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Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 Updated

Three months from their original releases, both tool suites have a handful of fit-and-finish improvements meant to smoothe over the development process.

It's been nearly three months since the release of Visual Studio 2015 and two months since the release of Team Foundation Server 2015. Last week, updates with some new features will be available for developers to test.

Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 Community Technology Preview sports a number of new features. C++ developers now are able to use Edit and Continue during Windows Store C++ projects debug sessions. For those working with C#, Visual Studio now provides two tools for evaluating expressions, in either a C# interactive window and command prompt-style REPL tool. Developers can get scripting APIs in either C# or Visual Basic through Github that can be loaded into the new tools.

A new feature of the Team Explorer window is the addition of a Pull Request hub, which allows for viewing new and assigned pull requests, as a well as a more streamlined process for publishing and creating pull requests. Pull requests have gone through some incremental improvements, with each a work item policy attached with any created pull request. "When a pull request is created, the associated commits will be inspected for work item links, and if there is at least one link, the policy will be fulfilled," explains John Montgomery, Visual Studio's Director of Program Management, in a blog.

It also includes a number of bug fixes, including a strange anomaly in which the Diagnostics Tools window would open slowy and where it would err with a handful of messages popping up in the Diagnostics Hub's Output windows when working within the Profiler. The VS team is also working on a number of known issues, for which most have work-arounds, and which are noted in a support document here.

Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 1 Release Candidte has dozens of improvements listed, of which these are only a few highlights:

  • Git and Team Foundation Server Control are now supported in VS Online and TFS.
  • SonarQube has been integrated further into VSO and TFS, so that developers can easily configure a SonarQube analysis while building Java apps that are built with a Maven Build task. SonarQube is also able to allow two simultaneous build tasks to launch a SonarQube session via MSBuild.
  • Dashboards, which "provide visibility to your team and stakeholders on progress of work, code, tests, and builds," can now be used in TFS Update 1 and are customizable. Team admins can also create multiple dashboards.
  • Kanban boards have also added lots of fit-and-finish features, including the abilitiy to perform queries on data contained in them, ability to rename Kanban columns and swimlanes inline, and change tag colors.

The vast number of improvements are listed in the update document here.

Microsoft notes that VS 2015 Update 1 CTP is a preview, so features are still being tested in the wild. As for features in TFS 2015 Update 1 RC, Microsoft said that those features can be deployed in production environments with minimal impact.

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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