We have a been given a brief look at Visual Studio 2013 at this year's Tech Ed and a promise of a public preview later this month at Build. So what's new? What has Expression been built in, what about C++11, and any change in the UI?
Most of the changes outlined so far are to Team Foundation Server, so it you are hoping for major changes to VS itself you will have to be patient.
Cloud-based load testing is a new capability of Team Foundation Service that takes advantage of the elastic scalability of Windows Azure to generate traffic, simulating thousands of simultaneous virtual users, that aims to help you understand how your web applications and services operate under load. This new feature goes together with an announcement about a range of developer friendly options for Azure accounts. Given that Microsoft has the key development tool for Windows it makes sense to integrate with Azure as much as possible and not just by way of templates to create Azure web sites - more on this in another news item.
Some Agile programming features were added to TFS 2012 and the incorporation of the methodology continues in 2013. Agile portfolio management enables you to plan your agile projects by showing the hierarchical relationship between work being done in multiple teams..
If you want to get more social with your team members there's Team Room, a real-time and persistent chat room that integrates with data and interactions elsewhere in TFS. This is accessible from the new Team Explorer home page:
You can also add code comments in a social chat style and there are new code information indicators that provide information about unit tests, work items, code references, within the code editor in Visual Studio. This is part of the "heads up" display feature. The idea that you can take your identity with you via a roaming features that let you connect to different back end servers from different locations.
Perhaps the biggest news is that Microsoft has acquired the InRelease release management product from InCycle Software. This will allow teams to use continuous deployment with nothing but VS TFS. At the moment it isn't integrated into VS, the screen dumps shown were of the original product, but when it is it will fill an obvious hole in the Microsoft's IDE.
On the more technical side you now get memory diagnostics for .NET including a memory dump analyzer and there is now Git support both on the client and on the server, including TFS services.
Microsoft promises more information at Build and a public preview that we can all explore.
What is interesting about the features discussed at TechEd is that they are mostly on the ALM side of things. It is great that VS has reached a point were it has matured enough as a basic IDE to be able to concentrate on methodology, team management and deployment, but it would still be nice to have some details on the core IDE. Currently the three biggest question are:
- Can we have our color back?
- What is replacing Expression Studio?
- What about full support for C++11?