Connection Strings

Visual Studio 2017 Help Resource Available Offline

New Help Viewer option allows Microsoft books and resources for the newest VS version to be available and updated with more recent and timely information. Plus: MSDN Editor-in-Chief Michael Desmond offers his Microsoft Build insights on this week's .NET Insight Podcast.

With the newness of Visual Studio 2017, the help system will probably be getting tested to its limits. It's a good thing that Microsoft is using Azure to maintain accuracy and reliability of the information, as the information will be stored and updated nearly as immediately as it's created, rather than taking the usual six months or so to update it. And much of those help resources will be available in a downloadable format, so that a live Internet connection isn't the one thing to keep developers from keeping those resources within arm's reach.

"We are also hosting the book generation and fetching services entirely on Microsoft Azure, which makes them more performant and reliable," according to Den Delimarsky, the program manager responsible for the site, in a blog post. "We will be continuously updating the content, so you will no longer be stuck with outdated books and wait 6 months for the next release."

The offline books will need to be added during an installation of Visual Studio 2017, under Individual Components | Code tools | Help Viewer (the blog explains the full process). Options include references for Visual C#, Visual F#, ASP.NET Core, ASP.NET API, NuGet, and Scripting Language. To install them after, rerun the installation and modify it so that it includes the Help Viewer option. There's also a way to make that help available locally on other machines, which is described in this Microsoft Doc.

Delimarsky notes that requests for additional documentation resources can be made by developers on the Microsoft Doc Feedback page hosted on UserVoice at

Also, in this week's .NET Insight Podcast, with Microsoft Build coming up in a few weeks, we asked MSDN Magazine Editor-in-Chief Michael Desmond to provide some insights on what a tech journalist does at a conference. We hope that advice proves valuable as you head out into the tech conference-attending season. Also: We want your feedback and also want your suggestions for how to improve this show and who we should interview next!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Here are ten more links I've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

A Developer's Experience: Add nice icons to your Visual Studio Code experience

Gunnar Peipman: Detecting faces on photos using Microsoft Cognitive Services

Piotr Gankiewicz: ASP.NET Core 12 samples

Microsoft Azure Developer Blog: How Microsoft builds massively scalable services using Azure DocumentDB

Al Hardy: ASP.NET Core Health Checks

Application Development Trends: New DevOps Maturity Survey: You Might Not Be Where You Think You Are

The MVP Show (Channel 9): Episode 2: Germany - Interview with Dominick Baier

reddit/r/cpp: Is there a better way to marry CMake, Clang and VS yet?

CodeProject: Setting up a standard continuous integration build with VSTS/TFS

Don't Code Tired: Multiple Platform Targeting in Visual Studio 2017

Redmond Magazine: Architectural Considerations of Modernizing SharePoint Apps

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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