Visual Studio 2017 Resources

Visual Studio 2017 was launched March 7, 2017 and this live event was streamed around the world. Excitement for VS 2017 is growing and the number of new changes in the IDE is mind-boggling. To help with these changes, Microsoft has provided a few new resources to help developers.

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Visual Studio Marketplace replaces Visual Studio Gallery


CC 2.0 image courtesy Maciej Latałło on Flickr

The destination for Visual Studio extensions (an installable unit that brings additional features to Visual Studio) has been the Visual Studio Gallery for a very long time. However, over the past few months, this has changed as the Visual Studio Marketplace has become the new home of every extension for the entire Visual Studio Product Family.

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Checking compatibility with .NET Portability Analyzer

This article is also available on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki.

With multiple project types now available in Visual Studio, it can sometimes get confusing which flavours of .NET work with which frameworks. This can now be compounded with .NET Core. Thus, creating code that is reusable means you need to take all factors into consideration so you can get maximum portability. Luckily, there is a tool that can help you port your .NET projects.

The Microsoft .NET Portability Analyzer is a free Visual Studio Add-in that offers a detailed report on the flexibility of your code. The report gives you an idea of how much work you need to do to make your application, library or project workable on other platforms, including .NET Core.

In this article, we will see how to install, set up and run the tool so we can see the detailed report it generates.

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Visual Studio’s Most Recently Used List

This article is also available on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki.

When presenting with Visual Studio at a conference, or if you want to share something with a client, you might not want to show all of your previous projects. To remedy this, Microsoft allows you to collapse and extend your Most Recently Used (MRU) list within Visual Studio 2015.

The default number of projects and files shown in Visual Studio 2015 is 10. If you are working on a large project, you can extend this number and if you want to see a smaller number of files, you can reduce it. As well, if you are presenting you can also set the number to zero to show no earlier items.

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Create GUID Tool in Visual Studio

This article is also available on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki.

A globally unique identifier or GUID is an id that is exclusive throughout the globe. They are usually 128 bits long and are shown in hexadecimal groups separated by hyphens.

Within Visual Studio there exists a standalone tool (guidgen.exe) that allows developers to create GUIDs in a specific format. Creating GUIDs in code is easy enough but perhaps you need to generate one (for a constant or while unit testing) without running your code. This tool can help with that.

Creating GUIDs

  1. To find the tool, open Visual Studio and click Tools > Create GUID.GUID_01
  2. The Create GUID window will appear.
  3. There are seven different GUID formats to choose from. As you move through the types, the Result window will display what the GUID value will look like.
  4. If you want a different GUID, click the New GUID button.
  5. Once you are happy with your result, click the Copy button to save it to the Clipboard. You can then paste it to your desired locale.
  6. Click Exit to close the dialog window.


If the tool does not appear under the Tools menu, click Tools > External Tools (see top image). It may be that the tool was not registered correctly within the IDE. Using the External Tools window, we can add a reference to guidgen.exe.

  1. Click the Add button. A new tool will be added to the Menu contents.
  2. Fill in the fields like so:
    • Enter a Title of Create &GUID. The ampersand will create a hotkey using the letter G.
    • For the Command field, browse to the Tools folder of your current Visual Studio install and find guidgen.exe. This location will typically be %Installation Path%\Microsoft Visual Studio {Version Number}\Common7\Tools\guidgen.exe. For Visual Studio 2015, the full path will look like this: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\Tools. NOTE: You can also double click the exe here to run it. You will see the same Create GUID UI as above.
    • For the Initial directory, use the guidgen.exe root folder or %Installation Path%\Microsoft Visual Studio {Version Number}\Common7\Tools\
  3. When you are done, your entry should look something like this:GUID_03
  4. Click OK.
  5. Your tool should now appear in the Tools menu.

See Also

CloudDevelop and DetroitDevDay Wrap-Ups

Over the past month I have spoken at two conferences in the United States. While I have presented talks there before, it seemed that fate wanted me in the United States twice within a one-month span.

The first place I presented was Cloud Develop 2015 in Columbus, OH on Friday October 23, 2015. This conference targets developers who work with the cloud and who want to know more about it. I presented my talk on Building High-Performance Software with Application Insights to a room of about 30 people. There were about two hundred attendees and the conference organizers actually sold all of their available tickets. Run by Michael S. Collier and his team, the one-day event was held in the Ohio Union on the beautiful campus of Ohio State University.

WP_20151023_001    WP_20151023_002

The second talk was at DetroitDevDay in Detroit, MI on Saturday November 14, 2015. This one is more of a polyglot conference where computer professionals of all backgrounds can come and learn about all types of technologies. I presented the talk Analyze Your Code With Visual Studio 2015 Diagnostic Tools to about 40 people. There were about 150 attendees at this one-day conference. It is run by Onorio Catenacci and his team of dedicated volunteers. The venue for the event was Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit and it was spectacular. It had amazing views of the Detroit River and nearby Windsor, ON.


The slide decks for both talks are on my SlideShare profile.

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Microsoft Technical Guru – September 2015

The Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards! (September 2015) have been announced and for the seventh straight month I was selected as a Technical Guru.

One article was recognized with a silver medal in the Visual C# Technical Guru category:

The Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards! (September 2015)

while another won the gold in the Wiki and Portals Technical Guru area:

The Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards! (September 2015)

This win brings my total number of TechNet Guru medals to 11 including three gold medals.

Thanks to the judges for all their hard work and kind comments. And thank you to everyone at TechNet Wiki who makes this competition possible.

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