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Visual Studio 2017 RC Released

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Microsoft has officially released the first release candidate for Visual Studio 2017 (formerly called Visual Studio “15”).  This next edition of Visual Studio represents a massive release, and its growing size addresses developers who work with any number of different technologies including web, mobile, and desktop applications.

This RC acts as the sixth preview of VS2017, and builds on the glimpses of new features that were previously disclosed over the past few months.  This RC is a good place to check out new editor enhancements such as Go To which provides for navigation across the open solution to locate files, types, methods, and other code artifacts.  The RC provides the first demonstration of VS2017’s support for EditorConfig, a format for defining styles usable in a variety of editors. 

Debugging sees improvements in various areas that include:

  • Run to Click – Rather than set temporary breakpoints, a Run-to-Click icon appears in line with code in the editor indicating where execution will run to.
  •  Attach to Process Filter – Makes it easier to navigate open processes for the particular process that should be debugged.

The VS2017RC installer will detect if any preview releases of VS2017 (VS15) exist, and if so remove them prior to installing VS2017.  While certain components of VS2017 are still considered preview (including the .NET Core, Xamarin, Python, and Data Science workloads) the RC as a whole has a go-live license meaning it can be used in production environments.  However as is the case with any pre-release software, care should be taken before installing in a critical environment.

Web-based installers for all 3 publicly available versions (Community / Professional / Enterprise) are available from Microsoft now.  Offline installation can be supported via the --layout option (for example:  vs_Community.exe --layout C:\offline).  Note that the destination directory must exist prior to downloading the files.  Interestingly, if more than edition of VS2017 (such as Professional and Community) are installed side by side the start menu shortcut will launch the most recently-installed edition.  Navigating to the particular program’s installation folder will allow you to launch the specific program if necessary to override this.

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