Tuesday 27 November 2007

Visual Studio 2008 Pros

Our team recently started development on a new MOSS-based shell for the five regional tourism operators in Western Australia. As per westernaustralia.com, the sites use custom branding and a number of custom web parts. Although we set out using Visual Studio 2005, a number of us in the development team are keen to move to Visual Studio 2008 now that it and .NET 3.5 have been officially released. We’re all excited about 2008 and it makes sense to migrate while the new sites are under development rather than post-release.

What follows is a list of ‘pros’ for moving forward with VS 2008.

  • MSDN licenses with Visual Studio 2008 Professional are cheap ($2000USD retail and that gives you a lot more than just Visual Studio...)

Product Maturity and Future Migration

  • Visual Studio is a mature product and moving from one mature release (2005) to another mature release (2008) is expected to be low-risk. .NET 3.5 is also an "additive" release that builds on top of the .NET 2.0 Framework so the risk to an existing code base is very low.
  • The migration path from .NET 2.0 to .NET 3.5 is clear and involves none of the issues encountered migrating an ASP.NET 1.0/1.1 project to .NET 2.0.
  • As Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 moved from a minimum requirement for .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0 between service packs, there is a small risk MOSS 2007 will take the same approach in a future release
  • Visual Studio 2003, 2005, and 2008 can be installed side-by-side if necessary

Developer Productivity, Maintenance, and Operations

  • Visual Studio 2008 and new C# language features offer productivity increases like Javascript Intellisense and debugging, enhanced CSS and master page support, automatic properties, object and collection initialisers, and extension methods. The new language features have the potential to reduce the amount of code to be written and maintained, thereby simplifying debugging, reducing the learning curve for new developers, and lowering maintenance costs
  • AJAX and .NET 3.0 SP1 are built-in to .NET 3.5, minimising installation requirements on servers and local development environments
  • .NET 3.5 includes cumulative .NET Framework patches and service packs to ensure the operating environment is up-to-date and secure
  • Visual Studio 2008 will allow us to compile existing NET 2.0 projects in the Visual Studio 2008 IDE if necessary

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