The new releases include an array of new features and final additions such as .NET Framework 4.6.1, editor support for new languages and more.
The addition of .NET Framework 4.6.1 brings enhancements such as WPF improvements for spell check, support for per-user custom dictionaries and improved touch performance. It also delivers enhanced support for Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) X509 certificates as well as added support in SQL Connectivity for Always On, Always Encrypted and improved connection open resiliency when connecting to Azure SQL Database. In addition, Azure SQL Database now supports distributed transactions using the updated System.Transactions APIs.
In a blog post on the new release, John Montgomery, director of program management for Visual Studio, said the Visual Studio editor now provides built-in syntax highlighting and basic IntelliSense support for languages including Go, Java, Perl, R, Ruby and Swift. "We support the TextMate bundle model for language grammars and snippets, allowing you to extend this with support for other languages," he said.
Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 also features Tools for Universal Windows Apps version 1.2. This enables developers to build and submit apps to the Windows Store targeting Windows 10 SDK Version 1511. It includes several developer productivity improvements to .NET Native, the XAML designer, the manifest designer, Windows Store packaging and the debugger in this release, Montgomery said.
In addition, the VS2015 update supports parallel test execution. The Visual Studio testing tools introduce support for parallel execution of test cases taking advantage of the available cores on the machine, with Test Explorer indicating the progress of parallel tests, Montgomery said. The test execution engine is launched on each available core as a distinct process and is given a container with the tests to execute according to the semantics of the test framework. VS supports parallel execution through all launch points—such as the command line and IDE commands like Test Explorer, CodeLens and various "Run" commands, he said.
Meanwhile, the Visual Studio testing tools now support MSTest framework-based tests for ASP.NET 5 applications and add support for Code Coverage with ASP.NET 5 on x86/x64 platforms targeting the CoreCLR/CLR. The MSTest framework components are available from the NuGet gallery.
NuGet 3.3 is now bundled with Update 1, and Microsoft has made a number of changes to the NuGet Package Manager interface including a tab-based UI to help filter groups of packages, action buttons in the package list for quick access to common management functions, a Consolidate tab for packages developers work with at the solution level, and an Update tab that enables developers to select and update multiple packages together.
The update also features Visual Studio license improvements.
"Signing in to unlock the IDE with your subscription is one of those features that you do not want to see interrupting your workflow," Montgomery said. "Towards this goal, Update 1 has improvements that will ensure the IDE stays unlocked for a year or more after signing in as long as you have regular access to the Internet to keep the license renewed in the background."
For its part, Team Foundation Server now supports adding Git repositories to Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) Team Projects or adding TFVC repositories to Git team projects. This makes it easier to adopt a new version control system while keeping all your current team project data. Team members will need to run Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 to easily switch between TFVC and Git in the same team project.
Also, Team Explorer has a new Pull Requests hub where users can see the list of pull requests they have created as well as the pull requests others have assigned to them. The Create Pull Request experience has been improved to enable users to publish branches and create pull requests in a single action, Microsoft said.
At the company's Connect(); developer event in New York earlier this month, Microsoft introduced several new and updated developer tools and programs from Visual Studio, Azure, Office and Windows, including many new free offers.
In an interview with eWEEK, Julia Liuson, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Visual Studio, said Microsoft is working to help all developers be successful with tools that enable innovative scenarios.
Building on its proven history of innovation with the .NET Framework and Visual Studio, Microsoft is empowering more developers through the introduction of several free new tools and services, including the newly announced Visual Studio Dev Essentials, a new free program designed to provide any developer with everything needed to create applications on any device or operating system, using their technology of choice.
Liuson noted that Microsoft has seen significant momentum with its developer platform since last year's Connect(); event, where the company launched efforts to open-source much of the .NET platform. Over the past several months there have been more than 5 million Visual Studio 2015 downloads, more than 7 million Visual Studio Community downloads, more than 1 million downloads of Visual Studio Code Preview and 3.6 million registered Visual Studio Online users, she said.
"We're really passionate about delivering amazing experiences for all of our developers," Liuson said.