visual studio code

It was a big day for Microsoft and its developers yesterday. The company held its annual Connect(); developer event in New York City and announced a lot of news. Primarily important of them all, was Microsoft’s announcement of open-sourcing Visual Studio Code.

It has also launched a free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program, pushed out .NET Core 5 and ASP.NET 5 release candidates, unveiled Visual Studio cloud subscriptions, debuted the Visual Studio Marketplace, and a lot more.

Microsoft aims to target any developer on any platform by this new development. With the open-sourcing of Visual Studio 2015, the developers’ spectrum include Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows.

Microsoft’s general manager of developer platform and sales, Mitra Azizirad, summarized the announcement with a short and sweet vision that is “any developer, any application, any platform.”

The Visual Studio IDE, according to Azizirad, is the first version Microsoft considers “open by design.” It is also the most quickly adopted version of Visual Studio ever with over 5 million downloads since its advent in July.

The Visual Studio Community, aimed at students, open source contributors, small companies, startups, and individual developers, has crossed 7 million downloads and Visual Studio Code, still under works, has crossed a million.

First released back in April, Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform web and cloud development code editor available for Microsoft, Linux or Mac. The company has today open-sourced this IDE and the code has been made public on GitHub. The tech giant also announced that it is taking contributions from the community. This development puts the IDE in beta mode.

Extensibility is the biggest addition you’ll find on this code. It was also the most requested feature by developers. Not just this though, you can find a handful of other new features too. You also get a set of guidelines, samples, and tools to support the community in the creation of extensions. These extensions allow you to deal with additional services like features, themes, and language support. More than 60 extensions are available at launch spanning languages, linters, color themes, snippets, debuggers, and so on. To deal and manage these extensions, you get a gallery available within the IDE and to install new ones, one available online.

The full changelog is available here.

Visual Studio Dev Essentials is said to offer “everything developers need to create applications on any device or operating system, using their technology of choice.” The program is a free service and can be easily rated to be the biggest announcement from the Redmond giant today. Using this new tool, developers can easily get access to all of Microsoft’s services, tools, and resources.

The package includes Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Team Services, priority forum support, Parallels Desktop for Mac, $25 in monthly Azure credits and training services from partners Pluralsight, Wintellect, and Xamarin.

Microsoft has also announced that .NET Core 5 and ASP.NET 5 will be available for its developers. The resources will be on the fingertips of devs working with Microsoft, Mac or Linux. No fixed time-frame has yet been unveiled, but we can expect both of the services to be included in Build 2016, at the very least.

Earlier, you needed to pay upfront for Visual Studio 2015 with MSDN, which wasn’t always the best idea. Teams which worked on a project basis can now buy a Visual Studio cloud subscription.

The service is available in as Visual Studio Professional for $45 per month or $539 per year. Visual Studio Enterprise can be obtained for $250 per month or $2,999 per year. Your Azure bill will house all Visual Studio payments.

Microsoft has also renamed its Visual Studio Online service to Visual Studio Team Services. Leaving the name change at the doorstep, the new service includes a new Team Foundation plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, a new customizable and task-based Build service, dashboards that provide visibility into a team’s progress, as well as extension previews for Code Search, Package Management and Release Manager.

You need more than the IDE to be successful,

Azizirad explained. 

This expansion of our Visual Studio family is that Visual Studio means a lot more than the IDE, that Visual Studio is expanding to meet all developer needs, no matter what the technology, no matter what the platform, and no matter the app they are building.

Developers can now host cloud builds for mobile applications with cross-platform build capabilities for iOS and Android. This comes as a treat from Microsoft as today it partnered with MacinCloud to deliver a special Visual Studio Team Services build plan.

To buy all these services and features that most developers would crave for, Microsoft has also announced the Visual Studio Marketplace. Using this unified marketplace, you can now buy the aforementioned Visual Studio cloud subscriptions and find extensions for the Visual Studio IDEs, Visual Studio Team Services and Visual Studio Code.

Many new Azure services are also available in public preview, as well. These include Azure Service Fabric, which now supports NET development on Windows Server, Azure Dev/Test Labs, which will allow developers to manage dev/test environments with a cloud-based solution and Azure SDK 2.8, that will provide diagnostics of production applications on Azure and making Azure Resource Manager template creation.

Microsoft Connect(); doesn’t stop there, though. There’s a lot more yet to come, so stay tuned.


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