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July Issue Preview

Schools are out and the summer vacation season has officially begun. I know this, because the house is a mess and I've driven more than 2,000 miles in the past week, with I think 1,800 of those in active construction zones. Hey, here's an idea: Let's double all fines--for everything--from June through August.

Despite the chaotic summer schedule and ill-advised road trips, work continues to get done at Visual Studio Magazine. Our July issue goes live on Friday, and you can look forward to plenty of insightful how-to articles and analysis. July's cover feature by Benjamin Day looks at the powerful new build system in Team Foundation Server 2010 and how you can configure build servers and builds, customize default build scripts to handle environment-specific configuration files, and configure IIS applications.

Two other features grace this month's issue. Sebastian Holst of Preemptive Solutions explores the burgeoning arena of application analytics, and looks at how developers can use the integrated Runtime Intelligence engine in Visual Studio 2010 to capture information about how applications are behaving and being used in the field. Meanwhile, James Reinders of Intel dives into the Parallel Extensions for .NET and C++ to help developers take full advantage of multicore and many-core environments.

If there were a theme for our Language Lab columns in July, it would be extensibility. Peter Vogel's Practical .NET column this month takes a moment to answer a variety of reader questions, from how to how to extend custom sections in the config file, to using CreateQuery and ESQL in the Entity Framework, to reading lambda expressions. UI Code Expert columnist Mark Michaelis explains how to use an often-overlooked XAML extensibility resource, markup extensions, as well as how to create extensions of your own. Finally, Joe Kunk's On VB column recounts his effort to extend support for LightSwitch BlankExtension/BizType projects beyond C# to Visual Basic.

Andrew Brust writes in his Redmond Review column about an interesting pattern at Microsoft, where many of the most vital and groundbreaking innovations are coming from the smaller business units. For an example of this, writes Andrew, look no further than Windows 8 adopting the tile-based UI from the Windows Phone team. Speaking of Windows 8, Robby Ingebretsen of Pixel Lab offers five reasons you should care about HTML5, in his turn as a VS Insider guest columnist.

VSM Tools Editor Peter Vogel lays hands on Red Gate Reflector, a decompiler and class browser that lets you recreate C# or Visual Basic code from a compiled assembly. But the real story, Peter says, is Reflector's improved integration with Visual Studio. Finally, check out Mark Bowytz' latest tale of developer frustration, in DevDisasters.

We may be entering the heart of construction season, but we're not slowing down. In August you can look forward to an in-depth exploration of the Async CTP. And of course we'll continue to publish our selection of online how-to columns and articles at Do you have a topic you want to see covered in our magazine or Web site? Let us know!

Posted by Michael Desmond on 06/28/2011

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