Novell has delivered Mono Tools for Visual Studio 2.0, a new version of the open-source tool for developers to use Visual Studio to design, code and maintain multiplatform applications.
Mono Tools for Visual Studio 2.0 is an add-in module for the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) that facilitates the development of .NET applications for Linux, Unix and Mac OS X. Mono Tools helps reduce the time and costs of multiplatform development, and enables corporate developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and development services providers to quickly expand market opportunities and deployment options. It also enables .NET developers to leverage their existing skill sets and an extensive .NET ecosystem of code, libraries and tools to develop or port applications to Linux, Unix or Mac OS X, Novell said in a press release about the technology.
The primary new feature in Mono Tools 2.0 is support for Mac OS X, said Joseph Hill, Mono product manager at Novell. Thus, all of the features Mono Tools has provided for development, deployment and debugging of applications running on Linux are now fully available to developers targeting Mac OS X from directly within the IDE.
"The Mono Tools 1.0 was a Linux-focused release, and SUSE Linux in particular," Hill said. "However, with 2.0 we wanted to give Mono developers the things they wanted, and Mac support was a big request. So we now support development and debugging on the Mac."
Also new in Mono Tools for Visual Studio 2.0 is support for Mono on Windows. Providing the simplest configuration for quickly getting a .NET developer working with Mono, Mono Tools makes it easy to test, debug and isolate issues on Mono without the overhead of switching between operating systems, Hill said.
The new version also is faster to deploy, he said. By compressing resources and deploying only the files that have changed, time between building and testing is decreased multifold-greatly reducing the time a developer has to wait between writing and verifying a solution.
Additional features available in Mono Tools 2.0 include a new debugger engine that enables developers to debug applications running on the latest versions of Mono on non-x86 hardware architectures, such as PowerPC and 390x.
"We can support debugging anywhere Mono is running, such as in embedded systems and devices," Hill said.
Mono also supports all current versions of Visual Studio, including Visual Studio 2010, Hill added. Because of its flexibility, Mono Tools enables developers to jump-start cross-platform .NET development with very little ramp-up or new skills requirements. Furthermore, the experience of working against a remote, non-Windows operating system is very close to the speed of developing against a locally running .NET application, ensuring a seamless development process.
Moreover, Hill said the Mono Project has up to now not supported Linux distributions other than SUSE Linux, but with the 2.0 version Mono Tools also supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS. CentOS is the Community Enterprise Operating System-it is a community-supported, mainly free software operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Mono Tools for Visual Studio 2.0 is available in three editions. The Professional Edition (individual) is available for $99, the Enterprise Edition (one developer in an organization) for $249 and the Ultimate Edition for $2,499, which provides a limited commercial license to redistribute Mono on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and includes five enterprise developer licenses. All product versions include a one-year subscription for product updates.