Microsoft releases Visual Studio 2010 service pack beta

Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2010 adds 64-bit support and includes Silverlight 4 capabilities

Microsoft is now offering a beta release of its service pack for the Visual Studio 2010 IDE that adds capabilities such as IntelliTrace support for 64-bit systems, company officials said.

MSDN subscribers can download the beta release Wednesday, while other users will be able to download the beta on Thursday. Visual Studio 2010 was released in April.

[ Check out InfoWorld's review of Visual Studio 2010. | Also on InfoWorld: Microsoft Silverlight 4 vs. Adobe Flash 10.1. | Stay up to date with the latest news and views in software development with InfoWorld's Developer Central newsletter. ]

"Service Pack 1 [SP1] continues that momentum of improving the developer experience by addressing some of the most requested features, like better help support, IntelliTrace support for 64-bit and SharePoint, and including Silverlight 4 Tools in the box," said Jason Zander, corporate vice president for the Visual Studio team at Microsoft, in a blog post. "The goal for this service pack was to work hard on releasing a high-quality beta with a focus on only fixing the top set of important issues we heard about from our customers," Zander said.

Other capabilities include a local Help Viewer, which is a client application that offers productivity features such as an expandable table of contents, and better platform support, including Windows 7-specific MFC APIs that support Direct2D and Windows animation. Unit testing for .Net 3.5 is supported as well. A performance wizard for Silverlight that offers performance profiling also is included, along with a Visual Basic compiler runtime switch.

Zander did offer words of caution for ASP.Net MVC (Model View Controller) users and Visual Studio Async users. "If you have ASP.Net MVC 3 RC installed, please be aware that installing Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta will break Razor IntelliSense," he wrote in his blog. "There will be a new ASP.Net MVC 3 RC2 installer released next Monday that you can upgrade to in-place. If you've already installed Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta, don't uninstall the Beta Service Pack,  just wait until Monday and upgrade your MVC installation."

"If you have Visual Studio Async CTP installed, please be aware that installing Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta will break Visual Studio Async CTP," Zander said. "We are looking at options for an updated release that will make the Visual Studio Async CTP compatible with Visual Studio 2010 SP1. In the meanwhile if you need to work with the CTP you should stick with VS2010 RTM."

S. Somasegar, senior vice president in Microsoft's developer division, cited momentum for Visual Studio 2010, in a blog post. "Since we launched Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4 on April 12 of this year, it has been exciting to see the extremely positive response to the product," he wrote in his blog. "Within six months of the launch date, Visual Studio 2010 usage surpassed all other previous versions of Visual Studio based on usage data collected from customers who opted into sharing their usage data with us. This is the fastest adoption of a new release of Visual Studio ever and we are seeing continued strength in the adoption of Visual Studio 2010."

Microsoft this week also is releasing Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and the Project Server Integration Feature Pack Beta, available to MSDN subscribers. "This feature pack enables sharing project status and resource availability between team members using TFS and Project Server. The feature pack beta's 'go-live' license allows customers to deploy it in their production environments," Somasegar said.

Also available is a Community Technology Preview of Entity Framework Code-First library. "EF Code-First enables a pretty sweet code-centric development workflow for working with data," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in a blog post.

With Code-First, developers can build without having to open a designer or define an XML mapping file, define model objects by writing "plain old classes" and use a "convention over configuration" approach that enables database persistence and optionally override convention-based persistence. They also can access a fluent code API to customize persistence mapping, Guthrie said.

The preview is currently available for download.

This article, "Microsoft releases Visual Studio 2010 service pack beta," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter.

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