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Looking at Visual Studio 15.3 Preview 2

| by Jeff Martin Follow 6 Followers on Jun 16, 2017. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

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The second preview of Visual Studio 2017 (15.3) is available now, primarily focused on quality of life improvements.  The biggest noticeable addition is the support for .NET Framework 4.7 development beyond Windows 10.  This framework debuted with Windows 10 Creators Update, but has since been released for all modern versions of Windows (Windows 7 SP1 & higher).  Developers looking to make use of this functionality in 15.3 should verify VS2017 has installed support for the new framework in the appropriate Visual Studio Installer screen.

Visual Studio Installer screenshot

Several of the other enhancements made to the program center around the IDE experience.  The Lightweight Solution Load feature has been improved for greater speed and stability.  Joining this is a new option to let VS2017 decide on a per-solution basis whether or not it should be enabled.

.NET Core support has been expanded to support Live Unit Testing with those project types.  Developers who want to write Visual Basic applications targeting .NET Core should be happy to find support for VB console, and .NET Core & .NET Standard class libraries.

Given that this is a preview release, it is especially important that certain developers tread lightly should they want to explore the new features.  In particular, the F# Tools in this preview are not mostly broken-- including IntelliSense-- so F# development should be avoided for the time being (but remain operational on the stable 15.2 version).   Similarly, Remote Tools for VS2017 have not been updated for 15.3 Preview.

As is expected with preview releases of Visual Studio, this software does not possess a Go-Live license.  Thus it should not be used in production environments or creating production code.  VS2017 15.3 Preview 2 is available now, and interested users should choose the version that corresponds to their current license level (Community, Professional, or Enterprise).  Full release notes are available on the Visual Studio site.

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