Microsoft Ships Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1

Microsoft delivers an update for its Visual Studio 2010 development tools suite and also announces new Feature Packs and a new LightSwitch beta.

Microsoft has announced the release of Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 (Visual Studio SP1) along with some new Feature Packs for .NET developers.

In a March 7 blog post, S. "Soma" Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft's developer division, said starting on March 8, Microsoft Developer network (MSDN) subscribers will be able to download and install Visual Studio 2010 SP1 from their subscriber downloads. Non-MSDN subscribers can get the update starting on March 10.

In a separate March 8 blog post, Jason Zander, corporate vice president for the Visual Studio team at Microsoft, said in this release Microsoft addressed some of the most requested features from customers of Visual Studio 2010 such as better help support, IntelliTrace support for 64 bit and SharePoint, and included Silverlight 4 Tools in the box. The company also added unit testing support on .NET 3.5 and a new performance wizard for Silverlight, among other changes, he said.

Microsoft also announced new feature packs. In a blog post from June 2010, Brian Harry, a Microsoft technical fellow and product unit manager for Microsoft's Team Foundation server, defined the concept of feature packs, basically saying they are "carefully chosen features that provide real value," among other features.

On March 8, Microsoft announced the availability of the Team Foundation Server Project Server Integration Feature Pack. This feature pack provides Integration between Project Server and Team Foundation Server and enables teams to work more effectively together using Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint and coordinates development between teams using disparate methodologies, such as waterfall and agile, via common data and metrics, Somasegar said.

Microsoft also introduced the Visual Studio 2010 Load Test Feature Pack, which enables Web performance and stress testing throughout the application lifecycle with unlimited virtual users. The Visual Studio 2010 Load Test Feature Pack is available to all Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscribers. With this feature pack, developers can simulate as many virtual users as they need without having to purchase additional Visual Studio Load Test Virtual User Pack 2010 licenses.

Microsoft also delivered an update of its Visual Studio LightSwitch offering, LightSwitch Beta 2, which provides users with a simplified approach to building business applications. Using templates, LightSwitch offers developers a simple way to develop line of business applications for the desktop and cloud.

"Since the launch of Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 1, we have seen over 100,000 downloads of the tool and a lot of developer excitement," Somasegar said. "In the coming weeks, we will make available Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2. With this second beta, we will also enable you to build line-of-business applications that target Windows Azure and SQL Azure."