer features. The same multi-targeting capability applies to the new Web designer capabilities.
Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition now supports split-view editing allowing simultaneous display of HTML source and the design view. Changes made in one view are immediately displayed in the other.
Working with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is now a whole lot easier with the addition of CSS Style Manager, CSS properties windows, and CSS Source View IntelliSense. These features reduce the effort required to understand and manage your project’s CSS formatting rules.
Other Improvements Worth Checking Out
Client developers should check out the new WPF designer and project support. Both Windows Forms and WPF application types can now take advantage of ASP.NET Application Services (Membership, Roles, Profile) for roaming smart client user data. Developing solutions for Microsoft Office is much richer and now includes the ability to integrate with the Ribbon. Practitioners of agile software development methodologies and distributed teams will be pleased to discover that Continuous Integration is now built into Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server.
You can find more information about the many improvements and features in Visual Studio 2008 by visiting the MSDN Visual Studio Developer Center: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio.
By: Jonathan Wells
Jonathan is currently a product manager in Microsoft’s Developer Division and focuses on Visual Studio 2008. During his seven years at Microsoft, Jonathan has served as a Software Design Engineer / Test (C# team), .NET Compact Framework product manager, and as an Architect Evangelist.
Many of the new designer and code editing capabilities introduced in Visual Studio 2008 are also in the free and lightweight Visual Studio Express Editions.
Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2
This beta includes a Go-Live license so that you can start taking advantage of Visual Studio 2008’s new features today. With mulit-targeting you can use Visual Studio 2008’s new designer and code editing features with projects that target .NET Framework version 2.0 and 3.0; today!