Visual Studio service pack boosts support for developers

Microsoft rolls out a local help viewer for Visual Studio 2010 and integrates Project Server with Team Foundation Server to enable teams to work more effectively

In a boost to its IDE, Microsoft this week shipped the final version of Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1, which offers capabilities such as better help support as well as IntelliTrace capabilities for 64-bit systems and SharePoint.

The new local help viewer featured in the service pack is a client application that enables developers to navigate the table of contents in a fully expanded tree control, look up topics via keywords, and use shortcut keys for access to features.

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With IntelliTrace, debugging is enhanced by enabling developers to see past events instead of having to infer them or restart an application to re-create these events.

Also featured  in the service pack are Silverlight 4 tools, unit testing support for .Net 3.5, and a performance wizard for Silverlight, said Jason Zander, Microsoft corporate vice president for the Visual Studio team, in a blog post  Tuesday. "We concentrated heavily on fixing issues you reported," Zander said. The service pack went into a beta release stage in December.

MSDN subscribers can now access the service pack on the Web. A general release will be available Thursday. Microsoft this week also is offering Visual Studio 2010 Load Test Feature pack, which enables Web performance and stress testing through the application lifecycle with unlimited virtual users.  Visual Studio 2010 shipped about 11 months ago.

Also this week, Microsoft announced the availability of Team Foundation Server Project Server Integration Feature Pack, which integrates Project Server for project management and the Team Foundation Server (TSF) application lifecycle management server.

"Integration between Project Server and Team Foundation Server 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," said S. Somaseger, senior vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in a blog post.

The TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack is available on MSDN.

Microsoft in coming weeks also plans to offer a second beta release of Visual Studio LightSwitch, for developing line-of-business applications for the desktop and cloud, Somasegar said. The second beta will enable development of business applications for Microsoft's Windows Azure and SQL Azure cloud platforms.

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This story, "Visual Studio service pack boosts support for developers" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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