Published: 08 Jan 2010
By: Hima Vejella

In my previous article I explained some of the nice features related to IDE, in continuation to that 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

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

    My previous article was about the features related to the Visual Studio IDE. This article discusses Windows 7 support for developers, Share Point 2010 enhancements, Office Business Application support, Cloud Development, Add Reference enhancements for developers, Visual Studio 2010 Tips, Document Map Margin and Visual Studio 2010 Extensibility.

    Windows7 Support for Developers

    VS 2010 includes built in support for new tools, which help in developing applications for next generation platform, Windows7 operating system. The new WPF4 contains support for Win7 Taskbar Integration, Custom Jump Lists, Custom Thumbnail Previews, Multi Touch and Visual Feedback from the taskbar etc. New WPF4 Windows API code pack helps you to use Windows7 features using Visual Studio 2010 UI without leaving managed code. This is very useful for developers who require to develop their applications with the Windows7 look and feel.

    VS 2010 support for Windows7 features allows developers to access application specific features fast, including the MRU (Most Recently Used) lists. The picture below shows how to access the "recent solutions" from the task bar.

    SharePoint 2010 Enhancements

    VS 2010 requires SharePoint Server and Windows Share Point Services (WSS) to be installed in the system to work with SharePoint Development related projects. VS 2010 includes the following enhancements related to SharePoint.

    • The ability to View Lists, Sites, Modules, List Definitions and Document Libraries of SharePoint in Visual Studio.
    • New SharePoint Services Project files Template.
    • Visual Web Part Designer, web part project items.
    • Event Receivers for SharePoint, Wizards to select the event receiver.
    • ASPX Workflow Initiation form for Workflow Project.
    • SharePoint packaging explorer and editor.

    The picture below shows various SharePoint project templates in VS 2010.

    Office Business Application Support

    VS 2010 helps developers to build Office 2010 and 2007 applications. We can deliver these applications as a single deployment package using the One Click Wizard. There are improvements in data binding, integration of Office data sources using Language Integrated Query (LINQ). There is support for integrating the Business Data Catalog (BDC).

    Cloud Development

    The Azure Services Platform is an application platform in the cloud that helps applications to be hosted and run at Microsoft Server Farm. It provides a cloud operating system called Windows Azure that acts as a runtime for the applications. The Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio lets you create, build, debug, and deploy scalable web applications and services on Windows Azure for the cloud. To develop web applications and services on Windows Azure, one needs to install the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio that includes the Windows Azure SDK.

    Add References Default tab - Project

    VS 2010 launches the "Add Reference" dialog behavior that significantly improves its performance.

    There are 2 improvements in the Add Reference dialog:

    • The "Add Reference" dialog in VS 2010 now defaults to opening the "Projects" tab instead of the .NET tab as in previous versions. This is done to load dialog quickly.
    • Now we can switch among all the tabs in the reference section, browse or select a required assembly. We do not need to wait until .NET or COM components are loaded from the GAC. This is because .NET and COM tabs now load asynchronously, and don't freeze the IDE nor they block the UI thread while their lists are populated.

    VS 2010 Tips

    Here is some of the interesting stuff that you can play with using VS 2010 and use depending on your requirements and flexibility.

    VS 2010 Start Page

    Visual Studio 2010 has a new "start" page with WPF look and feel. Whenever you open a project in Visual Studio, it also opens a "Start Page" in the project. If you select both the check-box options shown in the picture below, you will see the Start Page upon loading of the VS 2010 IDE, but as soon as you create a project, the Start Page will not be shown at all. If you want to view the start page at any time you can go to View - > Start Page option. The inclusion of the "New Project" link on the Start Page may force you to have the start page turned on, if you are playing or creating new projects.

    Customization

    You can easily customize the start page in VS 2010, since it is a XAML page. You can put in the start page reminders for the team to not forget project deadlines and coding standards. You can even organize the start page with company-specific templates, custom templates or document repositories.

    Here is how to do it.

    Go to Tools->Options->Environment->Start up ->Customize Start Page ->specify the path of the xaml file.

    The Start Page Project will be stored in this physical location of the system - \Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\StartPages\en

    Edit the StartPage.xaml file using Visual Studio. When you save any changes to the file, the start page in Visual Studio will be updated automatically.

    Pin - Favorite Project as Recent

    You can make your favorite projects stay in your recent project list even though you have not worked on them for some time. You can "pin" them to stay on the top of the recent projects. This list is available in start page, and is user friendly, and a big time saver.

    ALT + Selection replace

    VS 2010 supports vertical selection by holding down the Alt key and selecting with the mouse. When you start typing, you can replace all selected rows and columns with the text you're typing. You can check it if you have VS 2010 installed. For example, select the public-access-modifier of properties or variables. You can easily change them to private using a single vertical selection.

    Zoom-In & Zoom-Out

    You can zoom in and out the IDE by pressing Ctrl and scrolling with the mouse, as we do for Internet Explorer or Firefox. This option is available only in VS 2010 IDE. If you have VS 2010 and any of the previous versions installed side by side, you can easily check this feature.

    Reset VS 2010 IDE

    Sometimes it is desirable to reset the Visual Studio settings. You can do that by going to Tools -> Import and Export Settings. You may save your current settings or override existing ones, specify the settings you want to reset and just say finish.

    You can also do this from the command prompt with devenv /resetsettings.

    Organize - Usings

    Right click on any code file and you will find the 'Organize Usings' option just above Create Unit Tests. It has options like 'Remove Unused Usings', 'Sort Usings' and 'Remove and Sort'. The Remove Unused Usings option eliminates all unnecessary imports in the code file. The other two options, as the names suggest, are used for sorting using statements, and remove and sort using statements respectively.

    Disabling Add-ins

    If your system runs into random crashes, you might want to try disabling add-ins installed in VS 2010 .This can be done by going to Tools -> Add-in Manager .

    If you ever want to disable Add-ins from starting on launch, you can hold down the Left-Shift key while Visual Studio is loading. This helps to determine if it is a Visual Studio issue or an Add-in issue.You will still be able to restart your Add-in manually during the Visual Studio session.

    To reset all Add-ins from the Visual Studio command prompt use devenv.exe/resetaddin.

    To reset a specific Add-in use the command devenv.exe/resetaddin<NameSpace/Class>.

    Here, NameSpace.Class refers to the name of the main class of the Add-in.

    NOTE

    The file devenv.exe is located at C:\ProgramFiles\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Commom7\IDE

    Document Map Margin

    The "Document Map Margin" feature helps to render a graphical view of a source file including information about the code, layout or third party add-ons for custom views, symbol highlights and comments. The basic idea is that Rock Scroll extends the scrollbar in Visual Studio to show a syntax highlighted thumbnail view of your source. This is very useful for long source code files. It's just one DLL and you can turn it off from Tools->Add-ins just by un-checking the checkbox.

    The document map margin provides a zoomed out view of the code editor which allows users to quickly navigate to important landmarks in their code. This extension to the editor demonstrates extensible margins which allow developers to add views to the side or above & below the editor.

    NOTE

    The Document Map Margin will not ship with the final release, but will be added as a free extension in the RTM.

    VS 2010 Extensibility

    It's the ability to extend the Visual Studio IDE programmatically, using tools like Add-ins and wizards. You can create customized extensions to the IDE in Visual Studio 2010 using the Extension Manager. It helps developers to share, integrate and manage Visual Studio Extensions (VSX) easily. Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) is the heart of the VS 2010 and helps to support extensions such as Project Templates, Item Templates, Visual Studio Packages, Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) components, and custom extension types. It consumes data from the Visual Studio Gallery giving you access to community products that extend Visual Studio. In short the Extension Manager brings extension detection functionality into Visual Studio 2010.

    End users are able to use the new extensibility features inside the Visual Studio IDE. You can browse, download or install extensions from the Visual Studio Gallery. The Visual Studio 2010 extension manager provides the ability to handle installed extensions from the IDE .You can now manage portfolio of extensions to view, upgrade, enable or disable or uninstall them. The extension manager will display the same content and extensions as the Visual Studio Gallery.

    VS 2010 Extension Manager comes with a new file extension, VSIX, for deployment of Visual Studio 2010 extensions. VSIX files are built on the Open Packaging Convention (OPC) Zip format. VSIX files contain a manifest and a payload. The contents are automatically XCopy-deployed relating to the folder structure inside the OPC zip file during the installation. For Visual Studio users, it provides a single point for finding, downloading, installing and managing extensions.

    Summary

    We have learnt some of the very exciting features and cool tips of VS 2010. I will be covering more features like language enhancements, ASP.NET web development enhancements and the new things in Silver light and WPF in the upcoming articles.

    References

    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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    Subject Author Date
    placeholder Excellent Work Jacob Sebastian 1/22/2010 2:32 AM

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