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Microsoft Showcases Visual Studio Dev Essentials, Visual Studio Code in New York

Microsoft packages a handful of developer-related services into an Essentials-style pack, and submits Visual Studio Code to beta testing. Oh yeah, and it's also being open sourced.

Microsoft this morning debuted Visual Studio Dev Essentials, which was just one of a number of key products in a handful of announcements of new and updated offerings the company has been parceling out with regularity. The announcements were made by Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group, during the keynote in the online Microsoft Connect() conference taking place this week in New York City.

Of most significance is the packaging up of a variety of Visual Studio services extraneous to the programming languages -- tools, cloud services, training and support -- that will be available for free. On the tools side, it includes Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Express, and Team Foundation Server Express.

Among the cloud offerings is a Visual Studio Team Services account for five users, and the free tier versions of App Service, PowerBI, HockeyApp, and Application Insights. Azure credits will also be made available soon, and will be priced at $25 per month for the first year.

On the software tools end, it comes with three-month subscriptions to Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Access, Office and Office Online Apps. (VSDE will also come with a 60-day subscription for Windows Platform VM).

Finally, on the training and support end, it includes priority forums support and training subscriptions for Pluralsight, Wintellect, Xamarin University, and Microsoft Virtual Academy. Also included is a $25 credit for HackHands Live Programming Help.

Other key products offerings and the status of each:

Visual Studio Code: Even though Visual Studio Code has been available in preview form since Microsoft Build, the company has hit a development milestone, calling the most recent version a beta version. This release adds plugin support, extension gallery that accessible within VSC, and improved debugging and extension SDK capabilities. VSC is now also being open sourced, with a public repository on Github.

.NET Core 5 RC, ASP.NET 5 RC: Both are currently at the Release Candidate stage. While RC often means it's almost ready and should be used only in test environments, Microsoft said they're solid enough to use in production with the Go-Live license now available for Windows, Linux, and OS X platforms. "ASP.NET 5 RC includes enhancements to both the runtime and tools with a simplified hosting model across Windows, OS X and Linux," writes John Montgomery, Director of Program Management for Visual Studio, in a separate blog.

Microsoft Graph: This is a new name for a product that was known as Office 365 API while under development. It's now generally available. "Any developer capable of making an HTTP request can call the API from any platform, and once-siloed Office 365 services can now be directly navigated via the Microsoft Graph," said Montgomery.

Visual Studio Team Services: Another product renaming, this one for Visual Studio Online. This release adds an IntelliJ IDEA plugin, a rich Build service, team-based dashboards, and previews of some new extensions: Code Search, Package Management, Release Management.

There are a number of other improvements, which we'll cover separately in the next few weeks as those features mature. Montgomery's blog has details on the handful of other features and improvements 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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