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Visual Studio 2017 15.6 Released

| by Jeff Martin Follow 16 Followers on Mar 13, 2018. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Microsoft has released their 6th update to Visual Studio 2017.  Following the pattern of previous releases, it contains several bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements across the IDE.  InfoQ has previously covered some of the changes contained in 15.6, notably some significant improvements to its F# support and adding the use of tags to Git tooling.

The F# support has benefitted greatly from work by several individuals outside Microsoft, including Vasily Kirichenko and Eugene Auduchinok.  A number of improvements have been made to improve performance, correct errors, and eliminate dependencies on the Windows 10 SDK.  A detailed look at all of the changes related to F# is available on GitHub.

Visual C++ is another area of 15.6 that received significant updates—greater C++17 standard support (including the exotic guaranteed copy elision), and compile-time improvements intended to speed compilation efforts.  In a nod to the recent CPU exploits, VC++ includes a new switch to enable mitigations against Spectre variant 1 vulnerabilities.

Real time test discovery will automatically detect unit tests for C# and Visual Basic projects.  Test Explorer will follow the lifecycle of tests in your managed code solution, enabling you to instantly see whether tests are successful or not.  

The Visual Studio Build Tools, which allows for the creation of build servers without the installation of a Visual Studio instance are available (direct link to executable file) in a preview format.  The tools previously supported C++, ASP.NET, and .NET Core for Desktop projects types.  Joining these in 15.6 is TypeScript and Node.js project support.  Note that running the downloaded executable will download a setup file that in turn will download the remainder of the tool set (approximately 71 megabytes).

Visual Studio 2017 15.6 is available for download now, and those interested in reading the full release notes will find them on Microsoft’s documentation page.

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