Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 Release Candidate (known issues) is available now. It includes a number of goodies for C++ developers, but before we take a look, the Visual C++ team wants to thank everyone who has provided feedback over the last year. Your comments and suggestions (and frowns) have helped us plan and prioritize the features we deliver. Thank you!
Here is the good stuff:
Compiler Improvements. The C++ compiler and standard library have been updated with enhanced support for C++11 and C++14 features. They also include preliminary support for certain features expected to be in the C++17 standard. The most notable changes are quality improvements for constexpr and partial expression SFINAE support.
Additionally, more than 200 compiler bugs have been fixed, including many submitted by customers through Microsoft Connect – thank you!
Cross-Platform C++ mobile. Android developers will now be able to debug Java code as they build their Android applications and can also enjoy a good Java language editing experience available via a click download from VSGallery. Support for x64 and arm64 targets has also been introduced for both Android and iOS development. Android developers can now also benefit from parallel compilation and the ability to import their Eclipse projects easily in Visual Studio.
Important: The Visual Studio Emulator for Android and Microsoft Test Manager will not be able to acquire online licenses when they are used with Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 RC. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid installing Update 1 RC on a computer where either of those products is needed.
Our iOS developers will enjoy an improved experience with debug targets and provisioning profiles now operational from within Visual Studio. Want to share your experiences? Take this survey!
Code Authoring. A number of new experimental features were added to improve the code authoring experience including enabling a new database engine (to improve the speed of things like Go To Definition and Find All References), member list dot-to-arrow, extract function, change signature, expand scopes, and expand precedence. Improved GPU Usage. Newly added Thread timeline view enables you to investigate the CPU and GPU workflows by threads. Fence signals are now visually highlighted in the timeline view, making finding matching signal and wait events easier. You can access this page under Tools –> Options –> Text Editor –> C/C++ –> Experimental.
For more information, as well as additional Text Editor features on VS Gallery, check out the MSDN page here.
Memory Diagnostics. Take heap snapshots while debugging your application using the Memory Usage tool inside the Diagnostic Tools window (Ctrl+Alt+F2). Stacks view allows you see the call tree by caller and callee with the ability to search the stacks. Attach to a running process and take heap snapshots and diff them to find allocations of interest.
Debugging. Support for smart pointer operations in debugger expressions and visualizers.
Visual C++ Build Tools 2015 (Pre-release). If you want to build your C++ projects targeting Windows desktop without having Visual Studio installed on your computer, Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools 2015 provides the required tools: C++ compilers, libraries, build scripts, Windows SDKs. This Community Technology Preview ships with the same C++ compilers and libraries packaged with Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 RC (2015.1).
We will dig a little deeper into some of these topics in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. If you are new to Visual Studio 2015, visit Visual Studio 2015 RTM Now Available to learn about other good stuff.
Visual C++ Team