Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 is the centerpiece of a suite of products for developing, debugging, and deploying managed applications from Microsoft. Visual Studio 2005 is the latest evolution of Visual Studio and includes several enhancements that improve developer productivity, effectiveness, and collaboration. Code snippets, class diagrams, IDE Navigator, MSBuild, and ClickOnce are some of the noteworthy additions to Visual Studio. Visual Class 2005 also has several new debugging features, which are discussed in Chapter 12, "Debugging with Visual Studio 2005." Tools for developers collaborating on software systems have been enriched with introduction of Visual Studio Team System. Working with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System from Microsoft Press and authored by Richard Hundhausen is a great resource on Visual 2005 Team System. Visual Studio 2005 is a worthy successor to a strong legacy of Visual Studio products.
Visual Studio 2005 has additional build and deployment options. The Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) is a new build environment, which is integrated into Visual Studio 2005, but also available separately. MSBuild projects are XML files that choreograph the build process of an application. ClickOnce Deployment deploys a desktop application from a centralized server and has several benefits when compared with traditional Windows Installer technology, such as self-updating. It is the perfect merger of desktop and Web technology, which provides hands-free distribution of desktop applications. Finally, Windows Installer technology remains available and is improved with the introduction of Microsoft Installer 2.0.
Visual Studio 2005 is more online-enabled than before. Developers can easily participate in the developer community, submit questions to Microsoft, and visit a variety of online resources. In addition, Help is now online-enabled.
With the exception of debugging, this chapter demonstrates many of the new features of Visual Studio 2005.