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InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio 2022 17.7 Preview 2: Productivity, Performance and C++ Enhancements

Visual Studio 2022 17.7 Preview 2: Productivity, Performance and C++ Enhancements

Microsoft has released the second preview of Visual Studio 2022 version 17.7. Preview 2 brings a range of improvements and features aimed at enhancing developer productivity and improving performance and collaboration. It also includes enhancements for .NET development, as well as for C++ and game development. Preview 2 is available for download, and developers have the opportunity to explore and utilize its advancements in the preview version.

In terms of IDE Productivity & Performance, with Preview 2 developers can now simplify their workflow by creating a Pull Request directly within the Visual Studio. With the latest update, users can simply click the link provided in the notification banner after pushing their changes or navigate to it through the top-level menu by selecting Git > GitHub/Azure DevOps > New Pull Request. As it is reported in the release post, the development team plans to deliver more updates to improve the Pull Request experience in Visual Studio.

Productivity-wise, a new enhancement has been made to the file comparison feature introduced in Preview 1. Users now have multiple options to perform comparisons. They can either use the method of multi-selecting two files by holding down the Ctrl button, then right-clicking and selecting Compare Selected. Alternatively, they can right-click on a single file and choose Select for Compare from the context menu. Another option is to right-click on a single file and select Compare With... from the context menu, which will open File Explorer. From there, users can navigate to any file on disk and select it for comparison (introduced in 17.7 Preview 1).

Other productivity notable upgrades are related to Multi-branch Graph, Parallel Stack Filtering, F5 Speed on Unreal Engine, and updates regarding the optimization of editing speed like Enhanced Light Bulb performance in Roslyn, Optimized Hash creation for reduced CPU consumption, and C++ Unreal Engine – IntelliSense optimization.

.NET Development was also a part of the improvements and enhancements, and changes for this area were related to auto-decompilation for external .NET code and new auto Insights for the CPU usage tool. Regarding the first one, now inside Visual Studio, the debugger automatically decompiles and displays the execution point, simplifying the analysis of call stacks. Decompiled code is conveniently shown under the External Sources node in Solution Explorer during debugging, allowing easy browsing. To disable auto-decompilation, the user can clear the "Automatically decompile to source when needed (managed only)" option in Tools > Options > Debugging.

Also, the CPU usage tool now provides more detailed insights for specific methods and properties, helping developers optimize code and improve performance. Additionally, the new Ask Copilot feature offers explanations and suggested fixes for encountered issues, assisting developers in enhancing their code and avoiding common pitfalls.

Regarding C++ and game development, Build Insights has been incorporated into Visual Studio 2022. This integration brings much information for developers seeking to enhance their C++ build times. By generating a comprehensive diagnostic report, Build Insights enables users to identify costly includes and conveniently navigate to header files. Advanced users can also access Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) directly from within the report, enhancing their optimization capabilities.

The new version also brings a significant enhancement for Doxygen comments, allowing shared comments to be displayed in overloads positioned away from the comments. Previously, Doxygen comments were only visible in the Quick Info section for immediate overloads. With this update, the Quick Info now includes the informative text Documentation from another overload when an overload is not directly beneath the Doxygen comments. In addition, unused parameters are now neatly grouped under the Unused Parameter heading, enhancing clarity and organization. Other C++ updates include updates for the Remote File Explorer and WSL Automatic Acquisition.

Furthermore, regarding Enterprise Management, the latest installer allows users with limited permissions to update and modify the software. Although an administrator is still required for installation and configuration, standard non-administrator users can initiate and execute any installer function once enabled on the client machine. This enhancement simplifies software management for users with restricted access. Details about the required steps are available in the original release blog post by Microsoft.

In addition to the original release blog post, in the last paragraphs, Microsoft and the development team encourage users to provide feedback and share their suggestions for new features and improvements, emphasizing their commitment to constantly enhancing the Visual Studio experience.

Lastly, developers interested in learning more about this and other releases of Visual Studio can visit very detailed release notes about other updates, changes, and new features around the Visual Studio 2022 IDE.

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