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Visual Studio 2017 ships promising a leaner footprint, easier bug hunting and better collaboration and publishing features

Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2017, after three months of testing of the release candidate version.

The latest version of the popular integrated development environment (IDE) is more componentised, promising a lighter footprint and faster install which will let users pick and choose which components to install, as well as their workloads and language packs.

As a result, the tool will load two to three times faster, according to Microsoft, although it will still take more than a minute to get going.

“This has been made possible by moving extensions out of the startup path using an on-demand-load approach and optimising and deferring cache initialisations. For example, the first launch startup times have improved from 206 seconds in Visual Studio 2015 to 64.2 seconds in Visual Studio 2017,” claimed Visual Studio program manager Karan Nandwani.

Bug hunting has also been improved, with a live dependency-validation feature and integration with GitHub has been improved, alongside some new publishing features.

“We have focused on enhancing the efficiency of basic tasks you encounter every day, starting with a brand-new lightweight and modular installer, a faster and more responsive IDE from start-up to shut down and a new way to view, edit and debug any code without projects and solutions,” wrote Nandwani.

She continued: “IntelliSense has been enhanced with improved filtering that makes long lists much more manageable. IntelliSense is also smarter with CamelCase search and the ability to select the best matching result from the list instead of simply picking the top result.”

The IDE is also tailored for Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform, which is intended to enable developers to make write-once, run anywhere apps – at least as far as the Windows platform is concerned.

On top of that, of course, Microsoft has also bundled a suite of what it calls Connected Services so that developers can run their Visual Studio 2017-developed apps directly in the cloud on the Microsoft Azure cloud: Connected Services enable users to configure and connect to an Azure Mobile App Service to enable cloud storage, push notifications, authentication and social integration.

A free version is also available for students and tinkerers, while even the Mac version gets a bunch of bug fixes and performance improvements.  

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