Why Visual Studio 2015 has changed my life

Published on July 24, 2015 in Visual Studio · Read time 3 minutes

I’ve been using Visual Studio on an almost daily basis since 2002 . Before that, my development tool of choice was Visual Basic 6 (Visual Studio 6). The shift between those two versions felt like using a whole new product at the time. Since then, changes to Visual Studio have been incremental. Microsoft have released a new version every 2-3 years. Visual Studio 2015, however, feels like another significant paradigm shift. The point of this post is not to outline all the shiny new features, there are official blog posts for that . No. I wanted to tell you how the changes to Visual Studio have directly changed the way I work on a day to day basis. Visual Studio Tasks (Task Runner Explorer) The wider web development community has been using task runners, GruntJS and more recently GulpJS, for at least the last few years. On every project I work on these days, I use TypeScript and SASS. Web essentials previously was responsible for compiling my SASS files, as well as providing linting for both SASS and TypeScript. With the 2015 release, this functionality has been removed. There are a bunch of Mads Kristensen extensions on Visual Studio Gallery that you can install that will add…

Publish your website to an IIS staging environment using Microsoft Web Deploy

Published on February 08, 2014 in Visual Studio · Read time 5 minutes

One of the simplest and quickest ways to publish your website to a staging environment is, at least in my opinion, using Microsoft Web Deploy . This post is about how you approach this, a future article will discuss why you probably shouldn’t do this . Key points; The remote server should be running Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 or later. You can use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer to install all the extra bits you need to make this work. You need to set appropriate permissions to allow remote publishing. Windows Server 2012 R2 On my local machine, for testing purposes, I have a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine which is bare bones configured. The first thing you need to do is install IIS. You can do this using the Server Manager; Open the Server Manager > click Add roles and features > select Role-based or feature-based installation > select the target server > and finally, select Web Server (IIS) and Windows Deployment Services . Feel free to drill into each item and ensure you have the following selected (as well as whatever the defaults are); Basic Authentication (very important) ASP .NET 3.5 / 4.5 .NET Extensibility 3.5 / 4.5 IIS Management…

Redefine where NuGet packages get installed

Published on July 31, 2013 in Visual Studio · Read time 1 minutes

If, like me, you are working on multiple projects that reference the same packages (StructureMap is a great example) you may have noticed that each project has its own version of each package. In this bite sized post, we will look at how to redefine where your packages get installed. Root source control folder Here was my root source control folder before making any changes. When I dive into each folder, I see a packages folder, which contains each of my packages. Generally I use the same packages across multiple projects. What I would like is to be able to create a folder at the root level, called Library and place all my packages in there. Achieving this takes a bit of effort at first, but will pay off in no time. Go ahead and create the Library folder at the root level. Then for each project, go into the project folder and add a new file called NuGet.config . The contents of NuGet.config should match as follows; Your project folder should now look like this; The painful bit Now to finish the job, you must do the following for each project; Open the project Uninstall all the packages (ensuring all the references are removed) Delete the bin directory Delete the original…

Making NuGet work for your company

Published on July 19, 2013 in Visual Studio · Read time 7 minutes

NuGet is a package manager tool for the .NET Framework. NuGet is free, open source, and is supported by Microsoft Visual Studio, as well as several other environments. NuGet allows you to add packages to your projects, either from the public package gallery or from your own private package gallery. The latter is, in my opinion at least, somewhat under-utilised and misunderstood in the business world. This post aims to try to shed some light on how NuGet can work for your company. Public Gallery If you haven’t used NuGet before, you really are missing a trick. NuGet allows you to extend the functionality of your application by adding third party code/tools to your projects. Most of the projects hosted on the NuGet public gallery are free (and yes, commercial free!), and open source. You can access NuGet in two ways, either visually using the Library Package Manager or through the Package Manager Console window. To open the Library Package Manager, click Tools > Library Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solution… To install a package, simply click it and click Install. You can easily search for packages using the search field (top right). There are literally thousands of…