What's 'vNext'? It's Visual Studio "14" CTP 3

VS "14" CTP 3 includes early build of next-generation Microsoft .NET Framework and ASP.NET, plus a slew of enhancements that include C++ productivity improvements.

The Visual Studio team blogs of its third community technology preview (CTP) for Visual Studio "14," a version of which includes an early build of the next-generation versions of the Microsoft .NET Framework and ASP.NET, plus a slew of enhancements that include C++ productivity improvements. Related to the CTP 3, the team said that the Azure Resource Manager Tools and Bing Developer Assistant for Visual Studio were also released.

The highlight of Visual Studio 14 CTP 3 is the inclusion of the vNext versions of the .NET Framework and ASP.NET. The CTP 3 version of .NET vNext builds upon a version that was released in May along with the .NET Framework 4.5.2, but with a few more incremental changes, as well as a rollup of bug fixes. ASP.NET vNext includes "support for build configuration and support for unit tests, and it no longer includes content and compile items inside '.kproj' file," according the Visual Studio Team blog, and includes the RyuJIT compiler.

This CTP also includes .NET Native for the first time, which has some support for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) so that services can be added natively through the .NET Native app. The blog lists a number of WCF types and target scenarios that are supported right now, and more will be forthcoming.

The RyuJIT compiler that comes with ASP.NET can be tested out, but it isn't natively supported from the .NET Framework vNext (the team said internal builds do have it working natively, but it isn't ready for external preview). The blog has instructions for testing it out, though, for those curious to try it.

Other enhancements include improved PerfTips in the debugger, support for high-resolution icons in command bars, tool bars and menus, roaming custom layouts, and enhancements to Visual C++ that allow it to conform to C++ standards in order to make working with the compiler more productive. One such improvement there is the replacement of Smart Tags with Light Bulbs, which the team deems "more discoverable" when glancing at code for fixes, and which actually show what resultant fixes will look like as a preview.

Also new is support for "thread_local storage specifier, which allows objects to be stored separately for each thread" from within the compiler. A number of other improvements are listed in a Visual C++ Team blog post.

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