New Visual Studio Preview Supports Production-Ready .NET Core 3.0 Coding

Microsoft shipped Visual Studio 16.3 Preview 1, which is required for developers wanting to try out the new production-ready .NET Core 3.0 Preview 7.

The company yesterday (July 23) released .NET Core 3.0 Preview 7, saying it was ready for production use and announcing the dev team was transitioning from providing new features to polishing current features, focusing on stability and reliability.

Production-ready .NET Core 3.0 code is a big deal in the Microsoft development space as the long-awaited upgrade cements the company's new cross-platform, open source "Core" direction, adding desktop development support and other features that had been lacking in previous versions.

However, there is still a little more work to be done, especially on that desktop side of things. "We intend to make very few changes after Preview 7 for most APIs. Notable exceptions are: WPF, Windows Forms, Blazor and Entity Framework," the company said yesterday. "Any breaking changes after Preview 7 will be documented."

Meanwhile, Visual Studio coders can now put yesterday's .NET Core 3.0 Preview 7 release through its paces. "Version 16.3 Preview 1 has added support for .NET Core 3.0 Preview," said Jacqueline Widdis, program manager, Release Team, in blog post. "Additional features include .NET Core project templates like Worker and gRPC for building microservices or Blazor for building client Web apps using C#."

In addition to .NET Core 3.0 preview support, 16.3 Preview 1 has improved search capabilities, added in response to developer feedback that made the search feature request one of the highest voted issues. "Because the ability to search in Visual Studio is a key driver for discoverability, there is an added search box in the start window for users to quickly locate recently used projects, solutions, and folders," Widdis said. "The most recently used code containers also integrate with Visual Studio global search so they can be found there as well."

Widdis also announced the general availability of Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2. Here's a summary of what goodies are in that GA release:

  • Test Explorer: "Test Explorer provides better handling of large test sets, easier filtering, more discoverable commands, tabbed playlist views, and customizable columns to fine-tune test information displayed."
  • .NET developer productivity: "There are improvements in .NET developer productivity as version 16.2 brings back the Sort Usings refactoring option. Developers also have the ability to convert switch statements to switch expressions and also generate a parameter for a variable from the Quick Actions menu."
  • C++: "In the C++ space, changes include Clang/LLVM support for MSBuild projects, incremental build for Windows Subsystem for Linux, and a new C++ quick action to install missing packages in CMake projects using vcpkg."
  • Usability: "To enhance usability, users who opted to hide their toolbars in Visual Studio receive additional vertical space. Upon hiding all toolbars, the Live Share, Feedback and Badge icons are moved to the top. The steps to restore the toolbar are View > Toolbars and select the desired toolbar."

While Visual Studio coders can use this week's previews for production-ready .NET Core 3.0 code -- as Microsoft has been doing itself internally for a couple of weeks -- the final GA release of .NET Core 3.0 is still scheduled for September, according to roadmap.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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