Posts Tagged ‘visual studio’

Microsoft releases VS2010 SP1 & TFS 2010 SP1

March 9th, 2011 1 comment

The moment most of us have been waiting for, Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 is finally out (right now for MSDN Subscribers), read what the changes are in VS2010 Service Pack 1 (or TFS 2010 SP1 Changes) and grab it from MSDN – once the links become public will update this post.

File Name: mu_visual_studio_2010_sp1_x86_x64_dvd_651704.iso [MSDN Download Link]
Size: 1.56Gb
SHA1: 61C2088850185EDE8E18001D1EF3E6D12DAA5692
Date Published (UTC): 3/8/2011 9:13:36 AM
Last Updated (UTC): 3/8/2011 10:20:52 AM

There’s also the TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack that’s been released.

Support for Silverlight 4 and Razor, SQL CE4, IIS Express and 64bit IntelliTrace are amongst the finer things in SP1. For C++ folks, the support for Intel AVX and AMD Bulldozer instruction sets are going to be interesting ūüėÄ

Some notable bugfixes:


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Windows Phone 7 Resources

November 15th, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been busy hacking away the past month or so with Windows Phone 7 and Android. They’re both very different when it comes to the out of box developer experience – with Microsoft tools being supremo right now. Thought I’d contribute some resources when it comes to (on this post) writing Windows Phone 7 Applications. I’ll try and keep this up to date with new things I find.

Feel free to comment with other great resources.

Last Updated: 16th November, 2010


Online Resources


Developer Frameworks/Tools

Developer Components/Controls



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Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 free ebook!

September 15th, 2010 No comments

Microsoft Press - Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010Free ebook compliments of Microsoft Press, you can download a PDF. or an XPS of the book and grab the book’s sample code.

The book is broken down into these parts  catering for the following audiences:

  • Part I – for those moving from Visual Studio 2003 to Visual Studio 2010.
  • Part II – for developers moving from Visual Studio 2005.
  • Part III – for developers moving from Visual Studio 2008.

See the blog post about the target audience for this ebook too.

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Visual Studio 2010 & Resharper 5 hit the interwebs.

April 13th, 2010 No comments

A little late on this one, but MSFT have released the long awaited Visual Studio 2010 release and JetBrains have also released ReSharper 5.

A full breakdown of Visual Studios are also available, not a huge fan of all these different SKUs to be honest. You can download a copy from your MSDN subscriptions now, or download the trial version (direct download), buy an upgrade from VS2008 or just download the .NET 4.0 runtime (48Mb).

I’ve spent the past 3 hours downloading from MSDN and its been crawling.


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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate

February 12th, 2010 No comments

It seems every year life just keeps getting busier ūüôĀ Anyway, here’s a bit good of news, the Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate is available for download now. You can also get one chunky ISO if that tickles your fancy.

Compared to Beta 2, its a smooth and quite enjoyable experience and I’m very much waiting for the final. The performance of this release is insanely good and finally fixes some annoying performance issues we noticed in WPF in Beta 2 (lets forget Beta 1).

Don’t forget to try some of the cooler features of .NET 4.0 too.

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jQuery 1.4 released!

January 15th, 2010 No comments

What a way to start the weekend, jQuery 1.4 has been released! There’s so much ubber goodness in this release I nearly fell of my chair! I have yet to muse about but most definately worth a look, the performance boosts are insane!

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Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is out!

October 21st, 2009 No comments

Microsoft has just released VisualStudio 2010 Beta 2 to MSDN Subscribers – aka Rosario.


I’m not sure why they’re going with the ULTIMATE moniker for Visual Studio, I still prefer the VS6 style Standard, Professional, Enterprise. Meh.

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN
    The comprehensive suite of application lifecycle management tools for software teams to ensure quality results from design to deployment.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN
    A complete toolset for developers to deliver scalable, high quality applications.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN
    The essential tool for professional development tasks to assist developers in implementing their ideas easily. (Note: Visual Studio 2010 Professional will also be available without MSDN subscription)

Some of the more exciting things that are coming with Visual Studio 2010 are documented on MSDN or a better one would be Vikas Goyal’s post and also his .NET 4.0 coverage.. Personally the Parallel extensions are the most exciting bits for me. The new Java 7 work is concentrating heavily on concurrency and its good to see both camps pushing the boundaries.

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.NET Tools: NDepend static analysis tool, leave T-Pain behind.

June 1st, 2009 5 comments

The release of Visual Studio 2008 brought along Code Metrics to the IDE‘s ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality (I’ve been overusing that phrase thanks to our resident CRM Consultant at work!). This was a major boon for .NET developers to get a clear idea of health of what they write, Visual Studio 2005 gave FxCop integration that provided much needed static code analysis for .NET assemblies. Together these tools provide a peek into the deep depths of the project your working on, it benchmarks the correctness, performance and security implications, localisation, design issues amongst other metrics. Damn useful if you’ve inherited – as I often do in my consultancy life – someone else’s code base with little or no documentation. They say code is the best documentation right? (oh gosh, not one of those projects!)

Whilst both the metrics in VSNET and FxCop give you a low level understanding of your code – based on framework guidelines, what if you want more in depth understanding of what your ‘working with’ rather than how you use the .NET framework? How many methods derive from a certain control – remember we’re doing static analysis here, no Resharper loving! Or how maintainable the assemblies are. What are the methods with more than 30 lines of code? (hint: need to refactor!)

This is where NDepend comes in. NDepend is a static code analysis tool on steroids – and I’m not exaggerating here. You will love NDepend long time as I do right now.

Load up NDepend, point to your assemblies, then let NDepend think a little and it will spit out a plethora of information for you to take in.

The NDepend UI – VisualNDepend

There is however one caveat, the first time you use it – and I know this will happen to the majority of users, you’ll probably get overwhelmed with what you’ll be displayed with:

NDepend Paint.NET Analysis

NDepend Paint.NET Analysis

So you can reproduce this with the trial of NDepend, I’m looking at the latest Paint.NET release. But once you get over your initial sense of wonder and disbelief you can start to demystify the UI and the beauty of NDepend. Dont worry, theres plenty of documentation and help to get you on your way, I’ll cover those later ūüôā

First, we have a Class Browser to the left that lists all the assemblies that are being anaylsed – this includes the assemblies you selected (black!) and the assemblies that were added automajically by NDepend as dependencies (blue).

To the right of the class browser is our Metrics visual representation (those black balls actually mean something – Marty!). We can tell NDepend to show us (visually via the Code Metrics display) the top 10,20,50-5000 methods. Double click on any item in the view and it will automatically jump to the source (in the working VS.NET instance if available) for you to inspect further. Theres also deep integration with Visual Studio too – again later!

Underneath the Metrics window we have the Dependency Graph on the left and the Dependency Matrix on the right. This view gives us an idea of the coupling between the assemblies in our list.

The World of CQL

Then we have – what makes me get jiggy wif it, the CQL Query window. CQL is Code Query Language, and its just as your thinking, its SQL for Code. Armed with a basic understanding of CQL you can get some really useful information about your project – infact the report that gets generated by NDepend already contains a bunch of metrics for you and comes with over 85 metrics to begin with in a heavily documented specification – with examples. Writing a simple bit of CQL like the one below, will give you a representation of all public methods that contain more than 30 lines of code.


Neat huh? Thats only an example from the features page, there’s lots more. We can even setup a constraint to notify us when we exceed a threshold.

WARN IF Count > 0 IN SELECT METHODS WHERE NbILInstructions > 200 ORDER BY NbILInstructions DESC

This will warn us when we have methods that exceed 200 IL instructions. You can even combine a bunch of them and workout a metric to benchmark which methods you need to refactor, heres one from the report that gets autogenerated by the VisualNDepend tool:

WARN IF Count > 0 IN SELECT TOP 10 METHODS /*OUT OF "YourGeneratedCode" */ WHERE 

                                           // Metrics' definitions
     (  NbLinesOfCode > 30 OR              //
        NbILInstructions > 200 OR          //
        CyclomaticComplexity > 20 OR       //
        ILCyclomaticComplexity > 50 OR     //
        ILNestingDepth > 4 OR              //
        NbParameters > 5 OR                //
        NbVariables > 8 OR                 //
        NbOverloads > 6 )                  //

     // Here are some ways to avoid taking account of generated methods.
     !( NameIs "InitializeComponent()" OR
        // NDepend.CQL.GeneratedAttribute is defined in the redistributable assembly $NDependInstallDir$\Lib\NDepend.CQL.dll
        // You can define your own attribute to mark "Generated".
        HasAttribute "OPTIONAL:NDepend.CQL.GeneratedAttribute")

Whats more, because NDepend is language neutral you can query any managed assembly. Theres so much goodness you can get from CQL, most of your needs are already documented in the specifications.

Healthy coder == healthy code right?

NDepend also gives us a representation of what state the code is in with the generated report.

Paint.NET Abstractness vs Stability

Paint.NET Abstractness vs Stability

This metric – based on Robert C Martin’s Abstractness vs Stability paper. To quote the paper’s Abstract directly:

This paper describes a set of metrics that can be used  to measure the quality of an object-oriented design in terms of the interdependence between the subsystems  of  that design.   Designs which are highly interdependent tend to be rigid, unreusable and hard to maintain.
Yet interdependence is necessary if the subsystems of  the design are to collaborate.  Thus, some forms of dependency must be desirable,
and other forms must be undesirable.   This paper proposes a design pattern in which all the dependencies are of the desirable form. Finally, this paper describes a set of  metrics that measure the conformance of a design to the desirable pattern.

In the case of Paint.NET we can see that we’re all over the bottom corner of the image. What does this mean?

First we have the two ends of the scale.

  • Y – Abstractness
    This measures how abstract the assembly is, can it be extended without recompiling? Lots of interfaces and base classes help here.
  • X – Instability
    Measures how much this assembly is utilised by its public interface. For most third party component (from vendors) they’ll fall into the less instability area, so you have to ensure that any changes are properly managed to avoid breaking clients.

Then we have two zones.

  • Zone of uselessness
    This is when an assembly is very abstract and extensible but no-one uses it you’ll find it closer to this area.
  • Zone of Pain
    This is when an assembly is referenced (or have lots of dependants) and is not very extensible – no abstract implementations.

One thing to note though, the words ‘Pain’ and ‘Uselessness’ may be a bit harsh in its wording. If you – like me – have a core ‘framework’ that you write have it locked down and reference it muliple projects then they should indeed fall into the ‘Zone of Pain’ assuming that you have ensured its stability and realise the consequences of breakages later on. Most third party products will fall into here – we’re talking your UI Controls, Sharp components etc.

Ideally you’d want to be hovering in the green area cosey with the line in the middle for your core product.

Would you like Documentation with that?

As mentioned earlier, NDepend comes with lots of help, firstly we have – what I used, the Getting Started screencasts, tutorials, CQL Documentation with *actual* usable examples.

Scott Hanselman has also released a nice cheatsheet for NDepend that will go well hanging next to your PC.

Integrating NDepend to Integration Server

At home (and at work) we use Jetbrains TeamCity, you can easily integrate NDepend into TeamCity by following Laurent Kempé directions.

If you use CruiseControl.NET, you’ll find Robin Curry‘s guide on integrating NDepend to NAnt and CruiseControl.NET useful.

Integration with your favourite tools

NDepend fully integrates with Visual Studio and Reflector.

NDepend Options Integration

NDepend Options Integration

The integration in Reflector – which reflect that of Visual Studio integration.

NDepend Reflector Integration

NDepend Reflector Integration

Gives you one click access to some common metrics.


If you want to get a good understanding of your project – or someone elses, metrics will help you greatly to give you an impression of the health of the project and NDepend will come in quite handy for you. We only _barely_ scratched the surface with this blog post, I’ve spent a good chuck of a week using NDepend and find it ubber useful in my work life – partly because it involves reparing the mess others have left – but it also serves as a good reminder of how you should write code.


Fine Print: Full Disclosure

I was offered a license to NDepend by Patrick Smacchia and given the chance to write my thoughts on this product, I was not paid to review this product – feel free to send some moola if you want to though ūüėČ

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Hot Booty: Visual Studio 2010 Beta Launches!

May 19th, 2009 No comments

Quick note from Somasegars blog that Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 along with .NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 is shipping. Take a look at the Visual Studio 2010 Home Page for more information or if you have MSDN grab it from your subscriber downloads.

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Hot Butter: Slipstreaming SQL Server 2008 with SP1 and an easier FIX for Rule “Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008? failed.

April 16th, 2009 No comments

We just did a hardware upgrade of one of our SQL Server boxes during the Easter break. With SP1 for SQL Server 2008 available I followed the excellent instructions from Peter Saddow to slipstream SP1 into the SQL 2008 ISO. Highly recommend you follow the guide ūüôā

Whilst on the topic of SQL Server 2008, if you were recieving the following – as documented in this earlier post:

Rule “Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008? failed.
A previous release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is installed on this computer. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to the SP1 before installing SQL Server 2008.

You’ll be happy to know that Peter has found a far easier solution than what I gave back then – I can’t work without SQL Server Management Studio. Simply install with the command line below to avoid the MSI Rule checks:

$ Setup /ACTION=install /SkipRules=VSShellInstalledRule


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