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Visual Studio 2022 17.7 Preview 3 with Productivity Updates

Microsoft has released the third preview of Visual Studio 2022 version 17.7. Preview 3 brings a range of improvements and features aimed at enhancing developer productivity and helping maintain clean code. Preview 3 is focused on a new tool called #include cleanup for C++ developers. The latest version is available for download, and developers have the opportunity to explore and utilise its advancements in the preview version.

Preview 3 brings the changes and improvements to a couple of areas like C++, Productivity, .NET and Cloud development, Microsoft 365 development and Teams toolkit and SQL Server Data Tools.

As the biggest news, the latest update introduces an exciting addition called the "Include Cleanup" feature. This valuable tool offers developers suggestions to add direct includes when detecting indirect includes, as well as identifies any redundant includes that can be safely removed. Worth noting is that this feature comes disabled by default, ensuring developers have control over its usage. To harness its benefits, users can easily enable it by navigating to Tools > Options > Text Editor > C/C++ > IntelliSense and selecting the option to "Enable #include cleanup.

In the original blog post about #include tool, Mryam Girmay, program manager, C++, states the following:

... a feature that improves the quality of your code by generating suggestions to remove unused headers and add direct headers. Our suggested workflow is to first go through the direct include suggestions to add direct headers where indirect headers are used, followed by removing the unused includes.

About C++ and Preview 3, the latest update also introduces an expansion of Address Sanitizer support, now offering the continue_on_error mode. This runtime feature enables real-time detection and reporting of hidden memory safety errors with zero false positives. Developers can integrate it into their workflow by setting ASAN_OPTIONS=continue_on_error=1 for stdout or ASAN_OPTIONS=continue_on_error=2 for stderr. This update enhances application reliability and provides a more secure codebase.

Regarding developer productivity, in the Solution Explorer, a new Collapse All Descendents command has been added to the context menu, enabling users to collapse selected nodes and their descendent nodes. This can also be achieved through the Ctrl+Left arrow keys shortcut.

Moreover, the Extension Manager has been updated to simplify the process of discovering and managing extensions from the Visual Studio Marketplace, facilitating easier updates for existing extensions. Developers can access the modern Extension Manager by enabling the Extension Manager UI Refresh preview feature under Tools > Options > Environment > Preview Features.

Furthermore, the latest version brings noteworthy improvements to the HTTP Editor. Among them is the addition of a new Response View, featuring support for JSON highlighting. Now, developers can easily examine the raw response, headers of the request, and the request as it was sent to the web server. Also, the green play button for sending requests has been replaced by code lens actions, simplifying the development process.

Likewise, developers can now leverage Connected Services support for Microsoft Power Platform. As reported on the release post: You can create a custom connector to your Power Platform environment and create a dev tunnel to locally test and debug your Web API project.

Other changes are related to Microsoft 365 development: the Teams Toolkit now offers simplified Teams Tab app templates. This version also includes bug fixes and UI improvements, enhancing the user experience. Also, in SQL Server Data Tools, the latest update resolves a publishing issue when using Azure Interactive Dir to an Azure Debugger. Additionally, the Target Platform's nomenclature for SQL Serverless has been changed to Azure Synapse Analytics Serverless SQL Pool.

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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