Visual Studio 2010: Development Experience

vs2010_logo As many of you in the .NET world should be aware, yesterday (April 12th, 2010) was the launch of the next generation of development tool, Visual Studio 2010.  Launched along side .NET 4.0, Visual Studio does not limit the development to it’s side kick framework.  You have the ability to Develop against any of the .NET Framework releases.

Microsoft has really been listening to the community since the Launch of Visual Studio 2008 and you can clearly tell with the features that they have added into the IDE.  With a new enhanced intellisense system developers can write code quicker and more efficiently.  Included in the enhancements to the intellisense system is support for the jquery javascript library which is a great benefit to Web Developers like myself. Other enhancements such as multi-monitor support provides a better workflow for developers that are constantly building Tests as they write their code.  Visual Studio 2010 also introduces the use of WPF into the Development tools, enabling a more robust Extension system in order for Developers and Third Party Plug-in makers to Integrate closer to the Core of Visual Studio.

In the spirit of “The early bird gets the worm” I would like to put my two sense in for enhancements for the next version of the Visual Studio IDE, or minor adjustments into the first Service Pack.

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Project Backup for Migration

Yeah, I know what you’re going to say, Cory, “Visual Studio has been backing up projects for Migration since Visual Studio 2005.”  I do realize this, and you’ll probably notice also that backups are still being handled in the same way they were in Visual Studio 2005.

When you install Visual Studio on your machine you’ll notice that under your “My Documents” folder there is a folder for each release of Visual Studio you have installed on your machine. When you open a project from the “Projects” folder of a previous release of Visual Studio in a newer version of the IDE, the backup files are added to a folder that gets generated in the same folder of your current project.  It is typical to run concurrent installations of your development tools just incase you run into something that doesn’t quite in the newer version [Read my next feature for an example].

This will cause some controversy, and maybe perceived as somewhat short sighted as not everyone leaves the projects in the Visual Studio “Projects” folders. With that said, I believe that the original solution folder should remain unchanged.  The controversy this will cause is those who do not believe in data replication, but today’s IT industry doesn’t seem to be worried about “Throwing hardware at it”.  Leaving the original solution in tact allows for a fail proof backup of the project (which really should be in source code control anyway).  The existing project is then recreated in the “Projects” folder for the Current Version of Visual Studio.

Version Safe Database Projects

Since Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft has been focusing on a targeting system within Visual Studio in order to enable their Developers to use the version of the .net framework that is needed for the requirements of the Project [as well as enabling the correct intellisense for the framework that is selected].

With the addition of Database manipulation within Visual Studio Projects it has created another Versioning Issue with the toolsets for database support in visual studio.  The first of which that comes to mind is SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

Recently, I’ve been working on a project that is using SSIS to migrate data from a MySQL database to a MSSQL database.  I went to convert the SSIS project to a Visual Studio 2010 Project this morning, and much to my dismay the .proj file was converted, but none of the files were upgraded or viewable in Visual Studio 2010.

If a database targeting system could be put into place like the framework selection to avoid issues such as these and allowing developers to keep one installation of Visual Studio on their machine that will handle all tasks with ease, it would be greatly beneficial.

In Closing

I’m very excited to have a new IDE that supports many of the features that developers have needed for a long time.  Kudo’s to the Visual Studio Product team for the release of an exquisite Development suite.  I look forward to seeing the Innovation in the tools market provided by the built in Extensions Gallery and to many more great IDE’s coming out from Microsoft in the future.