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Release Candidates for Visual Studio 2015 Tools Now Available

Just in time for Build, the Visual Studio Team has delivered the first set of release candidates for a number of tools in the Visual Studio 2015 family, and these ones come with a bounty of new features.

Not to get lost in the shuffle of Build announcements this week, the Visual Studio team delivered release candidates for the Visual Studio 2015 family of tools. Many of the RCs roll up lots of the features that have been under development over the past year, but quite a number of new features are getting air in this release, including new cross-platform tooling, a revamp of Team Foundation Server 2015 RC, and a laundry list of C++ language improvements and additions.

The Visual Studio 2015 RC feature set is packed. John Montgomery, Microsoft director of program management with the Visual Studio team, highlights mostly new features in a blog post, and that in itself is a dense read, as every aspect of the suite has something new:

Visual Studio 2015 RC: Visual Studio 2015 SDK for creating and packaging extensions; debugger improvements; .NET Core now supports Linux and Mac OS; improved Notifications can now notify of Visual Studio crashes; Add Connected Services can be extended to use a number of services, including Azure AppInsights, Azure Storage, Salesforce, Office 365; improved Editor, CodeLens, and Code Map; Visual Studio Tools for Cordova now supports Cordova 4.0; Visual Studio Tools for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is integrated; C++ language standards support and improvements, and cross-platform coding support for iOS; improved support for high-DPI displays. A full list of new and improved features are in the release notes.

Team Foundation Server 2015 RC: Configurable code review policies; quick code editing allows for quick change commits straight from a browser; Kanban boards now feature split columns. A full list of new and improved features are in this release note.

Other tools that were released in time for Build:

Visual Studio Emulator for Android: The emulator that runs atop a Hyper-V hypervisor emulates more popular Android hardware for quick debugging and testing of Android apps. More here.

Visual Studio Tools for Docker: In preview, it provides tools and scripts for packaging apps aimed for Docker hosts, and tools for provisioning Docker containers from Azure. More here.

Azure SDK for .NET 2.6: Adds tools (specifically, Azure Resource Manager Tools, HDInsight Tools) for Azure-based developement from within Visual Studio 2015 RC and Visual Studio 2013 RC Update 5. More here.

Entity Framework 7 Beta 4: Now supports Windows Phone, Windows Store, ASP.NET 5, and Azure Table Storage and Redis. More here.

ASP.NET 5 Beta 4: The runtime has been updated with a lightweight request pipeline and now supports Windows, Mac and Linux environments. More here.

The release candidates indicate the products will be eminently released within the next few months after a few fit-and-finish fixes.

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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