Microsoft is taking collaboration on Visual Studio to a whole new level. The company is working on a new service called Visual Studio Live Share which will bring real-time collaboration to Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, and it hopes to release the first preview by the first quarter of 2018.
Visual Studio Live Share is a new feature for both Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, effectively bringing Office’s real-time collaboration features to the IDEs. Right off the bat, Microsoft’s focus will be on Node.JS, ASP.NET, and ASP.NET Core (C#), but the software giant will be bringing support for more languages in the future. Using the feature looks pretty simple, too: when you want to collaborate with a co-worker on a project, you can simply start a live session, and Visual Studio will give you a link which would then let your co-worker join the session. Once they join the session, they will be able to edit your code and even view all the files that are included in the project.
Live Share also works with debugging, allowing you to start a debug session on your computer and let your colleague work on the build errors in real-time. Just like a regular debug session, users will have access to all the debugging features like being able to step through the code, and more. Visual Studio will also share the code you highlight in real-time, so that’s quite handy as well.
Microsoft showed off Visual Studio Live Share in action at Connect(); 2017 on Visual Studio Code and the feature actually looks very impressive. Since Visual Studio is cross-platform, you will be able to start Live Share sessions between a Windows device, Mac, or a Linux machine. Debugging also seems to work really great on the Live Share, and the code changes are made instantaneously — at least on the demo:
Microsoft is placing Visual Studio Live Share as an alternative to screen-sharing on services like Microsoft Teams and Slack where it’s impossible to collaborate on code in real-time. The feature looks impressively well done, and the fact that it’s not only limited to the full-fledged version of Visual Studio is a definite plus as well. You can sign-up for the limited private preview here if you are interested in giving it a try, but you most likely won’t be able to try it out before next year.