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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2019 v16.9

Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2019 v16.9

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Earlier this week, Microsoft released Visual Studio 2019 version 16.9 for Windows. The new release contains multiple improvements to .NET and Git productivity features, along with updated C++, XAML, and F# tools, new memory dump analyzers, and a new dynamic instrumentation profiling tool for .NET. Visual Studio 2019 v16.9 is the fourth supported servicing baseline for Visual Studio 2019, released after only three previews since its previous version. This is the second version using Git tooling as the default source control (what Microsoft called "The Git Experience").

Most of the new features in this new release are improvements in the existing productivity features. C++ developers can use the now generally available Address Sanitizer (ASan), which allows MSVC to work out which runtime libraries are needed to use ASan with your project. Up to this point, ASan support for Windows was experimental. Other features for C++ developers include extended language conformance (with the implementation of the More Constexpr Containers proposals) and improvements in the IntelliSense tool, with added functionality for highlighting Go-to-definition on module imports, indexing support for export {…}, and more accurate module reference for those with identical names.

IntelliSense and IntelliCode were also improved in the new release. IntelliSense can now also be used with well-known appsettings.json configuration settings (used to configure .NET apps). IntelliCode suggestions were also modified for frictionless repeated edits, and it now has key bindings for all the common actions in preview. Other .NET productivity improvements include automatic addition of using statements when copying and pasting types to a new file and inline type hints for variables with inferred and lambda parameter types.

XAML tools (WPF, WinUI, UWP, and Xamarin.Forms) were also improved in the new Visual Studio 2019 version. Xamarin.Forms "change only" XAML HOT Reload is no longer in preview, and IntelliSense was enhanced for the XAML code editor. GitHub Actions tools also received a redesign summary page, a new status section, more recognized project types, and functionality to commit and push the workflow with just one click.

The new version of Visual Studio 2019 also has improved call stack handling for stack overflow scenarios, allowing the developer to see the base of the stack where an infinite recursion originated. A new auto analyzer is also present in this release, making it possible to inspect the threads in a memory dump to determine if an unresponsive application is due to a deadlock.

Visual Studio 16.9 also introduces new features for F# developers, such as .NET 5 scripting and a .NET 5-based FSI to be used with F# interactive, new productivity features, better tooling performance, and core compiler improvements. You can find the detailed list of F# updates for Visual Studio 16.9 here.

Other important features of this release are a new dynamic instrumentation profiling tool for .NET and an improved search service. The new dynamic instrumentation tool shows the exact number of times your functions are called and is faster than the previous static instrumentation tool. It also supports .NET Core instrumentation without needing PDBs and doesn't require modifying your original assembly files. The Visual Studio search service is now powered by AI/ML Azure services, improving overall search relevancy and accuracy.

Visual Studio 2019 version 16.9 is the fourth supported servicing baseline for Visual Studio 2019. Consequently, Microsoft encourages Enterprise and Professional customers to standardize on this version as it will provide a long-term, stable and secure development environment. Version 16.9 will be supported with fixes and security updates for one year after the release of the next servicing baseline.

Visual Studio 2019 v16.9 for Windows can be downloaded here. The first preview of the next Visual Studio 2019 version (v16.10) was also released with v16.9. It includes a few .NET productivity improvements, and it can be downloaded here.

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