Making It Better: Updates for ASP.NET 5 in Visual Studio 2015 CTP 5

It’s been about two months since we released the first beta of ASP.NET 5, and today we happy to announce that ASP.NET 5 Beta2 is available. For developers using Visual Studio, you’ll find great new tools to support and enhance your development process.  All ASP.NET developers will be able to take advantage of a new runtime and many product quality improvements.

You can download and install Visual Studio 2015 CTP5 by following the link at the top of the http://asp.net/vnext page.  If you want to try ASP.NET 5 with an alternate editor or on Mac or Linux, just follow the instructions on our ASP.NET GitHub project Home repo to get setup using just a command prompt.  If you already have ASP.NET installed and only want to update your packages using NuGet you can simply run this command at the command prompt:

kvm upgrade 

and the latest version of the ASP.NET runtime will be downloaded from NuGet and installed for you to use on your workstation.

There are a ton of great new features available with this preview release, and in this post we’re going to cover a few of the ones that we have heard the most feedback about. You can also read about all of the new runtime enhancement by checking out the ASP.NET 5 Beta2 release notes on GitHub.

Reference existing projects from ASP.NET 5 projects

In previous preview releases you could only reference other ASP.NET 5 projects from an ASP.NET 5 project. You can now reference your existing projects from an ASP.NET 5 project using the Add Reference dialog. 

 

Run and debug commands defined in project.json

In addition to being able to run and debug your project you can now also run and debug any command defined in your project.json file directly from Visual Studio.

 

The default project.json for the ASP.NET 5 Starter Web template includes commands for self-hosting, MVC scaffolding, and for Entity Framework migrations.

    “commands”: {

        /* Change the port number when you are self hosting this application */

        “web”: “Microsoft.AspNet.Hosting –server Microsoft.AspNet.Server.WebListener –server.urls http://localhost:5000”,

        “gen”: “Microsoft.Framework.CodeGeneration”,

        “ef”: “EntityFramework.Commands”

    },

 

This update will allow you to continue running in Visual Studio if you don’t want to bring up a command prompt to execute these commands. The new “gen” command allows developers with any editor to scaffold ASP.NET MVC components easily at the command line.  Here’s a quick example of how easy it is to generate an MVC Controller:

Select which browser to use when running or debugging

Select which browser you want to use (ex. IE, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) when running or debugging an ASP.NET 5 web application from within Visual Studio.

 

Summary

We hope you enjoy these new improvements.  Some of these changes have been implemented due to the feedback we received.  Remember: we are working with the community to ensure that this is the best release of ASP.NET yet.  Get involved, and join the conversation on our GitHub project to let us know what you think!