Here are some exciting new features that will be sure to change the .NET developer community. Although there are many more, I have picked 10 favorites.
- Open source support: .NET Core 5 will now provide support for Windows, Linux and Mac. It is open source and is also supported by some of the .NET packages. Developers will be able to ship a private version of the .NET Core Framework with their apps. Many developers will benefit from the open-source support and the protection that other application versions will not be able to modify the current application’s behavior.
- CodeLens: CodeLens shows information about code within the editor including method references, tests associated with the method, unit tests and success rate, history of the method and the last time the code was changed. This feature should greatly improve productivity given the centralized location of these details.
- IntelliTrace: IntelliTrace helps diagnose issues in production. Developers can set thresholds to find where the application needs tweaking and jump directly to the code that needs changes.
- CodeMap: CodeMap helps visualize code by displaying a map that shows relationships between all of the objects. It includes markers like breakpoints to visually represent code flow. A developer can select an object and Visual Studio will automatically jump to the representative code. It provides easy ways to share maps with other developers with the “Save” option and the “Email” option.
- IntelliTest: IntelliTest is smart unit testing. This feature is designed to reduce the cost of testing by discovering all code paths and creating tests for each path. These tests can be saved for reuse allowing retesting after code changes.
- Developer support for Android, iOS and Windows: Developers will now have cross-platform support for all three platforms. This will open up entire industries to .NET.
- NET 5: ASP.NET 5 runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. In addition, it is very cloud-centric and modular. All of these features create great flexibility for developers.
- NET and Always Encrypted: ADO.NET has support for the SQL Server 2016 CTP Always Encrypted feature. Always Encrypted allows SQL Server to perform operations on encrypted data. The key resides within the trusted customer application and not on the server which is a fantastic security feature.
- 64-bit JIT improvements: In addition to many new features, Microsoft has improved several. One of these is the 64-bit JIT significant performance improvements.
- Garbage collection enhancements: Garbage collection now provides the ability to disallow garbage collection. This can be very useful during the execution of a critical path.
There are so many exciting new features in .NET and Visual Studio 2015. I anticipate that for traditional enterprise applications the changes will vastly impact productivity. Cloud-based applications have a tremendous number of new options. Open-source support and cross-platform support will very likely positively impact the entire .NET community as well as all developer communities. It will be interesting to watch the market for adoption of .NET from other platforms. I expect .NET to greatly increase. Time will tell.