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Visual Studio 2017 - Update 2 Preview

Microsoft continues to use the Visual Studio Preview track as a test bed to explore new features, while using the general public to test how the additions perform in the real-world.  This provides developers with a chance to see what is being developed, and enables them to give Microsoft their early feedback as to how the product should behave.

The versioning tag for this update is 15.2, and it seeks to broaden the workload capabilities offered in VS2017.  The new "Data Science and Analytical Workload" debuts in this 15.2 preview.  This workload installs tools for Python, R, and F# to support the full cycle of building and deploying machine models. 

TypeScript developers will gain the ability to install different versions of the TypeScript compiler side-by-side.  Currently both TypeScript 2.1 and 2.2 are supported.  Setting the version of TypeScript to use can be in the project's MSBuild file, as described here (look for the <TypeScriptToolsVersion> property for details).  Microsoft’s Bowden Kelly says that this method of specifying a version is destined for an upgrade in the near future so that it can be specified on the usual project based settings page.

F# Developers will see several improvements to the tooling supporting their favorite language.  These include the ability to "Go to Definition" for tool tips appearing on F# code, improved colorization of source files, and several performance improvements. 

The Team Explorer component of the VS IDE has had several bug fixes and improvements made, including an important reversion:  a previous preview update removed the ability to see solution files in Team Explorer, but after user feedback this has returned to original behavior.  Several bugs related to the handling of Git-based projects have been corrected, and password handling has been improved when accessing remote repositories.

As is the case with all of the Visual Studio Preview builds, this does not ship with a go-live license and is not intended for use on production computers.  The installer for the Visual Studio Enterprise preview is available directly from Microsoft, and more information about the VS Preview program in general is available along with full release notes that contain all data.

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