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Preview Updates Ship for Visual Studio for Mac, .NET Framework

Developers wanting in on the latest and greatest from the Microsoft dev world now have access to new previews for the next iterations of the Visual Studio for Mac IDE and the flagship .NET Framework.

The new Visual Studio for Mac version 7.2 Alpha Preview was last week released in the alpha updater channel, described as the first preview for version 7.2.

Visual Studio for Mac, stemming from Microsoft's acquisition of Xamarin, builds upon the Xamarin Studio IDE. Officially introduced this year, it includes features such as a rich editor, debugging, native platform integration with the iOS, Mac and Android platforms, and integrated source control.

Describing the new features in the preview, Xamarin chief Miguel de Icaza said: "The Azure Functions support and IoT support were bundled as part of the IDE for our Build 2017 preview release. As we get ready for our final release, we have unbundled these capabilities from the core IDE and they are now available to be installed from the Extension Manager. To install them, simply click on Extensions in the top menu in the IDE to find the extensions under the IDE extensions node on the Gallery tab."

De Icaza pointed developers who want to check out the new functionality to a hands-on lab project on GitHub.

Those not in the alpha updater channel (which "provides early access to updates that add new features but may not be reliable for everyday use") can get more information here.

Meanwhile, the NET Framework 4.7.1 Early Access preview was just released yesterday.

In a blog post, Microsoft's Preeti Krishna described the preview of the next version of the .NET Framework. "It is currently feature-complete and in the testing phase," Krishna said. "We are asking for individuals and companies to help validate the quality and compatibility of the release. It is not ready for production and is not supported. The current build of the .NET Framework 4.7.1 being shared is build 2538."

New improvements to the pre-release build were listed as:

  • .NET Framework support for .NET Standard 2.0
  • Enhancements in the Visual Tree for WPF applications
  • Accessibility improvements in keyboard navigation, narration, high contrast and focus control areas
  • Support for the more secure SHA256 hashing algorithm
  • Performance and reliability enhancements

Full release notes describe all the changes to multiple .NET components, including ASP.NET, CLR, SQL, WCF, WPF, networking and several more.

As with the Visual Studio for Mac previews, a special program -- this one called Windows Insiders -- is available "to validate that your applications work great on the latest .NET Framework included in the latest Windows 10 releases."

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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