Official: Visual Studio 2015, .NET Framework 4.6 Now Available

Also released is Visual Studio 2013 Update 5, which rolls up a number of bug fixes but also adds features for developers to perform load testing of apps via an Azure site globally from within Team Foundation Server.

Microsoft made it official today and released Visual Studio 2015 and .NET Framework 4.6, both fairly comprehensive and worked out and tested versions of the developer tools platforms meant for designing apps and services that work across various OSes and cloud-enabled environments. Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division, S. Somasegar, announced the suites on his corporate blog, highlighting the suites' enhanced tooling for cross-platform development, productivity and support for DevOps practices.

Somasegar's online keynote event announcing should be available on-demand today here, if you missed the live event. His group also has compiled a number of feature videos to help explain more detailed aspects of the products on the Channel 9 site here.

Somasegar notes that Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition has been downloaded 5 million times by 3.2 million registered users. Visual Studio Code, the cross-platform code editor that was released in April, already has more than half a million downloads. "These all signify the continued phenomenal momentum that we are seeing for the Visual Studio toolset and momentum behind the family of products here with developers around the world," he said

Lots of the new features have been covered in Visual Studio Magazine News as developments occurred, so to summarize the last few developments prior to today's release, the company emphasized three areas: diagnostics, mobility, and Web/cloud enablement.

Visual Studio 2015, first of all, aims to unify diagnostics and profliing. Tools for those digging deeper into the inner worksing of code are now in one place: the Diagnostics Tools window. A nifty feature that has been integrated recently is PerfTips, which work much like ToolTips but provide performance data while stepping through code during debugging.

VS 2015 also has been widening the spectrum of platforms upon whch apps can be built and run. It's already able to develop iOS, Android and Windows apps, and tools for developing and working with Apache Cordova and Xamarin have been going through incremental updates up to this release. As well, this release also now has a full-blown Android Emulator which requires neither Visual Studio or an Android phone to test apps against.

On the Web/cloud side, VS 2015 has also updated ASP.NET 4.6 and Azure SDK 2.6. ASP.NET 4.6 updates include improvements to Web Forms, MVC 5 and Web API 2, while Azure SDK 4.6 simplifies cloud provisioning and deployment of Web sites and cloud-based services.

As a sidenote: Somasegar also announced Visual Studio 2013 Update 5. This version is a cumulative update, but with a few new features that are worth mentioning: cloud-based load testing via Team Foundation Services; ability to run queries in VS from VS Online and Team Foundation Server 2015 via the @currentIteration token; and Team Project Rename support from local workspaces. It's available for download here

Somasegar said that his group has been trying over the last several years to maintain a release cadence for VS 2013 of three to four months. "In the last year, we've released four different updates," he noted, and said that more than 80 percent of the Visual Studio 2013 installed base updated to Update 4. It sounds like a quick pace, but he said that users have been expecting a faster release cadence, especially with the online tools. "As we're on a faster cadence with Visual Studio 2015, we're doing something similar with Visual Studio Online and Visual Stuido Code, where we are revving the services and toolsets every few weeks, and we are committed to continuing this continuous delivery mechanism as we move forward."

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You Tell 'Em, Readers: If you've read this far, know that Michael Domingo, Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief, is here to serve you, dear readers, and wants to get you the information you so richly deserve. What news, content, topics, issues do you want to see covered in Visual Studio Magazine? He's listening at [email protected].

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