Visual Studio 2015 Preview

Seeing the new toys in Visual Studio 2015 cause me to ogle like a kid in a candy store. (Yes, the definition of ogle is “stare at in a lecherous manner.” I stand by my words.) Here’s a short list of the things I’m most excited about:

Linq Support in the Debugger

This feature is just short of being utterly life-changing for my company. This allows you to mouse over each function in a chain of Linq statements and see the values at each stage. Previously, if you had two or three linq statements put together and you weren’t sure which one was causing the error, it was necessary to stop the execution, unchain them all into individual variables, and then run the program again. This doesn’t work well for us, as our software takes upwards of five minutes to initialize. What would really be life-changing, however, is Edit and Continue support–we would literally double our development speed, as 99% of our database layer uses Entity Framework and Linq.

XAML Debugging Tool

There’s now a tool to be able to see the live properties of each component in a WPF form. While we still use WinForms, I use WPF in my personal projects, so I’m quite happy.

ASP.NET 5

The new version of ASP.NET combines the previously distinct MVC and Web API libraries, providing a unified library for modern web development. This used to be a big source of confusion to me–which Controller class am I using? Should I be using System.Web or System.Http?

Miscellaneous

After using the preview for a bit, I noticed the intellisense coloring is just better. When mousing over a function, a box used to come up with all gray text saying the details of the declaration, such as the parameter and return types, which could be very long and hard to read when getting into Funcs. Now they are nicely color-coded and much easier to understand at a glance.

Lastly, Microsoft seems to really be pushing Xamarin development. Mobile development is the future, and it’s good to see Microsoft catching up to Apple in this respect. As a .NET developer and fanboy, I’d much rather develop with C# than Swift.

Positive changes all around. Can’t wait to adopt it at work.