Microsoft has released a new beta of the next revision of Visual Studio. Code-named Orcas, this release is a Community Technology Preview (CTP). A CTP is an updated beta release of a product, which aims to provide uses with more timely access to new and updated features, at the possible expense of the very long testing time required for major beta releases. Microsoft first used this approach with the SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 products (quite successfully IMHO!).
The interesting thing about this CTP is that MS are shipping it both as a normal product install (up to 4.3GB in total) and as a VPC Virtual Image. The VPC setup involves downloading 8 RAR files taking up 4.83 GB. Once these files are downloaded, you can extract the VHD image and create your VM - which means you need over 20GB of free space (for the download, for the temp file WinRAR creates, and for the actual VHD). Once the downloads are finished, I'll post another article with the actual size of the VHD.
The highlights of this CTP include:
- Extended, more powerful data APIs with the ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to ADO.NET
- ADO.NET is fully integrated with LINQ
- C# 3.0 Language Support
- ClickOnce improvements
- Managed classes for Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellman and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm cryptographic functionality
- Runtime and design-time support for Office 2007 (including Outlook 2007
- Support for advanced lifetime management of add-ins and their AppDomains
- Client service support for Login/Logout, Role management and Profiles
- A trace listener that logs event to ETW, event tracing for Windows in Vista
- Jscript Intellisense support
- A new numeric type that provides support for very large numbers (i.e. beyond the range of In64)
- LINQ over XML (XLinq)
- SQL Server Compact Edition (SSCE) (SSCE provides a local relational data store for occasionally connected client applications from desktops to devices).