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Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 CTP 6 Now Available

Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6 comes with more efficient cloud services single sign-on, improvements in ASP.NET and Xamarin integration, and an update to Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova.

Granted, Community Technology Previews (CTPs) often come with the caveat that features that come with them are often in there to gauge usefulness and readiness, so what was in Visual Studio 2015 CTP 5 that raised developer ire? According to a blog post from John Montgomery, director of program management for the Visual Studio Platform, soon after its release his team "quickly saw that CTP 5 had a handful of issues that made it pretty painful to use including an issue with PDB file locking that affected a lot of customers."

"We expect our CTPs to meet a 'reasonable use' quality bar and, based on your feedback, CTP 5 didn't achieve that bar," he added.

So, the release that was announced this morning, Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6, is mainly meant to address some of the problems raised by developers. But, of course, there are a number of new features, including more efficient cloud services single sign-on, improvements in ASP.NET and Xamarin integration, an update to Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova that allows debugging of apps on Windows Phone 8.1, and an update to the Visual Studio Emulator for Android Lollipop. Many of the new features have been rolling out slowly over the course of the last few weeks since CTP 5, like a more efficient way to work with NuGet, debugging when working within the Microsoft .NET Framework. It's all covered in Montgomery's blog in pretty good detail.

Also new is a version of Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2015 CTP 6. Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry blogged that he "thoroughly expect you will find some bugs if you dig deeply," perhaps in an attempt to quell any possible developer ire. "Over the next few months we'll continue to refine it and will ship a "go-live" preview for use in a production environment."

Harry writes that most developers who want to keep up with TFS 2015 developments should really start using Visual Studio Online. "Although it's not 100 percent fidelity to what will be in any given on-premises release," he wrote in the blog, "it's pretty close and is a great way to see it evolve every three weeks without having to go through any installations."

New at this point and all rolled into this CTP are the Agile tooling improvements, licensing changes from the last few months, TFS 2013 updates, and extensibility hooks of the last few months (since the November 2014 release).

To read the release notes and download these CTPs, start here.

About the Author

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 mdomingo@1105media.com.

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