Friday, March 18, 2011

Visual Studio Setup project is on its last breath!


I was reading Buck Hodges’ blog this morning and came across an interesting piece of information: The age old Visual Studio setup project (vdproj) is coming to an end. After Visual Studio 2010 it will no longer be supported.

Personally I’ve been expecting that something would be happening around the installer experience in Visual Studio for a while now. There was quite a bit of excitement about the inclusion of WiX in VS2010. But alas, this was not to be.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have worked with WiX for a while now and it is immensely powerful. In fact a number of Microsoft’s applications are shipped using a WiX based installer, but there is nothing quite like the Visual Studio setup wizard for creating a quick and easy installer for the small, simple apps. I suppose this is where the “InstallShield 2010 Limited Edition” project support in VS2010 comes from (I must admit though, I have not really taken a good hard look at the InstallShield project yet).

I also need to say that some of the changes in WiX 3.5 (including assembly harvesting) do make it easier to deploy large projects, and you have some free, and commercial, WiX editors (I use WiXEdit) to help out.

It will be interesting to see how the support for WiX grows after the default Visual Studio setup project dies. I would recommend that now is a good time to  start looking closer at the installation technology that you are going to be choosing going forward (Microsoft has put up a nice comparison between the Visual Studio Setup, InstallShield and WiX as a guide).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Upgrade Visual SourceSafe today!


If you do not already know Visual SourceSafe’s mainstream support is coming to an end July 2012. This means that if you are still using SourceSafe after this date and you have a serious problem, too bad! (unless you are willing to pay for the extended support.)

So if you have not already though about upgrading, it is probably advisable to start looking at options.

Over the last couple of week I’ve noticed a bigger push from Microsoft to upgrade with pricing specials and more information around migrating to Team Foundation Server 2010 (being the de-facto Microsoft upgrade path).

If you have not yet looked at your options, do take a look at the following resources:

That said, if you happen to be in South Africa and would like more information or advice feel free to give us a shout

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 released


Very unceremoniously Microsoft has announced that the Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 will be available today (8th March ) for download for MSDN Subscribers, and will be generally available for download on March 10th, 2011.

This brings with it some very exiting bits (in addition to fixing some very annoying bugs). Some of my personnel favourites include:

  1. IIS Express Support (still need to install it separately though)
  2. Silverlight 4 tools are included
  3. Performance wizard for Silverlight (to profile Silverlight apps)
  4. Unit Testing under .Net 3.5 (previously they all ran under .Net 4)
  5. Initial HTML 5 support

On TFS SP1 most of the changes were focussed to allow the Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack, in addition to a fairly large number of bug fixes outlined here by Brian Harry.

Oh and while we’re at it, don't forget about the Team Foundation 2010 Power Tools March 2011 release Smile