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New features of Visual studio 2015

In this article, we will discuss the new features of Visual Studio 2015.

  • Debugging Lambda Expression
  • Custom Development Layouts
  • Shared Project
  • PerfTips
  • Improved Code Editor
  • Automated Unit test using IntelliTest
  • Conditional Breakpoints
  • New Menubar style
  • Renaming Improvements
  • Improvements for Java,JSON,HTML and CSS  Editor

1. Debugging Lambda Expression:


Debugging  Lambda expression is a great feature of Visual Studio 2015 provided by Microsoft.

Normally we use lambda expressions frequently in LINQ statements. In earlier versions of visual studio, there were no direct and easy way to debug Lambda expression.Visual studio 2015 supports debug and run Lambda expression in Watch Windows, Immediate Window and Data Tips.

Immediate Window:

  • You can add Immediate Window from Visual Studio–>Debug–> Immediate Window
  • In immediate window, you will see all LINQ expression, extension method and write you own query too
  • You can execute or debug the Lambda expression.
  • This saves a lot of time and gives flexibility to developers to debug Lambda expressions.

Watch Windows:

  • Watch windows is one of most commonly used debugging tool in Visual Studio
  • You can select the LINQ expression and click on Add to Watch
  • Now you can Debug and watch the output in Watch Window.

Data Tips:

  • Data Tips is an advanced tool tip message that can be used for inspecting the objects or variables while debugging the application with in Visual Studio
  • Add a Data Tips during Debugging
  • Right Click on the DataTips and select “Add Expression” from the context menu.
  • Run and Execute Lambda Expression.


2. Custom Development Layouts:

Custom Layout in Visual Studio


Visual Studio 2015 allows us to create our own windows layouts and use it in any devices, screens without reorganizing it again.

It is just, create once, and use it anytime on your preferred devices.

This feature let us customize the overall IDE experience and reuse it further.

So it provides the flexibility for using any monitor like desktop,laptop,tablet etc on your convenience.

You can create your Custom layout by selecting Window–>Apply Window Layout –>(New Layout/Window Layout/Web Layout)

Also there are keyboard shortcuts to create development Layouts.

3. Shared Project:

Shared Project in Visual Studio


Shared Project: is used for sharing common code across multiple application .

In Visual Studio 2013 as part of Windows 8.1 Universal App Development We have experienced with the Shared Project type , But with Visual Studio 2015, it is a Standalone New Project Template and we can use it with other types of app like Console, Desktop,Phone, Store App etc..

This is extremely helpful when we want to share a common code, logic as well as components across multiple applications with in single platform. This also allow to access the platform specific API’s , assets etc.


4. PerfTips and Diagnostics Tools Window:

Perftips gives you a rough indication of how long your code will take to execute as you step over code or run from break point to break point.

It was always difficult to find out execution time, performance issues for different code block.

Visual studio 2015 helps us to monitor the performance and execution time for the code.

5. Improved Code Editor:

The Code Editor has been replaced with the “Roslyn” compiler to provide you an improved and exciting code editing experience.

Quick actions are code changes Visual Studio can apply for you to save you time.

Visual Studio 2015 now indicates that a quick action is available with a small lightbulb icon.

A light bulb is shown when you have to include some code fixes , so anytime you see a light bulb, click it and you will get suggestions that is based upon the analyzed code.

6. Automated Unit Test using IntelliTest:


Visual Studio 2015 allows writing automatic unit test using “IntelliTest” in Visual Studio 2015.

IntelliTest helps us to create Unit Test automatically that give maximum of code coverage

You can Right Click on the Method, and Select “Run IntelliTest” from the context menu.

Once you select “Run IntelliTest” , Visual Studio performs certain steps to analyze and generate unit test for us.  You can view these steps from Output Window –> IntelliTest

7. Conditional Breakpoints:


In Visual studio 2015, you can use conditional breakpoints with Methods returns value.

This is a great feature provided by Microsoft to optimize the debugging time and pause the execution only when the condition satisfied.

In Conditional breakpoints, you can call a method from the condition field and based on the return value debugger will stop at the breakpoint.


8. New Menubar Style:

New bar style in VS 2015

The ‘Title Case Style’ set as by default for Visual Studio 2015, where as for all the prior version of Visual Studio had only ALL CAPS Menu Style Option.You can turn On/Off the ‘Apply title case styling to menu bar’from  Tools –> Options –> Environment –> General

9. Renaming Improvements:

Renaming in Visual Studio 2015 has undergone substantial enhancement:

  • Before renaming a variable or object Visual Studio will highlight all instances affected making it easy to identify changes to be made
  • Introduction of new quick actions to rename variables
  • Ability to preview rename operations and expand rename operations to strings, comments etc
  • A new dialogue which shows the number of changes & any conflicts for a renaming operation


10.Improvements for Java,JSON,HTML and CSS  Editor:

  • JavaScript Editor Improvements:
    • New navigation bar makes it easier to move between elements
    • JSDoc support for intellisense
    • Expand and collapse multiline comments, arrays & multiline blocks
  • Json Editor improvements
    • Support for JSON schemas
    • Unminify JSON (right click, context menu)
    • Intellisense for package.json/bower.json
    • Visual Studio will pick up duplicate properties
  • Html Editor Improvements
    • Html Editor now leaves {{}} alone which is pretty common for a lot of client side frameworks such as AngularJS
    • Intellisense for web components, custom elements, polymer elements & attributes
    • VS region support in html (hmm not sure this should be encoraged)
    • TODO/Hack comment support
    • Angular icons in tooltips to make it easy to identify directives & attributes & Bootstrap icons if a class was defined in a Bootstrap file
  • CSS Editor improvements
    • TODO/Hack support
    • Use of @viewport no longer shows warning
    • New snippets for CSS/LESS
    • CSS is automatically synced with browser link

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