An Overview of Microsoft Visual Studio and Its Best Features

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If you are a program developer, you must be familiar with Microsoft Visual Studio. Even though there are several other Integrated Development Environment programs out there, it is safe to say that this one is still unrivaled in terms of productivity, especially with its latest updates and improvements.

What Is Microsoft Visual Studio?

Visual Studio is an incredible Integrated Development Environment (IDE) developed by Microsoft. It takes advantage of Microsoft’s software development platform such as Windows API, Windows Presentation Foundation and Microsoft Silverlight to develop Windows programs, software for websites and even mobile applications.

Microsoft Visual Studio has three main version—the Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code to build web-based applications and Visual Studio online to develop mobile apps. Some of the most prominent products of this IDE include C++, C#, and Visual Basic.

microsoft visual studio

What are the Features of Microsoft Visual Studio?

  • Code Editor.
    Visual Studio’s code editor takes advantage of IntelliSense as the code completion and refactoring component. Furthermore, it also supports syntax highlighting and bookmarking for easier navigation when creating the codes.
  • Debugger.
    This program developer comes with a debugger that works well with both managed code and native code and can be used not only for source-level but also machine-level debugger. This feature also supports breakpoints which enables a specific execution to be temporarily terminated at a position that is decided by the users.
  • Designer.
    Microsoft Visual Studio also comes with a series of visual design tools. Each tool has different purposes, ranging from controlling display data, creating user interfaces for Windows Presentation Foundation, editing and creating a website, generating C# code outlines and many more.

The visual design tools in this program include WPF designer, web designer, Windows Forms designer, class designer, mapping designer, and data designer.

Which Edition Is the Most Suitable for You?

Since Microsoft Visual Edition is used for various purposes by both professional and amateur program developers, several editions are available for you to choose.

  • Professional.
    In 2010, the Professional edition was introduced as the entry level of Microsoft Visual Studio paid version to replace the old Standard version. It includes some of the most basic features of Visual Studio and also supports some of the most popular development languages.
    One of the most important additions in the Professional Edition, when it was first launched, was Windows Phone 7 development support. However, due to the presence of Windows Phone 7, this version doesn’t support Windows Mobile anymore.
  • Community.
    If you are new to Visual Studio and want to give it a try first, you can get the Community edition. It is the only free version of Microsoft Visual Studio, and it comes with the same features with the Professional Edition.
  • Enterprise.
    This edition comes with everything the Professional edition has with the addition of a set of novel software developer, collaboration, testing, reporting, and metrics tools.
  • Test Professional.
    Contrary to other editions, Test Professional editions cannot be used to develop a program. Instead, just like the name suggests it is developed for program tester. It comes with reliable test environments including a capability to report the test results directly to the Team Foundation Server.

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