Skip the basics and delve right into Visual Studio 2017 advanced features and tools
Professional Visual Studio 2017 is the industry-favorite guide to getting the most out of Microsoft's primary programming technology. From touring the new UI to exploiting advanced functionality, this book is designed to help professional developers become more productive. A unique IDE-centric approach provides a clear path through the typical workflow while exploring the nooks and crannies that can make your job easier. Visual Studio 2017 includes a host of features aimed at improving developer productivity and UI, and this book covers them all with clear explanation, new figures, and expert insight. Whether you're new to VS or just upgrading, this all-inclusive guide is an essential resource to keep within arm's reach.
Visual Studio 2017 fixes the crucial issues that kept professionals from adopting VS 2015, and includes new features and tools that streamline the developer's job. This book provides the straightforward answers you need so you can get up to speed quickly and get back to work.
* Master the core functionality of Visual Studio 2017
* Dig into the tools that make writing code easier
* Tailor the environment to your workflow, not the other way around
* Work your way through configuration, debugging, building, deployment, customizing, and more
Microsoft is changing their release cadence--it's only been about two years since the last release--so developers need to quickly get a handle on new tools and features if they hope to remain productive. The 2017 release is designed specifically to help you get more done, in less time, with greater accuracy and attention to detail. If you're ready to get acquainted, Professional Visual Studio 2017 is your ideal guide.
AS A TOOL FOR DEVELOPERS, Visual Studio stands head and shoulders about its competition. The team responsible for developing Visual Studio has always put the productivity of people who code for a living at the top of their priority list. This version continues this tradition. Visual Studio always incorporates the latest advances in Microsoft's premier programming languages (Visual Basic and C#), as well as adding little tidbits of functionality that are a boon to coders. But at a higher level, Visual Studio 2017 embraces open-source, mobile development, and cloud computing in a variety of ways. Azure is continually introducing new features and products and Visual Studio 2017 integrates seamlessly with them. While, in theory, it is possible to create any .NET application using tools as simple as Notepad and a command-line window, the typical developer would never think to do so. Visual Studio 2017, as was the case with its predecessors, includes a host of improvements and features that are aimed at making the life of a developer easier.
Visual Studio 2017 is an enormous product no matter which way you look at it. It can be intimidating to newcomers and difficult for even experienced .NET developers to find what they need. And that's where this book comes in. Professional Visual Studio 2017 looks at every major aspect of this developer tool, showing you how to harness each feature and offering advice about how best to utilize the various components effectively. It shows you the building blocks that make up Visual Studio 2017, breaking the user interface down into manageable chunks for you to understand. It then expands on each of these components with additional details about exactly how they work, both in isolation and in conjunction with other parts of Visual Studio 2017, along with tools that are not included in the out-of-the-box product, to make your development efforts even more efficient.
WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR
Professional Visual Studio 2017 is for developers who are new to Visual Studio as well as those programmers who have some experience but want to learn about features they may have previously overlooked.
Even if you are familiar with the way previous versions of Visual Studio worked, you may want to at least skim over Part I. These chapters deal with the basic constructs that make up the user interface. The biggest changes to the building blocks are in the installation process. It is more granular, meaning that you install only what you need and if you don't install a component initially, the installer is only a click or two away. But there are some little additions in functionality, so while you can get by without Part I, some of the changes in Visual Studio 2017 can make you a more efficient developer. And, after all, that's what you're looking to get out of this book.
If you're just starting out, you'll greatly benefit from the first part, where basic concepts are explained and you're introduced to the user interface and how to customize it to suit your own style.
WHAT THIS BOOK COVERS
Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 is arguably the most advanced integrated development environment (IDE) available for programmers today. It is based on a long history of programming languages and interfaces and has been influenced by many different variations on the theme of development environments.
Visual Studio 2017 does not represent a major departure from recent versions. Still, regardless of the type of application you're creating, there are tweaks that have been made-some small, some less so (.NET Core, for example). Familiarity with the changes helps you perform your job better. For this reason, as well as to help newcomers to Visual Studio, this book covers the breadth of the product. Along the way, you will become more familiar and comfortable with the interface.
Visual Studio 2017 comes in several versions: Community, Professional, and Enterprise. The majority of this book deals with the Professional Edition of Visual Studio 2017, but some chapters utilize features found only in the Enterprise edition. If you haven't used this edition before, read through Chapters 38 and 39 for an overview of the features it offers over and above the Professional Edition.
HOW THIS BOOK IS STRUCTURED
This book is divided into 11 parts:
- Integrated Development Environment: This book's first five chapters are dedicated to familiarizing you with the core aspects of Visual Studio 2017, from the IDE structure and layout to the various options and settings you can change to make the user interface synchronize with your own way of doing things.
- Getting Started: In this part, you learn how to take control of your projects and how to organize them in ways that work with your own style.
- Digging Deeper: Though the many graphical components of Visual Studio that make a programmer's job easier are discussed in many places throughout this book, you often need help when you're in the process of actually writing code. This part deals with features that support the coding of applications such as IntelliSense, code refactoring, and creating and running unit tests.
- Desktop Applications: Rich client applications have seen quite a transition within the .NET Framework, moving from Windows Forms applications to Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) to Universal Windows Applications. Each of these gets its own chapter in this part.
- Web Applications: Web applications have seen even more transitions that Desktop applications. And just like Desktop applications, each of the three different development styles (ASP.NET Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC, and .NET Core) gets its own chapter. And a couple of new kids on the block, Node.js and Python, are also included in this part.
- Cloud Services: Visual Studio 2017 supports the cloud in a wide variety of ways. The chapter on Windows Azure looks at how some of the newer features of Azure are integrated into Visual Studio. And the use of synchronization services as a data storage platform is examined, along with how to create apps for SharePoint.
- Data: A large proportion of applications use some form of data storage. Visual Studio 2017 and the .NET Framework include strong support for working with databases and other data sources. This part examines how to the Visual Database Tools, and ADO.NET Entity Framework to build applications that work with data. It also shows you how you how to take advantage of a couple of new functions within Azure to support data warehouse construction and data analytics.
- Debugging: Application debugging is one of the more challenging tasks developers have to tackle, but correct use of the Visual Studio 2017 debugging features will help you analyze the state of the application and determine the cause of any bugs. This part examines the debugging support provided by the IDE.
- Build and Deployment: In addition to discussing how to build your solutions effectively and get applications into the hands of your end users, this part also deals with the process of upgrading your projects from previous versions.
- Visual Studio Editions: The final part of the book examines the additional features only available in the Enterprise version of Visual Studio 2017. In addition, you'll also learn how Visual Studio Team Services provides an essential tool for managing software projects.
Though this breakdown of the Visual Studio feature set provides the most logical and easily understood set of topics, you may need to look for specific functions that will aid you in a particular activity. To address this need, references to appropriate chapters are provided whenever a feature is covered in more detail elsewhere in the book.
As Visual Studio has grown over the years, the size of earlier versions of this book had grown to the point where it was unwieldy. And there were even more features with Visual Studio 2017. So to avoid a book whose size would be pushing 2,000 pages, we took a number of the chapters from earlier editions of Visual Studio and put them into an online archive. These chapters contain features that have not been changed or enhanced in Visual Studio 2017. As such, the instructions found therein will apply, in general, if you're trying to use them in Visual Studio 2017. You can find the online archive on
WHAT YOU NEED TO USE THIS BOOK
To use this book effectively, you'll need only one additional item - Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 Professional Edition. With this software installed and the information found in this book, you'll be able to get a handle on how to use Visual Studio 2017 effectively in a very short period of time. In order to be able to follow along with all of the examples in the book, you'll want to be sure to install the following workloads during your Visual Studio 2017 installation (as discussed in Chapter 1):
- Universal Windows Platform
- .NET desktop development
- ASP.NET and web development
- Azure development