What’s New in Visual Studio 2019

In the previous post, we learnt about creating a release folder structure using Team Foundation Server. In this post we will be looking at what’s new in Visual Studio 2019. Note that VS 2019 is still in preview mode hence all the following points might not hold true in the actual stable release and should not be used in any production environments

As of now, there are 2 preview releases of VS 2019:

  • Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3 Preview 1 – Released on 24th  July 2019
  • Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3 Preview 2 – Released on 13th Aug  2019

What’s New in Visual Studio 2019 (16.3 Preview 1)

Following are some of the features in the 16.3 preview 1 of Visual Studio 2019

Integrated Development Environment

  • The New Project Dialog has advanced search for templates.

The New Project Dialog has an advanced search with typos, plurals, highlighting matching keyword highlights and sort results based on relevant search and filters.

Visual Studio 2019 Create New Project Template
Project templates search
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • Line comments which can be toggled and improvements on IntelliSense member list filtering.
  • Search for Projects from the Start window

The start window now has a box for search in allowing you to view recent projects and solutions. Also it integrates with VS internet search so other teams finds the same in the VS box for search.

Visual Studio 2019 Project Template Search
Search feature
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com

Changes in the tools for .NET

  • Renaming a file when renaming an enum, interface or class is now possible. Place the cursor in the class name and type Ctrl + R, R to open the Rename dialogue. Then check the ‘Rename file’ box.
Visual Studio 2019 Rename Containing File When Renaming A Class
Rename containing file when renaming a class
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • New Open API service references for .NET Core 3.0 projects.
  • New templates in .NET Core 3.0 for Worker, Blazor and Razor Class libraries via the New Project Dialog.
  • .NET Core 3.0 worker projects can now be pushed to DockerHub and ACS (Azure Container Registry).

What’s New in Visual Studio 2019 (16.3 Preview 2)

Following are some of the features in the 16.3 preview 2 of Visual Studio 2019

Integrated Development Environment

  • A “New” label is now viewed for new project templates in the dialog box ‘New Project’. Teams can fine tune recently used templates by removing them from the list.
Visual Studio 2019 New Project Dialog Box
Dialog box for New Project
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • Search now supports the ability to search for types and members with C# and VB, as well as file based search for other languages. Type-ahead search query, as well as in a dedicated ‘Code’ group which can be accessed via keyboard shortcut or click.
  • The installation interface now makes it easier to identify specific workloads being installed to Visual Studio.
  • A box for search in VS Installer’s individual features tab will show location of all valid installation components.
Visual Studio 2019 Search Individual Components
Components
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • The Parallel Stacks Window has a new view of tasks, dependencies in a process to making debugging in asynchronous code easier.
Visual Studio 2019 Task Visualization In Parallel Stacks Window
Improved task visualization in the Parallel Stacks Window
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • Azure Functions developers can now add Docker container support (Linux only) to the C# projects by
    Solution Explorer -> Right click project name -> Add -> Docker Support.
    In addition to adding a Docker file to the project the debug target will be set to ‘Docker’ so the debugging of functions code can be done while the execution of the container.
Visual Studio 2019 Debug Azure Functions running in Linux containers
Debug Azure Functions running in Linux containers
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • Code call wrapping

Place your cursor on a call chain and press Ctrl+. Now you can select either Wrap call chain or Wrap and align call chain.

Wrap Call Chain
Wrap Call Chain
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • Code Quality

You can add the most recommended analyzer package by
Solution explorer -> Right click project name -> Properties -> Code Analysis to install the analyzer package and to configure when to run code analysis.

Visual Studio 2019 .NET Core Tooling Analyzer Support
.NET Core Tooling Analyzer Support
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • XML Comments

XML comments. On placing mouse pointer on the method name

Quick Info Style Support For XML Comments
XML comments
Image source: https://docs.microsoft.com
  • Templates are now included in the installer components for .NET Core 2.1 and 2.2.
  • Time taken for indexing large folders and search for files in folders now reduced.
  • Enhanced tasks view when debugging in Parallel Stacks Window.
  • Support for parallel builds in MS Build-based Linux C++ projects.
  • More responsive JavaScript / TypeScript syntax classifications and refactoring in files.
  • Android Material Design in the XAML Previewer.
  • Added Android Q Preview support for Xamarin.
  • A variety of C++ productivity improvements, including new C++ Core checks, a new default semantic colorization scheme, and on-by-default IntelliCode

.NET Framework 4.8

Development tools for NET Framework 4.8 have been added to support targeting .NET Framework 4.8. .NET 4.8 has several new features and improvements as well as numerous reliability, stability, security, and performance fixes.

Python Tests

  • Team can run tests using Python framework in Python projects. For this

Right-click on the project solution name -> Properties -> Test tab to select testing options.

  • For enabling folder tests, click on the 3 folder icon -> Show All Files -> PythonSettings.json file. Here mention the ‘TestFramework’

Features in Web Tools

  • You can now configure dependencies by Add Dependency which supports Azure SQL Server and Azure Storage.
  • ASP.NET runtime has enabled static content support.

Features in Xamarin

  • Users can now use Android Q Beta 4 Final APIs within Xamarin.Android under Visual Studio project property pages -> Application tab.
    Features new to Android Q include:
    • Optimize for foldables for innovative foldable devices.
    • Dark Themes for system-wide dark theme.
    • More interactive notifications by enabling suggested replies and actions within notifications.
    • Better Networking APIs for Wi-Fi network requests and connectivity

Summary

In this post, we saw the latest addition and features on what’s new in Visual Studio 2019. Although it is to be noted that all features are yet in preview mode and many features might or might not make it to the final production release. But still most of the improvements were most awaited.

If you already have Visual Studio with a lower version you can check out the link updating Visual Studio 2019 to the most recent release. Hope you have enjoyed this article.

Hitesh Boricha

I have a little over a decade experience in the IT industry. Having worked in various roles in this industry, I am passionate about technology.

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