Visual Studio 2010, be it the Ultimate, (free) Web Developer Express or other version, is not fully optimized for front-end web development out of the box. But don’t let the default VS2010 install fool you. There is a combination of community effort and tooling enhancements by Microsoft that make VS2010 play nicer to webdevs.
In this post you can find a collection of my favorite extensions and tools to make Visual Studio handy for web devs. I’m focusing on the tools I have used and installed myself, knowing that there are others out there. Do you have any additions for the list? Please let me know so I can add them here!
Most of the extensions I discuss can be installed using the Extension Manager (Tools > Extension Manager). You can also download extensions through the Visual Studio Gallery.
Download Web Standards Update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 SP1
More info at Mads Kristensen’s blog: Web Standards Update - behind the scenes
Download JScript Editor Extensions
(outlining functions example in some jQuery code)
After installing JScript Editor Extensions you’ll get the option to Enable/Disable four different extensions: Brace Matching, JScript Intellisense <Para>, Outlining and Word Highlighter. Knowing that sometimes installing a specific extension conflicts with one of these it’s a nice option.
Make sure you check out the Channel9 video for a live demo of the extensions.
Download the Mindscape Web Workbench.
Scott Hanselman has a great (as always) post on this new “Mindscape Web Workbench” extension for Visual Studio, adding support for CoffeeScript, SAAS and LESS. Too many new extensions for you? Don’t worry if you haven’t been doing front-end web dev lately it’s normal they sound crazy.
(//note there is a lot wrong with this little script, although it does run it’s just for demo)
You can also try the online version at http://jslint.com
Getting IntelliSense support for jQuery in your ASP.NET MVC 3 projects is already be happening. The default template contains the -.vsdoc.js files which have been commented for Visual Studio IntelliSense. If you want to add this support to another project just install the NuGet package “jQuery.vsdoc”, however the vsdoc files are now included in the default jQuery package so you should get them by default (jQuery version 1.6 and up).
Download Image Optimizer
A nice little extension integrated into Vial Studio, which uses SmushIt and PunyPNG for optimizing the images. Run it on a folder of images in Visual Studio to have all the images optimized. Gains of 15% to 40% are not unusual with some files I tried out.
As I was working on this post a tweet by @maartenballiauw got my attention:
So I did just that in the Visual Studio (NuGet) Package Manager console for an ASP.NET MVC3 project. This package adds support to MVC EditorTemplates for new HTML5 input types such as E-mail, Tel and URL. Technically not a tool for my list but interesting to mention here anyway.
So that’s it for my current list. Don’t forget, add your favorite tools to the list by leaving a comment.
There is a free extension for Visual Studio available for a few months already, which I only now found out through a newly released video on Channel9: Visual Studio Toolbox: JScript Editor Extensions.
>> Download the extension Watch the Channel9 video
>> Download the extension Watch the Channel9 video
Note: if you’re looking for more or extending these extensions you can start by viewing or downloading the source code from these extensions from Codeplex.
Yesterday, the Windows Phone Developer blog, together with Nitobi, announced the availability of a PhoneGap beta version supporting Windows Phone Mango. This new option to build applications targeting Windows Phone gives more choices to developers. In particular, Web developers will be able to easily leverage their HTML5 skills to target Windows Phone.
The beta version of the PhoneGap libraries can be downloaded from:
Windows Phone SDK 7.1 RC direct download links:
Windows Phone SDK 7.1 RC documentation
Stay tuned, we will provide updates and more extensive demos as progress is made. With Windows Phone Mango Released to Manufacturing and developer tools hitting “Release Candidate”, it’s the perfect time to start testing, give feedback and join the PhoneGap open source project.
Mango is here! Yesterday Microsoft released Windows Phone 7.5 to the public. As a developer, get ready for new opportunities and some announcements around Windows Phone events in Belgium.
Below you can find a cross-posting from my colleague David Hernie’s blog:
What’s hot for Belgian users?
What’s hot for Belgian developers?
First, we’ve simplified payout and taxes administration by eliminating the need to provide an ITIN on your W-8 to take advantage of a reduced withholding rate. A blog post will follow with the new simplified procedure and we will organize a webcast for your Q&A in November.. Stay tune #wp7be or #wp7dev or follow David
Then, Microsoft Advertising solution for Windows Phone is now available in Belgium. It means MORE Windows Phone developers can make MORE money from in-app advertising and get paid locally. Want to know how to do it – Follow our WP7 technical training: Oct 25-26 in French at the MIC Mons or Nov 9- 10 in English at the MIC Brussels – Check here for all WP7 technical training organized in Belgium
Moreover, you can now publish your Mango apps. One remark – your existing Windows Phone apps are not automatically available for the Mango Marketplace. You need to manually resubmit your app for Mango and NL market
What should you do?
Last point, save the date!
Oct 25- 26 (French version) Nov 9-10 (English version)- Were organizing 2 deep development technical trainings. No marketing stuff, just 2 days to learn how to develop, publish and promote your Windows Phone 7 Apps. We will lend you phones to test your development, help you to promote your app, understand concept of the Live tiles – Cloud integration or how to use the Advertising SDK and get more revenue. It’s free – all details are here : WP7 technical training organized in Belgium
Nov 3 – We’re organizing a big event in Belgium. “The UX tour” all you want to know about Design, HTML5, Web & Phone with international speakers and latest technology trends. Stay tuned, more info is coming..
Register now for the following MSDN Webcasts:
27 SEP 2011
Overview of SharePoint 2010 as a Business Intelligence platform Timing 14:00 – 15:30 | Type Live Webcast | Language English
Abstract In this session, Serge Luca (SharePoint MVP, Devoteam) and Isabelle Van Campenhoudt (Data Branch Manager, ICT7) will give you an overview of the Business Intelligence features of SharePoint 2010. The following technologies will be illustrated :
Attend this webcast and get a FREE MSDN & TechNet Coffee Cup!
Speakers Serge Luca & Isabelle Van Campenhoudt
11 OCT 2011
Abstract Including a Bing Maps control inside your Windows Phone application is a first step. Adding extra functionalities generally comes next. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate how to work with Bing Maps, add push pins, calculate and display a route … Attend this webcast and get a FREE MSDN & TechNet Coffee Cup! Speaker Christophe Peerens
The Microsoft Community in Belgium is also organizing a number of interesting events in the next few months. Our selection:
Keep an eye on our local MSDN events page (Dutch | French) to get an overview of all planned Microsoft – or community run events for developers (bookmark tip!).
We have arrived in California to attend the BUILD windows conference starting Tuesday. From the Belgian Microsoft team we have Luc Van de Velde, Bart Vande Ghinste, Christof and myself on site. The waiting is hard but we keep ourselves busy taking in some sun to get over the jetlag on Sunday.
Enjoy the pics
Some healthy exercise before a week of sessions at the convention center.
(Photostitch of Newport Beach, done with Luc’s Windows Phone 7 – click on the picture for a higher res one)
And to finish off, a last one of the sunset.
Another day closer to BUILD! Tomorrow is registration and some prep before the conference kickoff on Tuesday.
Last week, Microsoft released the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android while at the same time providing an update release for the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS (iPhone & iPad). The purpose of these toolkits is to make it easier for mobile device developers – across multiple device platforms – to build applications that use Windows Azure to run back-end services that power their device experiences. The toolkits include native libraries; project templates, sample applications, and documentation that make it easy for developers quickly get started build device applications that use Windows Azure.
Get the toolkits here: Windows Phone | iOS (iPhone & iPad) |Android
Looking for examples?
We shipped the full source code of BabelCam, which is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. This mobile application allows you to take a picture of text and turn it into characters while letting you translate into a different language at the same time – great for trying to understand foreign restaurant menus! BabelCam was initially created as a sample for a presentation at MIX 11. Iit is a good demo is that it uses a number of services, including Windows Azure web and worker roles, Windows Azure storage (blobs, tables, and queues), the Microsoft Push Notification Service, Project Hawaii’s OCR Service, and the Bing Translator.
For more details, please refer to the following posts:
A new release of the Windows Azure SDK 1.5 and Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, and Service Management Features are now available. You can download the tools here using the Web Platform Installer. All three of these releases are aimed at simplifying development, deployment, and management on the Windows Azure platform.
The Windows Azure SDK includes the following new features:
Also available are several new enhancements in Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio for developing & deploying cloud applications. These enhancements include:
>> Read the full announcement on the Windows Azure team blog here.
You can start building your application on it in 3 simple and easy to do steps:
1. Download the Tools: Get Visual Studio Express and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio to start building and debugging applications for the Windows Azure Platform http://tinyurl.com/learnaboutazure. If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly from http://tinyurl.com/toolsforazure. 2. Setup an Account: Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric. You can learn more about the accounts http://tinyurl.com/getazureaccount or you can sign up directly and get the trial http://tinyurl.com/getazurefreetrial. 3. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform: First learn how to create a simple ASP.NET application in Visual Studio for Windows Azure on your local machine http://tinyurl.com/localazureapplication. Once successfully created, learn how to deploy this application on the Windows Azure Platform http://tinyurl.com/deployazureapplication.
1. Download the Tools:
Get Visual Studio Express and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio to start building and debugging applications for the Windows Azure Platform http://tinyurl.com/learnaboutazure. If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly from http://tinyurl.com/toolsforazure.
2. Setup an Account:
Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric. You can learn more about the accounts http://tinyurl.com/getazureaccount or you can sign up directly and get the trial http://tinyurl.com/getazurefreetrial.
3. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:
First learn how to create a simple ASP.NET application in Visual Studio for Windows Azure on your local machine http://tinyurl.com/localazureapplication. Once successfully created, learn how to deploy this application on the Windows Azure Platform http://tinyurl.com/deployazureapplication.
When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first application on the Windows Azure Platform!