Microsoft Launches Visual Studio Online, VS2013, .NET 4.5.1

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-11-13 Print this article Print

Performance and load testing are key pieces of the application lifecycle, enabling validation and analysis of the behavior of the application under load. With the Visual Studio Online load testing service, scalability can be offloaded to the cloud, as developers enjoy an integrated experience in the IDE for managing and running load tests. The elastic load test service is available in public preview starting today. Visual Studio Ultimate subscribers get 15,000 virtual user minutes per month as part of their subscriptions.

In addition, a new service known as Application Insights enables teams to support agile application delivery across an organization by providing visibility into how an application runs and is being used by customers, Somasegar said. Application Insights collects live telemetry data across development, test and production environments and captures availability, performance and usage data, providing development teams with a 360-degree view of an application's health. More than just a monitoring and analytics tool, Application Insights connects this actionable application data to the rest of the development lifecycle.

The Application Insights service is available in limited preview, with initial support for .NET and Java applications running on Windows Server and Windows Azure, as well as Web and Windows Phone 8 applications, Somasegar said.

Added to all the other developer goodies, Microsoft released a preview of Visual Studio Online "Monaco," the code name for a new service that enables a lightweight coding environment in the browser. 

"As we look to extend the desktop IDE with services in the cloud, we naturally asked ourselves about whether it makes sense to offer a development experience directly in the browser," Somasegar said. "The desktop IDE provides a rich, broad and integrated developer experience for a range of platforms.  But we believe there are some scenarios where we can offer lightweight, friction-free developer experiences in the browser for targeted platform experience in the cloud."

Thus, Visual Studio Online Monaco is a coding environment for the cloud, in the cloud, he said. It complements the desktop IDE as a low-friction experience that will help developers get started, or make quick changes, to an existing cloud service. And it is integrated with Visual Studio Online.

Microsoft is today making Monaco available in preview for editing Windows Azure Websites. Monaco uses HTML and JavaScript to build cloud services and is complementary to the existing Visual Studio IDE. It provides an easy way for developers to get started and make quick updates to cloud services on the Windows Azure platform. With this release, developers can make live edits to Windows Azure Websites directly from the browser on modern devices.

"Developers will now be able to edit their sites directly from the Web, from any modern browser, on any device," Somasegar said. Monaco is already being used as the technology behind other cloud-based developer experiences, from Office 365 "Napa" development to SkyDrive file editing, he added.

Pricing details for Visual Studio Online can be found here.

"Just as applications are moving to the cloud, it makes sense for development tools to move there for the same reasons: scalability, ease of acquisition, lowered cost of ownership and ease of use," said Kurt Bittner, principal analyst for Application Development & Delivery at Forrester Research. "The support for analytics, making them an integral part of the application delivery process, will change the way that organizations gather feedback from their applications and use that information to deliver better solutions."

With the new release, the Visual Studio ecosystem remains strong. Visual Studio 2013 is launching with 123 products from 74 partners available already as Visual Studio 2013 extensions, Somasegar said.

Microsoft also announced the availability of Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 release to manufacturing (RTM). Update 4 includes bug fixes and product improvements, as well as changes that ensure great compatibility between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio Online. Microsoft will continue these updates for Visual Studio 2013.



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