Contents tagged with Visual Studio

  • Announcing Windows Server 2016 Containers Preview

    At DockerCon this year, Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, demonstrated the first ever application built using code running in both a Windows Server Container and a Linux container connected together. This demo helped demonstrate Microsoft's vision that in partnership with Docker, we can help bring the Windows and Linux ecosystems together by enabling developers to build container-based distributed applications using the tools and platforms of their choice.

    Today we are excited to release the first preview of Windows Server Containers as part of our Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 release. We’re also announcing great updates from our close collaboration with Docker, including enabling support for the Windows platform in the Docker Engine and a preview of the Docker Engine for Windows. Our Visual Studio Tools for Docker, which we previewed earlier this year, have also been updated to support Windows Server Containers, providing you a seamless end-to-end experience straight from Visual Studio to develop and deploy code to both Windows Server and Linux containers. Last but not least, we’ve made it easy to get started with Windows Server Containers in Azure via a dedicated virtual machine image.

    Windows Server Containers

    Windows Server Containers create a highly agile Windows Server environment, enabling you to accelerate the DevOps process to efficiently build and deploy modern applications. With today’s preview release, millions of Windows developers will be able to experience the benefits of containers for the first time using the languages of their choice – whether .NET, ASP.NET, PowerShell or Python, Ruby on Rails, Java and many others.

    Today’s announcement delivers on the promise we made in partnership with Docker, the fast-growing open platform for distributed applications, to offer container and DevOps benefits to Linux and Windows Server users alike. Windows Server Containers are now part of the Docker open source project, and Microsoft is a founding member of the Open Container Initiative. Windows Server Containers can be deployed and managed either using the Docker client or PowerShell.

    Getting Started using Visual Studio

    The preview of our Visual Studio Tools for Docker, which enables developers to build and publish ASP.NET 5 Web Apps or console applications directly to a Docker container, has been updated to include support for today’s preview of Windows Server Containers. The extension automates creating and configuring your container host in Azure, building a container image which includes your application, and publishing it directly to your container host. You can download and install this extension, and read more about it, at the Visual Studio Gallery here:

    Once installed, developers can right-click on their projects within Visual Studio and select “Publish”:


    Doing so will display a Publish dialog which will now include the ability to deploy to a Docker Container (on either a Windows Server or Linux machine):


    You can choose to deploy to any existing Docker host you already have running:


    Or use the dialog to create a new Virtual Machine running either Window Server or Linux with containers enabled.  The below screen-shot shows how easy it is to create a new VM hosted on Azure that runs today’s Windows Server 2016 TP3 preview that supports Containers – you can do all of this (and deploy your apps to it) easily without ever having to leave the Visual Studio IDE:


    Getting Started Using Azure

    In June of last year, at the first DockerCon, we enabled a streamlined Azure experience for creating and managing Docker hosts in the cloud. Up until now these hosts have only run on Linux. With the new preview of Windows Server 2016 supporting Windows Server Containers, we have enabled a parallel experience for Windows users.

    Directly from the Azure Marketplace, users can now deploy a Windows Server 2016 virtual machine pre-configured with the container feature enabled and Docker Engine installed. Our quick start guide has all of the details including screen shots and a walkthrough video so take a look here


    Once your container host is up and running, the quick start guide includes step by step guides for creating and managing containers using both Docker and PowerShell.

    Getting Started Locally Using Hyper-V

    Creating a virtual machine on your local machine using Hyper-V to act as your container host is now really easy. We’ve published some PowerShell scripts to GitHub that automate nearly the whole process so that you can get started experimenting with Windows Server Containers as quickly as possible. The quick start guide has all of the details at

    Once your container host is up and running the quick start guide includes step by step guides for creating and managing containers using both Docker and PowerShell.


    Additional Information and Resources

    A great list of resources including links to past presentations on containers, blogs and samples can be found in the community section of our documentation. We have also setup a dedicated Windows containers forum where you can provide feedback, ask questions and report bugs. If you want to learn more about the technology behind containers I would highly recommend reading Mark Russinovich’s blog on “Containers: Docker, Windows and Trends” that was published earlier this week.


    At the //Build conference earlier this year we talked about our plan to make containers a fundamental part of our application platform, and today’s releases are a set of significant steps in making this a reality.’ The decision we made to embrace Docker and the Docker ecosystem to enable this in both Azure and Windows Server has generated a lot of positive feedback and we are just getting started.

    While there is still more work to be done, now users in the Window Server ecosystem can begin experiencing the world of containers. I highly recommend you download the Visual Studio Tools for Docker, create a Windows Container host in Azure or locally, and try out our PowerShell and Docker support. Most importantly, we look forward to hearing feedback on your experience.

    Hope this helps,


  • Released Today: Visual Studio 2015, ASP.NET 4.6, ASP.NET 5 & EF 7 Previews

    Today is a big day with major release announcements for Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2013 Update 5, and .NET Framework 4.6. All these releases have been covered in great detail on Soma’s Blog, Visual Studio Blog, and .NET Blog

    Join us online for the Visual Studio 2015 Release Event, where you can see Soma, Brian Harry, Scott Hanselman, and many other demo new Visual Studio 2015 features and technologies. This year, in a new segment called “In The Code”, we share how a team of Microsoft engineers created a real app in 3 days. There will be opportunities along the way to interact in live Q&A with the team on subjects such as Agile development, web and cloud development, cross-platform mobile dev and much more. 

    In this post I’d like to specifically talk about some of the ground we have covered in ASP.NET and Entity Framework.  In this release of Visual Studio, we are releasing ASP.NET 4.6, updating our Visual Studio Web Development Tools, and updating the latest beta release of our new ASP.NET 5 framework.  Below are details on just a few of the great updates available today:

    ASP.NET Tooling Improvements

    Today’s VS 2015 release delivers some great updates for web development.  Here are just a few of the updates we are shipping in this release:

    JSON Editor

    JSON has become a first class experience in Visual Studio 2015 and we are now giving you a great editor to allow you to maintain your JSON content.  With support for JSON Schema validation, intellisense, and support for writing and producing JSON content has never been as easy.  We’ve also added intellisense support for bower.json and package.json files for bower and npm package manager use.


    HTML Editor Updates

    Our HTML editor received a lot of attention in this update.  We wanted to deliver an editor that kept up with HTML 5 standards and provided rich support for popular new frameworks and libraries.  We previously shipped the bootstrap responsive web framework with our ASP.NET templates, and we are now providing intellisense for their classes with an indicator icon to show that they are bootstrap CSS classes.



    This helps you keep clear the classes that you wrote in your project, like the page-inner class above, and the bootstrap classes marked with the B icon.

    We are also keeping up with support for the emerging web components standard with the import link for the web components that markup imports.


    We are also providing intellisense for AngularJS directives and attributes with an appropriate Angular icon so you know you’re triggering AngularJS functionality


    JavaScript Editor Improvements

    With the VS 2015 release we are introducing support for AngularJS structures including controllers, services, factories, directives and animations.  There is also support for the new EcmaScript 6 features such as classes, arrow functions, and template strings. We are also bringing a navigation bar to the editor to help you navigate between the major elements of your JavaScript.  With JSDoc support to deliver intellisense, JavaScript development gets easier.


    ReactJS Editor Support

    We spent some time with the folks at Facebook to make sure that we delivered first class capabilities for developers using their ReactJS framework.  With appropriate syntax highlighting and intellisense for React methods, developers should be very comfortable building React applications with the new Visual Studio:


    Support for JavaScript package managers like Grunt and Gulp and Task Runners

    JavaScript and modern web development techniques are the new recommended way to build client-side code for your web application.  We support these tools and programming techniques with our new Task Runner Explorer that executes grunt and gulp task runners.  You can open this tool window with the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace hotkey combination.


    Execute any of the tasks defined in your gruntfile.js or gulpfile.js by right-clicking on the task name in the left panel and choosing “Run” from the context menu that appears.  You can even use this context menu to attach grunt or gulp tasks to project build events in Visual Studio like “After Build” as shown in the figure above.  Every time the .NET objects in your web project are completed compiling, the ‘build’ task will be executed from the gruntfile.js

    Combined with the intellisense support for JavaScript and JSON editors, we think that developers wanting to use grunt and gulp tasks will really enjoy this new Visual Studio experience.  You can add grunt and gulp tasks with the newly integrated npm package manager capabilities.  When you create a package.json file in your web project, we will install and upgrade local copies of all packages referenced.  Not only do we deliver syntax highlighting and intellisense for package.json terms, we also provide package name and version lookup against the gallery.


    The bower package manager is also supported with great intellisense, syntax highlighting and the same package name and version support in the bower.json file that we provide for package.json.


    These improvements in managing and writing JavaScript configuration files and executing grunt or gulp tasks brings a new level of functionality to Visual Studio 2015 that we think web developers will really enjoy.

  • Announcing Open Source of .NET Core Framework, .NET Core Distribution for Linux/OSX, and Free Visual Studio Community Edition

    This week we are holding our Connect() developer event in New York City.  This is an event that is being streamed online for free, and it covers some of the great new capabilities coming with the Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 5 releases.  You can watch the event live as well as on-demand here.

    I just finished giving the opening keynote of the event during which I made several big announcements:

  • Azure: Virtual Machine, Machine Learning, IoT Event Ingestion, Mobile, SQL, Redis, SDK Improvements

    This past month we’ve released a number of great enhancements to Microsoft Azure.  These include:

    • Virtual Machines: Preview Portal Support as well as SharePoint Farm Creation
    • Machine Learning: Public preview of the new Azure Machine Learning service
    • Event Hub: Public preview of new Azure Event Ingestion Service
    • Mobile Services: General Availability of .NET support, SignalR support
    • Notification Hubs: Price Reductions and New Features
    • SQL Database: New Geo-Restore, Geo-Replication and Auditing support
    • Redis Cache: Larger Cache Sizes
    • Storage: Support for Zone Redundant Storage
    • SDK: Tons of great VS and SDK improvements

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

    Virtual Machines: Support in the new Azure Preview portal

    We previewed the new Azure Preview Portal at the //Build conference earlier this year.  It brings together all of your Azure resources in a single management portal, and makes it easy to build cloud applications on the Azure platform using our new Azure Resource Manager (which enables you to manage multiple Azure resources as a single application).  The initial preview of the portal supported Web Sites, SQL Databases, Storage, and Visual Studio Online resources.

    This past month we’ve extended the preview portal to also now support Virtual Machines.  You can create standalone VMs using the portal, or group multiple VMs (and PaaS services) together into a Resource Group and manage them as a single logical entity. You can use the preview portal to get deep insights into billing and monitoring of these resources, and customize the portal to view the data however you want.  If you are an existing Azure customer you can start using the new portal today:

    Below is a screen-shot of the new portal in action.  The service dashboard showing service/region health can be seen in the top-left of the portal, along with billing data about my subscriptions – both make it really easy for you to see the health and usage of your services in Azure.  In the screen-shot below I have a single VM running named “scottguvstest” – and clicking the tile for it displays a “blade” of additional details about it to the right – including integrated performance monitoring usage data:


    The initial “blade” for a VM provides a summary view of common metrics about it.  You can click any of the titles to get even more detailed information as well. 

    For example, below I’ve clicked the CPU monitoring title in my VM, which brought up a Metric blade with even more details about CPU utilization over the last few days.  I’ve then clicked the “Add Alert” command within it to setup an automatic alert that will trigger (and send an email to me) any time the CPU of the VM goes above 95%:

  • Azure Updates: Web Sites, VMs, Mobile Services, Notification Hubs, Storage, VNets, Scheduler, AutoScale and More

    It has been a really busy last 10 days for the Azure team. This blog post quickly recaps a few of the significant enhancements we’ve made.  These include:

    • Web Sites: SSL included, Traffic Manager, Java Support, Basic Tier
    • Virtual Machines: Support for Chef and Puppet extensions, Basic Pricing tier for Compute Instances
    • Virtual Network: General Availability of DynamicRouting VPN Gateways and Point-to-Site VPN
    • Mobile Services: Preview of Visual Studio support for .NET, Azure Active Directory integration and Offline support;
    • Notification Hubs: Support for Kindle Fire devices and Visual Studio Server Explorer integration
    • Autoscale: General Availability release
    • Storage: General Availability release of Read Access Geo Redundant Storage
    • Active Directory Premium: General Availability release
    • Scheduler service: General Availability release
    • Automation: Preview release of new Azure Automation service

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

  • Windows Azure: Announcing release of Windows Azure SDK 2.2 (with lots of goodies)

    Earlier today I blogged about a big update we made today to Windows Azure, and some of the great new features it provides.

    Today I’m also excited to also announce the release of the Windows Azure SDK 2.2. Today’s SDK release adds even more great features including:

    • Visual Studio 2013 Support
    • Integrated Windows Azure Sign-In support within Visual Studio
    • Remote Debugging Cloud Services with Visual Studio
    • Firewall Management support within Visual Studio for SQL Databases
    • Visual Studio 2013 RTM VM Images for MSDN Subscribers
    • Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET
    • Updated Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets and ScriptCenter

    The below post has more details on what’s available in today’s Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release.  Also head over to Channel 9 to see the new episode of the Visual Studio Toolbox show that will be available shortly, and which highlights these features in a video demonstration.

  • Announcing the Release of Visual Studio 2013 and Great Improvements to ASP.NET and Entity Framework

    Today we released VS 2013 and .NET 4.5.1. These releases include a ton of great improvements, and include some fantastic enhancements to ASP.NET and the Entity Framework.  You can download and start using them now.

    Below are details on a few of the great ASP.NET, Web Development, and Entity Framework improvements you can take advantage of with this release.  Please visit for additional release notes, documentation, and tutorials.

  • MSDN Subscribers: Windows Azure Aston Martin Sweepstakes through Sept 30th

    Earlier this summer we announced a number of great changes to Windows Azure that make it a fantastic cloud environment to use for Dev/Test scenarios.  These Dev/Test capabilities work great even for scenarios where you are building apps that ultimately will still be deployed using on-premises servers.

    Some of the dev/test changes we announced for Windows Azure included:

    • No Charge for Stopped VMs
    • Pay by the Minute Billing
    • MSDN Use Rights Support on Windows Azure
    • Heavily Discounted MSDN Dev/Test Rates – up to 97% discount off standard rates

    We also introduced a new MSDN Monthly Monetary Credit program – which allows you to use up to $150 per month of free monetary credits on Windows Azure for dev/test scenarios.  These credits renew every month – enabling you to use $1000+ of free dev/test capacity every year

  • Announcing the release of the Windows Azure SDK 2.1 for .NET

    Today we released the v2.1 update of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET.  This is a major refresh of the Windows Azure SDK and it includes some great new features and enhancements. These new capabilities include:

    • Visual Studio 2013 Preview Support: The Windows Azure SDK now supports using the new VS 2013 Preview
    • Visual Studio 2013 VM Image: Windows Azure now has a built-in VM image that you can use to host and develop with VS 2013 in the cloud
    • Visual Studio Server Explorer Enhancements: Redesigned with improved filtering and auto-loading of subscription resources
    • Virtual Machines: Start and Stop VM’s w/suspend billing directly from within Visual Studio
    • Cloud Services: New Emulator Express option with reduced footprint and Run as Normal User support
    • Service Bus: New high availability options, Notification Hub support, Improved VS tooling
    • PowerShell Automation: Lots of new PowerShell commands for automating Web Sites, Cloud Services, VMs and more

    All of these SDK enhancements are now available to start using immediately and you can download the SDK from the Windows Azure .NET Developer Center.  Visual Studio’s Team Foundation Service ( has also been updated to support today’s SDK 2.1 release, and the SDK 2.1 features can now be used with it (including with automated builds + tests).

    Below are more details on the new features and capabilities released today: