Microsoft finally released Visual Studio for Mac during the Build developer conference in Seattle May 10, nearly half a year after releasing a preview version of the developer toolkit in New York City.
Scott Hanselman, a principal program manager at Microsoft, delivered the news during a demonstration of how developers can use the company's integrated development environment (IDE) offerings and its Azure cloud resources, including the new browser-based Azure Cloud Shell command line interface within the Azure Portal, to build and publish applications to the cloud. Visual Studio for Mac, available at no extra cost to current Visual Studio subscribers, is largely based on Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired last year.
"Visual Studio for Mac brings the integrated development environment (IDE) loved by millions to the Mac," wrote Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, in a May 10 blog post. "Developers get a great IDE and a single environment to not only work on end-to-end solutions—from mobile and web apps to games—but also to integrate with and deploy to Azure. Whether you use C#, F#, .NET Core, ASP.NET Core, Xamarin or Unity, you'll get a best-in-class development environment, natively designed for the Mac."
For developers with Visual Studio 2017 on their PCs, Microsoft released an update (version 15.2) that includes the return of the Python and Data Science workloads and support for TypeScript 2.2, Guthrie announced. Participants of the Visual Studio Preview early-access program can now download version 15.3, which contains .NET Core 2.0 support (also in preview) and improvements to the IDE's container development tools, among other features. ASP.NET Core 2.0 Preview gains performance enhancements and Razor Pages, a syntax for combining HTML and server code.
Microsoft also released the Visual Studio Snapshot Debugger. Described by Guthrie as the company's "new cloud debugging experience," the tool streamlines the process of fixing faults by offering developers a look into code behavior when an exception is triggered and dispensing with the need to write exception handling code.
The company is also helping developers tap more of its cloud-computing resources in more flexible ways.
Developers can now access surplus capacity in the company cloud-based batch computing and job scheduling service, and save up to 80 percent in the process, with the new Low-priority Batch option for Linux and Windows virtual machines in Azure Batch. Customers can now curate and package approved managed applications using the new Azure Service Catalog. DevTest Labs, Microsoft's solution for quickly provisioning Windows- and Linux-based development and testing environments in the cloud, now supports managed disks, including custom images that can be used to improve storage management and contain costs.
And in a security-enhancing move, Microsoft has made the Storage Service Encryption for Azure Files feature available at no extra cost to both the locally redundant storage (LRS) and geo-redundant storage (GRS) data redundancy service. The change ensures that all data stored on the cloud file share service is cloaked in AES-256 encryption, Guthrie added.