Visual Studio 2017 is Now Available

Visual Studio 2017 is Now Available

Microsoft today released Visual Studio 2017, the latest version of its world-class software development IDE (integrated development environment). This release also marks the 20th anniversary of Visual Studio.

“This is not the IDE from 20 years ago,” Microsoft Visual Studio & .NET Corporate Vice President Julia Liuson told me in a recent interview. “Today’s Visual Studio offers a fully-connected, service-like experience in which we can deliver fixes within days of an issue being found. It’s a new way of delivering software, and that is what our customers demand of us.”

Microsoft is highlighting a number of improvements in Visual Studio 2017. I will call out the following:

New installer. The first thing you’ll notice is the glorious new Visual Studio Installer, which takes a componentized approach to installing features. You’ll use it when you first install the IDE, but you can also use it at any time in the future to add or remove features.

Major performance improvements. Microsoft says that Visual Studio 2017 is three times faster than previous versions, with faster build performance, faster solution load times, and general responsiveness improvements across the board.

Standalone file editing. While Microsoft offers a separate Visual Studio Code editor for those who prefer to work outside an IDE and perform script- or command line-based builds, customers had asked them to allow Visual Studio to work as a standalone editor too. So now it does: You can now open any file in the VS editor, and not need to create a solution first.

Language improvements across the board. Each supported language in Visual Studio has been touched in some way, from new C# language refactoring commands to live XAML editing while WPF and UWP applications are running to The C++ compiler and standard library updates. TypeScript, JavaScript, whatever, it’s all been updated.

Live unit testing. Now you can find out in real time if your unit tests will pass without leaving the code editor.

Xamarin Forms Previewer. The Xamarin Forms Previewer sits next to your XAML code window, rendering a live preview of a page side-by-side with your code. And it changes in real time, of course.

Connected Services. A new Connected Services experience makes it much easier to connect a mobile application to cloud services like Azure Mobile Apps data storage and authentication.

.NET Core support. Visual Studio 2017 fully supports building .NET Core 1.0 and 1.1 applications, including those based on ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core. Yes, this means you can target macOS and Linux, as well as Windows.

DevOps improvements. Like the performance improvements noted above, this one spans a wide range of changes, including new Git features, improvements to version control, support for DevOps capabilities on databases as well as code, and much, much more.

But I don’t need to be well versed in recent Visual Studio versions to appreciate Visual Studio 2017. For much of the past year, I’ve been using Google’s Android Studio as part of an ongoing e-learning initiative, and I can tell you that returning to the comfortable—and high performance—embrace of Visual Studio has been eye-opening. Android may be popular as a mobile platform, but Google’s developer tools are a sad joke. And I spent much of my time using the product trying to find problems that were in fact caused by Android Studio, or Java, or whatever, and not by me. The performance was just awful, and unpredictable.

You can download Visual Studio 2017 now from the Visual Studio website. It is available in Professional and Enterprise editions, plus the free (and very full-featured) Community edition, which is what I’ve been using.

If you’ve currently using Visual Studio 2015, you can install 2017 side-by-side with that version. (In fact, you can install Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, and Visual Studio 2017 side-by-side if you want.) If you are using the Visual Studio 2017 RC (release candidate) or Visual Studio “15” Preview, you will need to upgrade to the final version of the product. This will happen via a new “Update” button in the Visual Studio Installer, shown above.

More soon!


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Conversation 21 comments

  • skane2600

    07 March, 2017 - 11:36 am

    <p>Making the install process more complicated doesn't improve the product IMO. MS continues the trend of trying to "Eclipseify" Visual Studio.</p>

    • MikeGalos

      07 March, 2017 - 12:02 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#88920"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>Actually, they made the install process radically LESS complicated. </p>

      • jmeiii75

        Premium Member
        07 March, 2017 - 1:08 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#88933"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>I agree. Much more straight forward this time around,</p>

      • skane2600

        07 March, 2017 - 1:44 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#88933">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p>I guess it depends what version you're comparing to. Historically VS was essentially a one-button install.</p>

      • skane2600

        07 March, 2017 - 2:41 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#88933">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p>I think my response disappeared. Anyway, I was comparing the new install process to what was done until the last few versions – pretty much a one-button install. </p>

      • skane2600

        07 March, 2017 - 11:50 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#88933">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p>This my 3rd attempt to respond. The other two responses disappeared. Now I'm more interested to see if my comment disappears than I am about the subject at hand.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      07 March, 2017 - 1:58 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#88920">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>They made it easier, not more complicated.</p>

    • IanYates82

      Premium Member
      07 March, 2017 - 3:27 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#88920"><em>In reply to skane2600:</em></a></blockquote><p>They can't make an iso for licensing reasons too. The layout download makes something that works offline. An iso would count as redistributing things like the Android sdk, which Microsoft is not allowed to do. </p><p>The layout download works quite well. </p>

  • JerryH

    Premium Member
    07 March, 2017 - 11:38 am

    <p>I was hoping it would install A LOT faster. VS 2015 was taking about 2 hours to install (a lot of that was the darn updates). It is faster, but not as much as I hoped. It is at 50% now after having been going for 25 minutes. This is just the Winforms platform part and nothing else.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      07 March, 2017 - 1:58 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#88921">In reply to JerryH:</a></em></blockquote><p>I've never seen it take that long. I bet this is just a day one issue.</p>

  • mmurfin87

    Premium Member
    07 March, 2017 - 11:40 am

    <p>I'll give this a shot, but I'm still waiting for visual studio to go UWP</p>

    • skane2600

      07 March, 2017 - 11:46 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#88922">In reply to mmurfin87:</a></em></blockquote><p>What do you imagine you could do with a UWP version that would be better than a Win32 version? </p>

      • Paul Thurrott

        Premium Member
        07 March, 2017 - 1:58 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#88923">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>Easily trolling, I would imagine. </p>

        • Waethorn

          07 March, 2017 - 2:47 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#88958">In reply to Paul Thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>Why?</p><p><br></p><p>I'd like to see a version of Visual Studio that runs in a container, so that the dev tools and libraries don't screw up a perfectly good computer that could also be used for productivity applications. Dev tools are rarely ever considered "stable" enough to be used on a day-to-day computer, and not everybody can afford a separate computer to use for development tasks as they do for production software, you know.</p>

          • vlaandersman

            07 March, 2017 - 6:32 pm

            <p><a href="#88965"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></p><p><br></p><p>It makes no sense to suggest that developing applications using Visual Studio "screws up a perfectly good computer". I have run every version of VS, and its forerunner IDEs alongside productivity applications, all on day-to-day computers, for well over two decades. The era of software development that meant having to risk several blue screens a day went out before the turn of the century. The idea that VS won't be stable enough until it's UWP-based is laughable.</p>

          • skane2600

            07 March, 2017 - 11:59 pm

            <blockquote><em><a href="#88965">In reply to Waethorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>Can't you run Windows 10 in VMWare or similar virtualization software? The you can install VS in that virtual machine and run your productivity applications in the non-virtualized environment. I don't think it should be necessary, but it certainly is possible.</p>

  • jgoraya

    07 March, 2017 - 1:36 pm

    <p>Can you upgrade 2015 to 2017 instead of having a side by side install? Never understood why this was never an option.</p>

    • Dan1986ist

      Premium Member
      07 March, 2017 - 7:37 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#88955"><em>In reply to jgoraya:</em></a></blockquote><p>No, you can't upgrade from 2015 to 2017 without having the latter install alongside the former. </p>

  • Siv

    07 March, 2017 - 5:07 pm

    <p>I can't see how you get projects that were created in VS 2015 to load properly if you used the free installshield version that came with 2015? Anyone got any ideas?</p>


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