Be sure to check out the May issue of MSDN Magazine, which spotlights some of the powerful new capabilities highlighted at the Microsoft Build Conference last month. Our lead feature, by Mark Michaelis, explores the new features and capabilities coming in the next version of the C# programming language (C# vNext, expected to be called C# 6.0 upon release).

As Michaelis points out in his feature, C# 6.0 won’t be a revolutionary change, but it will help eliminate a host of coding annoyances and inefficiencies that can bog down your programming efforts. He goes on to single out a few of his favorite features in C# 6.0, including the $ operator (string index members), primary constructors (without field parameters), using static, and declaration expressions. Definitely give this articles a read.

Also highlighted at the Build Conference was the new Microsoft Application Insights facility in Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online. Application Insights is a set of services that provide actionable insight into a production application and integrates that data back into the development tools and process. The tool is great for understanding application health and responsiveness, feature effectiveness, and usage patterns. Charles Sterling’s feature Next-Generation Development with Application Insights dives into this new facility, which was unveiled at the Visual Studio 2013 launch late last year.

Also notable in the May issue is Stephen Cleary’s closing installment in his excellent series on combining the async and await keywords with the tried-and-true MVVM pattern. This month Cleary explores the services layer and addresses asynchronous services. I also encourage you to check out the other two features in the series—the April issue feature on asyc implementation of ICommand, and the March feature on data binding to an asynchronous operation.

Rounding out the May issue are two more features. Bill Heys and the ALM Rangers team offer a look at feature toggles as an alternative to branching for parallel, concurrent feature development. Also known as feature flags or feature switches, feature toggles lets you check new features in to the main branch so they can be continuously integrated and tested at build time. Finally, Brannon King’s “Dangers of Violating SOLID Principles in C#” looks at the time-worn principles of SOLID-- Single responsibility, Open for extension and closed for modification, Liskov substitution, Interface segregation, and Dependency injection—from a whole new angle.

Don’t miss out on our May issue columns, either. Charles Petzold leads the charge this issue, with his DirectX column exploring how to make 2D graphical objects seem to acquire depth and body and float in 3D space. Petzold has been chipping away at Direct2D and now Direct3D in recent months, introducing the powerful DirectX graphics subsystem to developers who might otherwise hesitate to wade into the deep water. Don’t miss it!