Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Release Notes

Release Date: August 18, 2017 – Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3.1

Issues Fixed in August 18, 2017 Release

These are the customer-reported issues addressed in this version:


Summary: What’s New in this Release

  • Accessibility Improvements make Visual Studio more accessible than ever.
  • Azure Function Tools are included in the Azure development workload. You can develop Azure Function applications locally and publish directly to Azure.
  • You can now build applications in Visual Studio 2017 that run on Azure Stack and government clouds, like Azure in China.
  • We improved .NET Core development support for .NET Core 2.0, and Windows Nano Server containers.
  • In Visual Studio IDE, we improved Sign In and Identity, the start page, Lightweight Solution Load, and setup CLI. We also improved refactoring, code generation and Quick Actions.
  • The Visual Studio Editor has better accessibility due to the new ‘Blue (Extra Contrast)’ theme and improved screen reader support.
  • We improved the Debugger and diagnostics experience. This includes Point and Click to Set Next Statement. We’ve also refreshed all nested values in variable window, and made Open Folder debugging improvements.
  • Xamarin has a new standalone editor for editing app entitlements.
  • The Open Folder and CMake Tooling experience is updated. You can now use CMake 3.8.
  • We made improvements to the IntelliSense engine, and to the project and the code wizards for C++ Language Services.
  • Visual C++ Toolset supports command-prompt initialization targeting.
  • We added the ability to use C# 7.1 Language features.
  • You can install TypeScript versions independent of Visual Studio updates.
  • We added support for Node 8 debugging.
  • NuGet has added support for new TFMs (netcoreapp2.0, netstandard2.0, Tizen), Semantic Versioning 2.0.0, and MSBuild integration of NuGet warnings and errors.
  • Visual Studio now offers .NET Framework 4.7 development tools to supported platforms with 4.7 runtime included.
  • We added clusters of related events to the search query results in the Application Insights Search tool.
  • We improved syntax support for SQL Server 2016 in Redgate SQL Search.
  • We enabled support for Microsoft Graph APIs in Connected Services.

Read more at https://www.visualstudio.com/en-gb/news/releasenotes/vs2017-relnotes#15.3.26730.08

 

.NET Core 2.0 and ASP.NET Core 2.0 Released

Been busy past couple of weeks, but if like me you are catching up… on 14th Aug, Microsoft released .NET Core 2.0, including ASP.NET Core 2.0

.NET Core 2.0

.NET and C# – Get Started in 10 Minutes

ASP.NET Core 2.0

This release features compatibility with .NET Core 2.0, tooling support in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3, and the new Razor Pages user-interface design paradigm.  For a full list of updates, you can read the release notes and you can check the list of changed items in the ASP.NET Announcements GitHub repository for a list of changes from previous versions of ASP.NET Core.  The latest SDK and tools can be downloaded from https://dot.net/core.

Read more at https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/webdev/2017/08/14/announcing-asp-net-core-2-0/

 

 

Cosmos DB Change Feed Processor NuGet package now available & Working with the change feed support

Cosmos DB Change Feed Processor NuGet package now available

Many database systems have features allowing change data capture or mirroring, for use with live backups, reporting, data warehousing and real time analytics for transactional systems… Azure Cosmos DB has such a feature called the Change Feed API, which was first introduced in May 2017.

The Change Feed API provides a list of new and updated documents in a partition in the order in which the updates were made.

Microsoft has just recently introduced the new Change Feed Processor Library which abstracts the existing Change Feed API to facilitate the distribution of change feed event processing across multiple consumers.

The Change Feed Processor library provides a thread-safe, multiple-process, runtime environment with checkpoint and partition lease management for change feed operations.

The Change Feed Processor Library is available as a NuGet package for .NET development. The library makes actions like these easier to read changes from a change feed across multiple partitions and performing computational actions triggered by the change feed in parallel (aka Complex Event Processing).

Judy Shen from the Microsoft Cosmos DB team has published some sample code on GitHub, demonstrating it’s use.

Working with the change feed support in Azure Cosmos DB

Aravind Ramachandran, Mimi Gentz and Judy Shen also just published an article Working with the change feed support in Azure Cosmos DB on the Azure docs site a few days ago…

2017-7-24

Azure Cosmos DB is a fast and flexible globally replicated database service that is used for storing high-volume transactional and operational data with predictable single-digit millisecond latency for reads and writes. This makes it well-suited for IoT, gaming, retail, and operational logging applications. A common design pattern in these applications is to track changes made to Azure Cosmos DB data, and update materialized views, perform real-time analytics, archive data to cold storage, and trigger notifications on certain events based on these changes. The change feed support in Azure Cosmos DB enables you to build efficient and scalable solutions for each of these patterns.

With change feed support, Azure Cosmos DB provides a sorted list of documents within an Azure Cosmos DB collection in the order in which they were modified. This feed can be used to listen for modifications to data within the collection and perform actions such as:

  • Trigger a call to an API when a document is inserted or modified
  • Perform real-time (stream) processing on updates
  • Synchronize data with a cache, search engine, or data warehouse

Changes in Azure Cosmos DB are persisted and can be processed asynchronously, and distributed across one or more consumers for parallel processing. Let’s look at the APIs for change feed and how you can use them to build scalable real-time applications. This article shows how to work with Azure Cosmos DB change feed and the DocumentDB API.

Azure Cosmos DB Change Feed.png

Note
Change feed support is only provided for the DocumentDB API at this time; the Graph API and Table API are not currently supported.

Use cases and scenarios
Change feed allows for efficient processing of large datasets with a high volume of writes, and offers an alternative to querying entire datasets to identify what has changed. For example, you can perform the following tasks efficiently:

  • Update a cache, search index, or a data warehouse with data stored in Azure Cosmos DB.
  • Implement application-level data tiering and archival, that is, store “hot data” in Azure Cosmos DB, and age out “cold data” to Azure Blob Storage or Azure Data Lake Store.
  • Implement batch analytics on data using Apache Hadoop.
  • Implement lambda pipelines on Azure with Azure Cosmos DB. Azure Cosmos DB provides a scalable database solution that can handle both ingestion and query, and implement lambda architectures with low TCO.
  • Perform zero down-time migrations to another Azure Cosmos DB account with a different partitioning scheme.

Lambda Pipelines with Azure Cosmos DB for ingestion and query

Lambda Pipelines with Azure Cosmos DB for ingestion and query

You can use Azure Cosmos DB to receive and store event data from devices, sensors, infrastructure, and applications, and process these events in real-time with Azure Stream Analytics, Apache Storm, or Apache Spark.

Within web and mobile apps, you can track events such as changes to your customer’s profile, preferences, or location to trigger certain actions like sending push notifications to their devices using Azure Functions or App Services. If you’re using Azure Cosmos DB to build a game, you can, for example, use change feed to implement real-time leaderboards based on scores from completed games.

Read more at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/cosmos-db/change-feed

.NET Conf, a free virtual event for developers

Are you ready to learn all about .NET? .NET Conf 19th to 21st September 2017 is a free virtual conference. #dotnetconf – http://www.dotnetconf.net/


More Details…

The .NET Conf is a free, 3 day virtual developer event co-organized by the .NET community and Microsoft. Some of the speakers lined up so far: –

Scott Hunter

Scott Hunter – Director of Program Management, .NET

Kasey Uhlenhuth

Kasey Uhlenhuth – Program Manager, .NET

Mads Torgersen

Mads Torgersen – C# Language Designer

Mikayla Hutchinson

Mikayla Hutchinson – Principal Program Manager, Xamarin

Scott Hanselman

Scott Hanselman – Principal Program Manager, .NET

What’s in store for you?

“Over the course of the three days you have a wide selection of live sessions that feature speakers from the community and .NET product teams. These are the experts in their field and it is a chance to learn, ask questions live, and get inspired for your next software project.

You will learn to build for web, mobile, desktop, games, services, libraries and more for a variety of platforms and devices all with .NET. We have sessions for everyone, no matter if you are just beginning or are a seasoned engineer. We’ll have presentations on .NET Core and ASP.NET Core, C#, F#, Roslyn, Visual Studio, Xamarin, and much more.”

Check out http://www.dotnetconf.net/ for more details…

Amazon brings .Net Core support to AWS Cloud

aws.jpg

Re-post from http://opensourceforu.com/2017/07/amazon-brings-net-core-support-aws-cloud/

Encouraging developers to massively build cross-platform applications, Amazon has added .Net Core support to its AWS Cloud services. The series that has been upgraded with the new support includes the AWS CodeStar and AWS CloudBuild services.

“The support for .Net Core in AWS CodeStar and AWS CodeBuild opens the door for .Net developers to take advantage of the benefits of Continuous Integration and Delivery when building .Net based solutions on AWS,” said Tara Walker, technical evangelist, Amazon Web Services (AWS), in a statement.

The AWS team launched the CodeStar service back in April for Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda projects using five programming languages, including JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby and PHP. Though the original list of supported languages was covering a large part, Amazon has now planned to target developers on Microsoft’s Azure by enabling .Net Core support.

Deploy code on Amazon EC2 and AWS Lambda

Developers can leverage the latest support to build and deploy their .Net Core application code to both Amazon EC2 and AWS Lambda. This ability comes through the CodeBuild service that brings two new project templates to AWS CodeStar for .Net Core applications. Also, there is sample code and a full software development toolchain to ease the development.

Importantly, the presence of Visual Studio 2017 is required alongside the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio 2017 to start building .Net Core applications for Amazon’s cloud solution. You can also deploy your existing .Net Core code enable your applications on AWS.

by  on July 13, 2017

 

Re-blog: C# Version History: Examining the Language Past and Present

Please note I am not the author of this blog post, it is a re-blog, please visit original article at https://blog.ndepend.com/c-versions-look-language-history/

I still remember my first look at C# in the early 2000s.  Microsoft had released the first major version of the language.  I recall thinking that it was Java, except that Microsoft made it, called it something else, and put it into Visual Studio.  And I wasn’t alone in this sentiment.  In an old interview, Java inventor James Gosling called it an imitation.  “It’s sort of Java with reliability, productivity, and security deleted,” he said.  Ouch.

A lot changes in 15 years or so.  I doubt anyone would offer a similar assessment today.  In that time, Java has released four major language versions, while C# has released six.  The languages have charted divergent courses, and C# has seen a great deal of innovation.  Today, I’d like to take a look back on the history of C# and highlight some of those key points.

What did the language look like in its earliest incarnations?  And how has it evolved in the years since?

C# Version 1

When you go back and look, C# version 1 really did look an awful lot like Java.  As part of its stated design goals for ECMA, it sought to be a “simple, modern, general purpose object-oriented language.”  At the time, it could have done worse thank looking like Java in order to achieve those goals.

But if you looked back on C# 1.0 now, you’d find yourself a little dizzy.  It lacked the built in async capabilities and some of the slick functionality around generics that we take for granted.  As a matter of fact, it lacked generics altogether.  And Linq?  Nope.  That would take some years to come out.

C# version 1 looked pretty stripped of features, compared to today.  You’d find yourself writing some verbose code.  But yet, you have to start somewhere.

C# Version 2

Now things start to get interesting.  Let’s take a look at some major features of C# 2.0, released in 2005, along with Visual Studio 2005.  (Check out the book by NDepend creator Patrick Smacchia about .NET 2.0.)

While Microsoft may have started with a pretty generic object-oriented language, C# Version 2 changed that in a hurry.  Once they had their feet under them, they went after some serious developer pain points.  And they went after them in a big way.

With generics, you have types and methods that can operate on an arbitrary type while still retaining type safety.  So, for instance, having a List<T> lets you have List<string> or List<int>  and perform type safe operations on those strings or ints while you iterate through them.  This certainly beats creating ListInt inheritors or casting from Object for every operation.

Oh, and speaking of iterators, C# Version 2 brought iterators.  To put it succinctly, this let you iterate through the items in List (or other Enumerable types) with a foreach loop.  Having this as a first class part of the language dramatically enhanced readability of the language and people’s ability to reason about the code.

And yet, Microsoft continued to play a bit of catch up with Java.  Java had already released versions that included generics and iterators.  But that would soon change as the languages continued to evolve apart.

C# Version 3

C# Version 3 came in late 2007, along with Visual Studio 2008, though the full boat of language features would actually come with C# Version 3.5.  And what a version this proved to be.  I would go so far as to say that this established C# as a truly formidable programming language.  Let’s take a look at some major features in this version.

In retrospect, many of these features seem both inevitable and inseparable.  In fact, I have a hard time a true headliner, since they all fit together so strategically.  Others won’t have that same problem, though.  They’ll say that C# Version 3’s killer feature was the query expression, also known as Linq (Language INtegrated Query).

I chase a little more nuance because I view expression tress, lamba expressions and anonymous types as the foundation upon which they constructed Linq.  But, in either case, we found ourselves presented with a fairly revolutionary concept.  Microsoft had begun to lay the groundwork for turning C# into a hybrid OO-functional language.

Specifically, you could now write SQL-style, declarative queries to perform operations on collections, among other things.  Instead of writing a for loop to compute the average of a list of integers, you could now do that as simply as list.Average().  The combination of query expressions and extension methods made it look as though that list of ints had gotten a whole lot smarter.

It took a little while for people to really grasp and integrate the concept, but they gradually did.  And now, years later, code is much more concise, simple, and functional.

C# Version 4

C# Version 4 would have had a difficult time living up to the groundbreaking status of version 3.  With version 3, Microsoft had moved the language firmly out from the shadow of Java and into prominence.  The language was quickly becoming elegant.

The next version did introduce some cool stuff, though.

Embedded interop types alleviated a deployment pain.  Generic covariance and contravariance give you a lot of power, but they’re a bit academic and probably most appreciated by framework and library authors.  Named and optional parameters let you eliminate a lot of method overloads and provide convenience.  But none of those are exactly paradigm altering.

I’ll leave that distinction for the introduction of the dynamic keyword.  By doing this, Microsoft introduced into C# Version 4 the ability to override the compiler on compile time typing.  That’s right.  By using the dynamic keyword, you can now shoot yourself in the foot a la dynamically typed languages like JavaScript.  You can create a dynamic x = “a string” and then add six to it, leaving it up to the runtime to sort out what on earth should happen next.

I say that a bit tongue in cheek, obviously.  This gives you the potential for errors but also great power within the language.

C# Version 5

With C# Version 5, Microsoft released a very focused version of the language.  They put nearly all of their effort for that version into another pretty groundbreaking language concept.  Here is the major features list.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  The caller info attribute is pretty cool.  It lets you easily retrieve information about the context in which you’re running without resorting to a ton of boilerplate reflection code.  I actually love this feature.

But async and await are the real stars of this release.  When this came out in 2012, Microsoft changed the game again by baking asynchrony into the language as a first class participant.  If you’ve ever dealt with long running operations and the implementation of webs of callbacks, you probably loved this language feature.

C# Version 6

With versions 3 and 5, Microsoft had done some pretty impressive stuff in an OO language.  (Version 2 did as well, but they were fast following Java with those language features.)  With version 6, they would go away from doing a dominant killer feature and instead release a lot of features that delighted users of the language.  Here are some of them.

Taken individually, these are all cool language features.  But if you look at them altogether, you see an interesting pattern.  In this version, Microsoft worked really hard to eliminate language boilerplate and make code more terse and readable.  So for fans of clean, simple code, this language version was a huge win.

Oh, and they did do one other thing along with this version, though it’s not a traditional language feature, per se.  They released Roslyn the compiler as a service.  Microsoft now uses C# to build C#, and they let you use the compiler as part of your programming efforts.

C# Version 7

Finally, we arrive at C# version 7.  That’s the current version as of the writing of this post.  This has some evolutionary and cool stuff in the vein of C# 6, but without the compiler as a service.  Here are some of the new features.

All of these offer cool new capabilities for developers and the opportunity to write even cleaner code than ever.  In particular, I think Microsoft scratched some long term itches by condensing the declaration of variables to use with the “out” keyword and by allowing multiple return values via tuple.

But Microsoft is also busy putting the language to ever broader use.  .NET now targets any operating system and has its eyes firmly on the cloud and on portability.  This certainly occupies the language designers’ thoughts and time, in addition to coming up with new features.

I’ve been familiar with C# for just under 15 years now, and the language has been under development for even longer than that.  It’ll be exciting to see what features and capabilities the future brings.