Visual Studio 2008

Visual Studio 2008, codenamed  Orcas , was released to MSDN subscribers on 19 November 2007 alongside .NET Framework 3.5. The codename Orcas is, like Whidbey, a reference to an island in Puget Sound, Orcas Island. The source code for the Visual Studio 2008 IDE will be available under a shared source license to some of Microsoft's partners and ISVs.Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008 on 11 August 2008.

Visual Studio 2008 is focused on
development of Windows Vista, 2007 Office system, and Web applications. For visual design, a new Windows Presentation Foundation visual designer and a new HTML/CSS editor influenced by Microsoft Expression Web are included. J# is not included. Visual Studio 2008 requires .NET Framework 3.5 and by default configures compiled assemblies to run on .NET Framework 3.5, but it also supports multi-targeting which lets the developers choose which version of the .NET Framework (out of 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, Silverlight CoreCLR or .NET Compact Framework) the assembly runs on. Visual Studio 2008 also includes new code analysis tools, including the new Code Metrics tool. For Visual C++, Visual Studio adds a new version of Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC 9.0) that adds support for the visual styles and UI controls introduced with Windows Vista. For native and managed code interoperability, Visual C++ introduces the STL/CLR, which is a port of the C++ Standard Template Library (STL) containers and algorithms to managed code. STL/CLR defines STL-like containers, iterators and algorithms that work on C++/CLI managed objects.

Visual Studio 2008 features a XAML based designer (codenamed Cider), workflow designer, LINQ to SQL designer (for defining the type mappings and object encapsulation for SQL Server data), XSLT debugger, JavaScript Intellisense support, JavaScript Debugging support, support for UAC manifests, a concurrent build system, among others. It ships with an enhanced set of UI widgets, both for WinForms and WPF. It also includes a multithreaded build engine (MSBuild) to compile multiple source files (and build the executable file) in a project across multiple threads simultaneously. It also includes support for compiling PNG compressed icon resources introduced in Windows Vista. An updated XML Schema designer will ship separately some time after the release of Visual Studio 2008.

The Visual Studio debugger includes features targeting easier debugging of multi-threaded applications. In debugging mode, in the Threads window, which lists all the threads, hovering over a thread will display the stack trace of that thread in tooltips. The threads can directly be named and flagged for easier identification from that window itself. In addition, in the code window, along with indicating the location of the currently executing instruction in the current thread, the currently executing instructions in other threads are also pointed out. The Visual Studio debugger supports integrated debugging of the .NET Framework 3.5 BCL. It can dynamically download the BCL source code and debug symbols and allow stepping into the BCL source during debugging. Currently a limited subset of the BCL source is available, with more library support planned for later in the year.


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