Microsoft helps crack developer problems with Bing-based tool

The Bing Developer Assistant now works with C#, but more languages are on the way

Sometimes, even the best coders get stuck and need a little advice. Enter Bing Developer Assistant, designed to help Visual Studio developers take advantage of Microsoft's search engine to find tips on how to untangle thorny programming problems.

The free tool was released on Tuesday and aims to increase developer productivity by making it easier to find and reuse millions of code samples and projects.

For example, when developers get a compilation error, they can right click on the error and select Bing contextual search from the menu. The search takes into account things such as the error message, project and data types and programming language to try to come up with the most relevant results. If the result isn't helpful, further search refinements can be made.

Up to now, developers had to copy and paste the error message into a search engine and then modify the query on their own in order to take context into account. That's much more time consuming and distracting, Microsoft said in a blog post.

Bing Developer Assistant has also been used to improve Visual Studio's Intellisense feature, which provides context-aware help. While coding, relevant code snippets are automatically displayed. Developers can use the tool from the code editor and make local searches on their own machine when offline, as well.

For now, the tool works with C#, but Microsoft is planning to add other languages, including Javascript and Visual Basic.

To get started, developers can download the necessary add-ons for Visual Studio 2012 or 2013 from the Visual Studio Extension Gallery. A version that's compatible with Visual Studio 2015, which was made available as a preview last month, is coming soon.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftsoftwareapplication developmentDevelopment tools

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?