Published: 31 Dec 2009
By: Hima Vejella

In this article HimaBindu Vejella explains IDE enhancements in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0.

Contents [hide]

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 IDE Enhancements Series

  • Part 1 In this article HimaBindu Vejella explains IDE enhancements in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0.
  • Part 2 In this article I am going to cover Multi monitor support, Multi targeting, Parallel Development, Side by Side execution, Backward compatibility and SqlServer 2008 integration.
  • Part 3 In this article I am going to explain Add Reference enhancements for developers, Windows 7 support for developers, Share Point 2010 enhancements , Office Business Application Support, Cloud Development, Document Map Margin and Visual Studio 2010 Tips.
  • Introduction

    In my previous article I explained some of the important features related to the Visual Studio IDE. In this article I am going to cover Multi monitor support, Multi targeting, Parallel Development, Side by Side execution, Backward compatibility and SqlServer 2008 integration.

    The .NET Framework 4.0 includes an entirely new CLR, a new IDE with better look and feel, which takes advantage of WPF technology. The IDE has awesome features and you won't resist migrating to the new version. Below are the some among those interesting things.

    Multi Monitor Support

    I have seen lot of people cursing Visual studio as they cannot slide IDE across multiple monitors in previous versions. Now it's completely rewritten in WPF, and you can split code files, designer, tool windows etc. across multiple monitors. Just click on the document tab or file you want to move, drag it to the new location within the top-level IDE window or to any location on any monitor. You can also do this by right clicking on the document or code-editor tab, and then click on the float option as shown below in the figure.

    This feature definitely increases productivity especially for people who work with dual monitors and hate ALT + TAB. In the below picture you can view three separate screens at the same time. It indeed helps if you want to inspect test code and production code side by side.

    Multi Targeting

    This is the concept introduced from VS2008 for managing earlier .NET Framework applications by targeting .NET application to different frameworks. You are able to run the .NET application in different frameworks like 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0. This is mainly helpful for projects where you need to work with previous frameworks without upgrading to .NET 4.0 and take benefit of the IDE features. The Target Framework can also be changed using the application tab under project properties. Visual Studio 2010 automatically filters controls in the toolbox, references and properties windows based on the ASP.NET framework version being specified. The difference between VS2008 and VS2010 is that you will get IntelliSense in VS2010 as per the target framework specified. VS2010 multi-targeting helps debugger, profiler and compilers to target multiple versions of the CLR.

    It supports multi targeting up to framework 2.0 and doesn't support .NET 1.x.

    Two versions of built in web servers now

    In VS 2010, when you use IIS as web server in web projects, Visual Studio automatically updates the application pools for the web project in local host IIS. When you use the built-in ASP.NET development server, now one for each CLR version (CLR 2 and CLR 4) you have separate built-in web servers. VS 2010 will correctly choose the web server version to run based on the framework that the web project is using. You can find out which version is in use by double clicking the icon on the taskbar, right-clicking on the icon for ASP.NET Development Server and selecting the 'Show Details' option.

    Backward Compatibility

    Visual Studio 2010 is backward compatible with Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2003. It allows upgrading previous versions project to VS 2010 with the help of the upgrade wizard. It's always recommended to take a back up of your project before you upgrade.

    Any VS 2010 solution that is upgraded from VS 2008 to VS 2010 cannot be re-opened in VS 2008. If you try to do so you will receive an error saying that you can't open a solution or project which is created with a newer version of this application. Ho ever you can directly work in VS2010 by specifying the target framework as 3.5 in the IDE.

    Side by Side Execution

    You can have VS2003, VS2005, VS2008, and VS2010 installed and run 'side by side'. You can use all the versions at the same time. The .NET Framework 4.0 can also be installed 'side by side' with previous versions of .NET on the same machine. You have new Common Language Runtime (CLR) version 4 and Base Class Libraries (BCL) in .NET 4.0. This feature is helpful in the case you want to work on .NET 4.0 for new applications and simultaneously to work on existing applications that use other frameworks without upgrading.

    Parallel Development

    Parallel Development is the method of writing code that is optimized to run across multiple processors. Visual Studio 2010 IDE now provides an environment that will help to achieve this. Apart from the Parallel Development support, VS 2010 IDE has native C++ libraries and compiler support for parallel applications. .NET Framework version 4 provides P-LIINQ (Parallel Language Integrated Query), parallel language semantics and framework components. The debugger and performance analyzer components are also optimized to assist development of parallel applications.

    Flexibility to work on SqlServer 2008 from IDE

    In VS 2008 and previous versions you need to open SQL Server Management Studio to run the T-SQL queries. Now VS 2010 provides this nice feature, and you can interact with a database without leaving the Visual Studio IDE.

    Go to the Data menu in the IDE and select the Transact-SQL Editor option. You can directly connect to SqlServer 2008 and it will open the SQL editor from the IDE. The following figure gives you more understanding on how it works.

    Document tab - Individual close button

    In any of the Visual Studio IDEs, from VS 2002 to VS 2008, code files are displayed in the form of a separate code-editor tab. If multiple files are open and whenever you want to close these tabs, there is a common closing tab on the right-hand-side. Or you need to click that 'close all but this'. In VS 2010 each tab has its individual close button, making it more user friendly and simpler to use. To use this feature right click on the document tab and hit close or press close [X] in the code-editor tab; or just use CTRL+F4. This is a quite interesting feature as well.

    Summary

    You have learned some of the very exciting features of VS2010. I will be covering more IDE features, language enhancements, and ASP.NET web development enhancements, some of the new features in Silverlight and WPF in the upcoming articles.

    Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 IDE Enhancements Series

  • Part 1 In this article HimaBindu Vejella explains IDE enhancements in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0.
  • Part 2 In this article I am going to cover Multi monitor support, Multi targeting, Parallel Development, Side by Side execution, Backward compatibility and SqlServer 2008 integration.
  • Part 3 In this article I am going to explain Add Reference enhancements for developers, Windows 7 support for developers, Share Point 2010 enhancements , Office Business Application Support, Cloud Development, Document Map Margin and Visual Studio 2010 Tips.
  • <<  Previous Article Continue reading and see our next or previous articles Next Article >>

    About Hima Vejella

    HimaBindu Vejella MVP in ASP.NET since 2006, .NET Rock Star, Speaker, Author, DotnetUserGroupHyderabad Lead, Moderator at syntaxhelp has 9+ years of expe...

    This author has published 5 articles on DotNetSlackers. View other articles or the complete profile here.

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    Discussion


    Subject Author Date
    placeholder Thanks for the 'Quick Reference' Pranav Ainavolu 1/5/2010 8:49 AM
    Very good Post Anil Pandey 1/7/2010 12:37 AM

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