Today, we released Visual Studio 2015 CTP 5 with new features in debugging, diagnostics, the XAML language service, and ASP.NET 5 that we added after the November Preview release. While not a major release, this CTP is another opportunity for you to provide us with feedback as we make progress towards releasing. You can read about the new features and known issues in Visual Studio 2015 CTP 5, and also download it. Alternatively, save some time and use the provided virtual machine image in Azure. Here is a brief look at some of the new features since the November Preview.
Debugging and Diagnostics Improvements
There is a new Diagnostic Tools window that now appears while debugging that gives you Debugger Events (with IntelliTrace), Memory Usage, and CPU Usage. Read more about the improved diagnostic tools here.
The window appears for the following project types:
- Managed WPF, WinForms, Console projects
- Native Win32, Console, and MFC projects
- ASP.NET 4 using IIS Express
- Managed or Native 32-bit Windows Store projects running locally
The Debugger Events tool (with IntelliTrace) gives you access to all Break, Output, and IntelliTrace events collected during your debugging session. VS presents the data both as a timeline and as a tabular view and the two views are synchronized.
The Memory Usage tool enables you to monitor the memory usage of your app while you are debugging. You can also take and compare detailed snapshots of native and managed memory to analyze the cause of memory growth and memory leaks.
The CPU Usage tool enables you to monitor the CPU usage of your application by viewing a live CPU graph while you are debugging.
You can also inspect and diagnose performance issues using the Timeline tool in the Performance and Diagnostics hub. This tool helps you improve the performance of your WPF and Windows Store 8.1 applications by a providing semantically-rich, scenario-centric view of your application’s resource consumption. You can analyze the time your application spends in preparing UI frames and servicing network and disk requests for scenarios such as Application Startup and Page Load. This new tool replaces the existing XAML UI Responsiveness tool in the Performance and Diagnostics hub. Read more about the new Timeline tool here.
New XAML Language Service
We have rebuilt the XAML language service on top of the .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") to provide an improved XAML editing experience with rich IntelliSense that is faster and more reliable. Right now, you won’t notice a lot of changes, but the new architecture makes it much easier for us to add features. On the docket are features such as cross language refactoring operations, improved IntelliSense filtering, and better data binding IntelliSense.
Thanks to this language service and based on customer requests, in Visual Studio 2015 we have pivoted Blend to focus more on being a design-oriented tool for XAML developers. Therefore, if you’re using Visual Studio 2015 for code-centric XAML authoring, you can now choose to have a code centric workspace by disabling the XAML designer in Tools->Options->Xaml Designer.
We also improved the project settings experience. In previous releases the run/debug settings were defined within Visual Studio and could not be modified. With this release, you can override those settings in the debugSettings.json file in the project. In a future release you will be able to access a properties page to update this file. In addition to being able to run and debug your project you can now also run and debug any commands defined in your project.json file directly from Visual Studio. Read more about the ASP.NET 5 improvements here.
As part of Visual Studio 2015 CTP 5, we are also shipping TypeScript 1.4 In this release, TypeScript now supports typed unions, type aliases, and new ES6 features. Read more about the TypeScript 1.4 release here.
John has been at Microsoft for 15 years, working in developer technologies the whole time. Most recently before working on the Visual Studio core development environment, he was working on the tools for Windows 8 development.