Read Feature#1 Account Management in my previous article.

Abstract

Window Layout is a new Visual Studio 2015 feature related to developer’s productivity and ease of interaction with Visual Studio 2015 IDE. In previous version of Visual Studio developers were able to arrange windows as per their need but temporarily. Visual Studio 2015 extends this experience with some productivity enhancements.

Introduction

Window Layout is directly related to the way numerous windows are arranged and laid out in a Visual Studio IDE. IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is every developer’s tool for being creative, develop new things, being logical, fix issues, build and deploy various LOB (Line of Business) solutions etc.

Why Window Layout?

Different developer personality types like the windows to be arrange in specific way. Some like certain windows in the IDE and some like other windows. Some may like Pinned windows and some Tab styled.

Hence, Window Layout enables a developer’s to arrange the windows which they want and how they want and then save the layout for later use. Saved layout can be accessed from any machine on any device and applied to the IDE as long as that layout was saved to your Account Settings via Synchronization. Read Feature#1 Account Management in my previous article

So Window Layout enables you to arrange the IDE in a way you are most comfortable with and provides ease of use and productivity.

Which Windows are those?

Well, today Visual Studio 2015 stands mature and has a lot of windows which may appear in a developer’s screen wrapped into the IDE. For instance:

  1. Solution Explorer
  2. Team Explorer
  3. Server Explorer
  4. SQL Server Object Explorer
  5. Bookmark Window
  6. Call Hierarchy
  7. Class View
  8. Code Definition Window
  9. Object Browser
  10. Error List
  11. Output
  12. Task List
  13. Toolbox
  14. Class view

This list goes on and on, so let’s see the whole list via Visual Studio 2015 View menu.


Figure-1: Visual Studio 2015 View Menu

How to Save a Window Layout

Before you start saving a Window Layout, you to create one. Follow these steps:

1- Arrange windows (all which you work with mostly) in your desired way. For example as shown below:


Figure-2: Arrange windows in Studio 2015

2- Now let’s save this Window Layout. Click on Window menu and choose “Save Window Layout”


Figure-3: Save Window Layout menus option

3- Name the Layout properly so you can recall from the name and click OK.


Figure-4: Naming a Layout

4- Now Layout is Saved and Synchronized with your Account Settings.

Reset Window Layout

Once you have saved the Layout and you want to test it, you have to reset the layout to default layout which Visual Studio IDE brings to you.

Go to Window menus and click on “Reset Window Layout”


Figure-5: Reset Window Layout menus option

Once you click on this option, Visual Studio will prompt you to confirm that you want to restore the default window layout. Click on Yes.


Figure-6: Confirmation dialog to Reset Window Layout

Now, Your IDE will be re-arranged to default layout as shown in the image below. Which could be the one you are having right now in your Visual Studio IDE.


Figure-7: Default layout after Reset of the layout

Applying Saved Window Layout

To apply your saved Window Layout, go to Window menus and click on “Apply Window Layout” and choose one of the previously saved Window Layout. I have created and named my layout as “Pinned_Windows”


Figure-8: Apply Window Layout menu option

Click on “Pinned_Windows” layout and Visual Studio will show a confirmation dialog, click OK


Figure-9: Confirmation to Apply saved Window Layout

Now your layout will change to what you have saved and IDE will appear as shown below.


Figure-10: Saved layout applied

Manage Window Layout

As you can imagine you may end up with creating and cleaning up layout as per your needs. Hence, it become very important to manage the layouts which are created and available in your Account Settings.

You can easily manage the layouts via Window menu and “Manage Window Layout” option


Figure-11: Manage Window Layouts menu option

Once you click on it, a dialog will open and allow you to Rename, Delete etc.


Figure-12: Manage Window Layouts dialog

Summary

Custom Window Layout in Visual Studio 2015 is a brand new way of arranging the windows in the IDE and saving the layout. After saving the layout, it’s also easy to manage and restore the window arrangements. This feature certainly helps the developers to feel comfortable with their window arrangements and continue to be productive across the devices using Visual Studio 2015.

 

Abstract

Account Management is related to Sign-in feature; which was first time introduced with Visual Studio 2013. This feature has been helpful by various means, but Visual Studio 2015 even extends this experience with some enhancements.

Introduction

Account Management turned out to be very helpful feature, here are some points:

  1. Associate a profile (e.g. web development, C# or general) and synchronize your settings with the development environment once you are logged in to another workstation.
  2. Ability to select graphic themes (Light, Dark, Blue) for appearance of IDE, code and code editor window.
  3. Take direct benefits of MSDN subscription associated with ID, used to Sign In to Visual Studio. For example unlocking Visual Studio or manage licenses associated with Visual Studio.
  4. Automatic login to TFS service account; if subscribed to this. TFS Service is a Microsoft cloud based version of TFS.

Synchronized Settings

Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 allows the users to choose which settings to synchronize. Let’s first understand which Visual Studio settings are candidate for Synchronization.

  • Appearance I.e. Themes, Colors and Fonts.
  • Environment Aliases
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Startup
  • Text Editor

Visual Studio 2013 Synchronized Settings will be as shown in the image below.

Visual Studio 2015 Synchronized Settings will be as shown in the image below.

 

Account Management

In Visual Studio 2013 and 2015; Account Management comes into the picture as soon as you click on “Sign In” option on the Top-Right of your Visual Studio IDE as shown below.

 Or Account Management settings can also be accessed via File –> Account Settings…

Improved Account Management with Visual Studio 2015

Microsoft has improvised Account Management experience for developers and made it better. The core change made in Visual Studio 2015 Account Management is the capability to store multiple accounts and have those listed and stored on that Account Setting page.

Immediate benefit for developers is the ability to log-in to Visual Studio with different associated accounts and work with different set of settings and projects.

Now question is what’s new in this; developers were able to this even with earlier version when it was introduced in Visual Studio 2013. Let’s see by diving deep into Account Settings.

 

Account Settings – Recap with Visual Studio 2013

When you Sign-in with Visual Studio 2013, your Account Settings page will open asking to Sign In.

After successful Sign-In Account Settings page will appear as follows.

 The very obvious issue here is related to developer productivity and a developer who switches between accounts, need to punch-in all different set of credentials repeatedly.

Enhancement to Account Settings in Visual Studio 2015

Visual Studio 2015 comes with an enhanced Account Management feature to enable developers to store multiple Sign-In credentials under Account Settings. Ideally, it would be productive to have multiple accounts registered and then switch easily from one account to another without re-punching all the credentials repeatedly.

Adding New Account

Clicking on “Add an account…” will take you to Sign In dialog as shown below.

After Successful credential validation the Account Settings page will display the newly registered account under All Accounts.

This feature enables developers to have a centralized place to manage accounts and Synchronize settings across every registered Microsoft account.

Usually a traditional class library in .NET is capable of targeting only one framework ver.But many times you may want to build a class library which can target multiple versions of framework. I.e. the objective is to achieve cross-platform development of .NET Framewok applicatioans. This became a possibility with the release of Visual Studio 2012.

Visual Studio 2012 includes a new project template named Portable Class Library, As you can see in the image below,you can use this project to build portable assemblies that work without modification on multiple platforms like: 

1-Windows 7, Windows 8

 

2-Silverlight
3-Windows Phone, and
4-Xbox 360

 

 

T

his project is pretty much like a Class Library project, except its References shows “.NET Portable Subset” instead of individual namespaces.

 

PortableClassLibrary2.jpg

 
If you are targeting only one particular framework as many enterprise applications do, then standard Class Library project is the best choice.

VS 2010 – Start Page Behaviour

December 20th, 2009 | Posted by Vidya Vrat in Visual Studio - (0 Comments)

If you have noticed whenever you open a project in Visual Studio, it also opens “Start Page” in the project.

Whereas this is not what you always wanted, sometimes you want only code files pages shown in your project. Visual Studio 2010 team realized this and brought cutomization to user when you begin with a new project.


Click on the image to see larger view

If you select both the check-boxes (as shown in the image) you will see Start Page upon loading of VS 2010 IDE, but as soon as you create a project, Start Page will not be shown at all, unlike VS 2008 or earlier versions.

If you wish to see Start Page while working on a project you can use View menu, Start Page option.

Visual Studio 2010 has new feature to invoke T-SQL Editor inside its IDE itself.

So unlike in VS 2008 and other previous Visual Studio versions where you had to open SQL Server Management Studio to run the T-SQL queries, VS 2010 provides this feature which comes handly when you need to interact with database without leaving your Visusl Studio IDE.

You can access it through Data menu by choosing Transact-SQL Editor option. It offers connectivity only with SQL Server 2008 only, in order to open T-SQL Editor.


click on the image to see in larger view, use back button to continue reading

Once the T-SQL Editor is open it also shows the SQL related toolbar on the top, as shown marked in RED color on top-left, and allows you to work with SQL 2008 Databases without leaving the VS 2010 IDE.

In any of the Visual Studio IDE, VS 2002 until VS 2008 each .cs or any other file was/is displayed in the form of a separate code-editor tab, and so at some point in time it was very common to have multiple files open in various code-editor tabs.

The problem comes when you want to close these tabs and it is and has been a troublesome process as in these versions of VS 2002 – VS 2008 there is a common closing tab on the right-hand-side so you have to go to that common closing button for each tab as shown in the screenshot below.

common closing button for all the tabs

Click on the image caption link to see larger view

In VS 2010 this behavior is changed and each tab has its own closing button, this makes it more simple and easy to use. Notice in the image below that each tab has its own closing button and there is no common closing button on the right-hand-side like in VS 2008 or any of the previous version of Visual Studio.


each tab has a closing button

Click on the image caption link to see larger view

VS 2010 – Splash Screen

November 6th, 2009 | Posted by Vidya Vrat in Visual Studio - (0 Comments)

This is how splash screen looks in Visual Studio 2010.