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Developers React to Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (Updated)

Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was made available for download by MSDN subscribers on Tuesday March 8 and for public download on Thursday March 10. With shipping versions of VS2010 SP1 finally in the hands of developers, early reaction to the service pack is starting to roll in. No surprise, with an update as large and involved as this service pack, the compatibility picture can get complex.

Sean Hederman, a developer from South Africa, responded to an earlier Desmond File blog item on the VS2010 SP1 release. He wrote: "SP1 breaks a whole bunch of stuff. MS clearly didn't bother testing it or something. [I'm] rolling back the SP1; they might have to scramble to fix this one."

Dave Crozier wrote that Visual Studio 2010 under SP1 "now runs slower than before" and produces memory errors. He also complained about the loss of SQL IntelliSense support. A C++ developer out of England, who identified himself as Stephen, said SP1 failed to address numerous problems his team has faced when working on unmanaged code projects with earlier versions of Visual Studio. His team, he said, had hoped to move off of Visual Studio 2005.

Others were more positive. One developer raved about the "vastly improved help client." Another developer calling himself Brad said the SP1 "launches quickly, works great and has tons of valuable features." He wrote that his team has experienced "out of memory" errors that force occasional restarts, but described it as "a minor annoyance."

Compatibility Picture
The comments area of Jason Zander's blog post announcing the VS2010 SP1 launch offers a discussion of potential incompatibilities, including with the Visual Studio Async CTP.

A commenter to the post identified as Chris referred to the same IntelliSense problem encountered by Dave Crozier: "Installing VS2010 SP1 will cause you to lose IntelliSense in SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 to SQL 2008 R2 databases (and probably R1 databases as well)."

There are known incompatibilities with the SP1 release, including the Visual Studio Async CTP and LightSwitch Beta 1, as well as the Windows SDK 7.1 and Help Viewer Power Tool. On Tuesday, Microsoft addressed one of these incompatibilities when it announced the release of LightSwitch Beta 2. The new beta version is fully compatible with VS2010 SP1, however LightSwitch Beta 2 will not work with the original RTM release of VS2010.

A thread on the Visual Studio Async CTP Forums includes a thread titled I Am Not Installing VS 2010 SP1 W/out Async Support. The thread's creator wrote in his opening post: "Excluding Async as a part of VS 2010 SP1 is a huge mistake and a lost opportunity to bring much needed credibility to the Silverlight developer platform."

It's not surprising that beta- and CTP-grade tooling would not be fully supported in the just-released Visual Studio update. When the Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate (RC) launched in February 2010, the new IDE version dropped support for the Silverlight 4 beta tooling, which had been supported in VS2010 Beta 2. The Silverlight 4 Tools ultimately launched in May, one month after Visual Studio 2010 shipped in its final form.

In a separate thread, forum moderator Avner Aharoni promises an Async CTP update that will be compatible with VS2010 SP1. "We are now working on providing Async CTP that will run on top of SP1, but it will take us more time to get it ready, we still don't have a final date for it."

There are also questions around the complex interactions between Visual Studio 2010 SP1 and the various Feature Packs, Power Tools and other software.

Brian Harry, product unit manager for Team Foundation at Microsoft offers a bit of guidance in a blog post titled Installing All the New Stuff. He noted that if Visual Studio and TFS are on the same machine, both must either be the release to manufacture (RTM) or the SP1 version. The tools won't work if one is advanced to SP1 and the other remains as the RTM version.

Have you installed VS2010 SP1? We want to hear about your experience. Email me at mdesmond@1105media.com, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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