Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 Release Notes

Last Update: 10/19/2017

Developer Community | System Requirements | Compatibility | Distributable Code | License Terms | Blogs | Known Issues


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In this article, you will find information regarding the current release for Visual Studio 2017. Click the button to download the latest version.

For help with installation, please refer to our installation and offline installation documents.

Feedback

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Release History

You can learn more about how we ship our releases and how to identify different versions in the Visual Studio 2017 Release Rhythm document.

Known Issues

Please refer to the Known Issues section.


Release Date: October 19, 2017 - Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4.1

Top Issues Fixed in this Release

These are the customer-reported issues addressed in this version:


Release Date: October 9, 2017 - Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4.0

Summary: What's New in this Release


Top Issues Fixed in this Release

The Developer Community spoke and we listened. This list provides the 10 highest voted issues fixed in this release.
Dev Community Votes   Deleting a file from the Solution Explorer doesn't delete the actual file.
Dev Community Votes   Copy/Paste causes VS to hang with a popup "formatting text".
Dev Community Votes   VS2017 15.3 freezes in debug when Threads window is open.
Dev Community Votes   Visual Studio freezes and shows a busy notification during and after debug session.
Dev Community Votes   Auto-complete adds parentheses at the wrong place.
Dev Community Votes   Open same file twice in IDE results in a pop-up dialog with message "This document is opened by another project".
Dev Community Votes   Test Explorer forgets settings for Default Process Architecture and Keep Test Execution Engine Running.
Dev Community Votes   Visual Studio 2017 update install failed due to corrupted file.
Dev Community Votes   Browse online extensions throws "The magic number in the GZip header is not correct." error.
Dev Community Votes   Solution build fails with docker compose error.

The Developer Community Portal See customer-reported issues fixed in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4.


Details: What's New in this Release

Visual Studio Improvements

Setup and Installer

  • We added a launch banner in the installer to signal Visual Studio has been successfully installed (Figure 1).

Successful installation with new launch banner

(Figure 1) Successful installation with new launch banner

  • The installer now uses auto-proxy detection for downloads.
  • If a non-critical component (one that doesn't directly impede Visual Studio IDE) fails, the installer now displays a warning instead of a failure. The change makes it clearer that Visual Studio is okay to use even though there are issues you need to address and correct.
  • Creating an offline layout uses shorter paths that allow administrators to host offline installs in deeper network folder hierarchies.
  • We display a message at the end of your install when an individual package install fails or you have download issues (Figure 2). This message provides you with links to the Developer Community to get more help so that you can address issues that may be affecting your computer’s ability to install Visual Studio in its entirety.

Error dialog with potential solutions

(Figure 2) Error dialog with potential solutions

  • We resolved an issue where the installer was incorrectly setting the installed date/time in Add or Remove Programs after updating Visual Studio.

Editor

  • We fixed a screen reader problem where the Freedom Scientific’s JAWS screen reader could not use IntelliSense in the Visual Studio editor.
  • We added the popular Productivity Power Tools navigation feature Control Click Go To Definition to the core Visual Studio product.
    • For supported languages (currently C#, VB and Python, with more languages coming in future releases), holding down the Ctrl key will allow you to click on a symbol in the Visual Studio editor and navigate to its definition.
    • If you prefer to keep the older Ctrl+Click word selection behavior, you can control the feature’s key usage via Tools > Options > Text Editor > General > Enable mouse click to perform Go To Definition, which lets you select other modifier keys, or turn off the feature if you wish.

Extensibility

We fixed a bug where installed extensions did not display update notifications in Visual Studio and also were not automatically updated.

Lightweight Solution Load

We resolved a bug that caused build failures when a solution was opened with Lightweight Solution Load enabled.

Live Unit Testing

  • Live Unit Testing provides support for the three popular unit-testing frameworks: xUnit, NUnit, and both MSTest version 1 and MSTest version 2.
  • If you have not enabled Live Unit Testing, Visual Studio IDE displays a gold bar when you open a solution with existing unit tests. The gold bar provides you with more information about the feature, how to enable it, and the required prerequisites.
  • The Task Status center shows background processing notifications so you can easily address key problems while using Live Unit Testing.
  • We changed the name on the right click gesture names for inclusion/exclusion from Live Test Set – Include/Exclude to Live Unit Testing Include/Exclude. We also removed the Reset clean from the menu bar and moved it under Tools/Options/Delete persisted data.
  • We made several fixes so your system can better detect when a project has not loaded and avoid a crash in your Live Unit Testing. We added build performance improvements that avoid reevaluation of MSBuild projects when your system knows nothing has changed in the project file.

Tools for Universal Windows Platform Development

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 release brings you many updates to the Universal Windows Platform development tools. Read below to see what's new!

Windows Fall Creators Update Support

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 release brings first class support for developers targeting the Windows Fall Creators Update SDK. When you install the Universal Windows Platform Development workload with Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4, you will automatically get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK.

Updated XAML Designer for UWP Projects Targeting the Windows Fall Creators Update SDK

We have made significant updates to the XAML designer for UWP projects targeting the Windows Fall Creators Update SDK, prioritizing performance and reliability improvements, as well as the ability to render Fluent design artifacts. Please read the Visual Studio update to the XMAL Designer blog post for more details.

Note: The XAML Designer experience will be the same unless you are building a UWP application targeting the Windows Fall Creators Update.

XAML Edit & Continue Improvements

You can now edit or remove XAML resources with XAML Edit & Continue. In addition, you can also add ControlTemplates. To leverage these new features, make sure you are targeting the Windows Fall Creators Update SDK and running the application with the latest Fall Creators Update to Windows applied.

.NET Standard 2.0 Support

The Windows Fall Creators Update brings support for .NET Standard 2.0 to UWP development. In order to leverage the new APIs with .NET Standard 2.0, you need to set the minimum version target of your application to the Windows Fall Creators Update SDK. You will then have the ability to reference .NET Standard 2.0 NuGet packages, class libraries, and APIs directly from your UWP application.

Note that some libraries that support .NET Standard 2.0 may not work correctly or may require additional steps to work with UWP applications. In particular this can be the case for UWP applications compiled with .NET Native, which has known limitations with reflection. If you find this during testing we recommend you contact the library owner and ask for possible workarounds or fixes. One example of this is the Entity Framework Core 2.0 NuGet package, which currently has a few known issues with UWP that will be fixed in an upcoming patch release (for more information see the documentation on .NET implementations supported by EF Core).

Windows Application Packaging Project

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 release brings in new project templates to help you package any Windows projects into an .appx container, allowing for modern distribution or submission to the Windows Store.

To get started with the Windows Application Packaging Project, go to File > New > Project and select the new Windows Application Packaging Project template under the Visual C# > Windows Universal node (Figure 3).

Windows Application Packaging Project

(Figure 3) Windows Application Packaging Project

In the new project, you can add a reference to your existing Windows projects, such as WPF, WinForms, or MFC by right clicking on the Applications node in the Solution Explorer and selecting Add Reference. You then have many of the existing UWP tools that you are used to, such as packaging, manifest editing, and Store association.

Web Development Tools

  • .NET Core 2.0 is available during installation and is included by default for Web Development, and .NET Core Workloads.
  • Razor pages scaffolding is now supported.
  • You can publish to container registries, including Azure Container Registry, and Docker Hub.
  • Azure Functions tools are included in the Azure workload.
  • When publishing an Azure Web Job, you can publish as a triggered web job using cron expressions.

Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin

Xamarin Live enables developers to continuously deploy, test, and debug their apps, directly on iOS and Android devices (Figure 4). After downloading the Xamarin Live Player - available in the App Store or on Google Play - you can pair your device with Visual Studio and revolutionize the way you build mobile apps. This functionality is now included in Visual Studio and can be enabled by going to Tools > Options > Xamarin > Other > Enable Xamarin Live Player.

Animation of the Xamarin Live Player pair, deployment, and live edit modes.

(Figure 4) Animation of the Xamarin Live Player pair, deployment, and live edit modes

Visit the Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin release notes for a complete list of changes in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4.

Visual Studio Tools for CMake

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 brings the folowing improvements to CMake:

  • The version of CMake included with the Visual Studio Tools for CMake has been upgraded to version 3.9.
  • Folders containing multiple, independent CMakeLists are now supported.

For more info check out what's new in CMake in 15.4.

Linux C++ Improvements

You can now target Linux from your CMake projects. This enables you to work on your existing code base that uses CMake as your build solution without having to convert it to a VS project. If your code base is cross-platform you can target both Windows and Linux from within Visual Studio. For more information, see the Visual C++ for Linux Development with CMake blog post.

Visual Studio Tools for Unity Improvements

  • We improved support for the Experimental .NET 4.6 option in Unity 2017.1.
    • You have added support for the Set Instruction Pointer feature under the new runtime.
  • We provide support for user defined assemblies (assembly.json) in Unity 2017.2.
  • We made general improvements in Expression Evaluation while debugging.

Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

The Android SDK is now being installed to a private location under %programdata%. This will allow users to manage their shared SDK installation elsewhere without affecting any VS-TACO scenarios.

R Tools for Visual Studio

Support for RMarkdown:

  • Live editing of RMarkdown files
  • R code formatting supported within code blocks
  • Smart indent in R code blocks
  • Brace matching and code completion

Remote Connectivity:

  • Windows Remote R support was added in the previous release
  • Linux connectivity is now available as well

General Improvements:

  • Roxygen colorization and Intellisense
  • R linting (similar to LintR)
  • R Plot history multi-select
  • Improved smart indent in multiline expressions including dplyr pipe
  • Accessible UI including viewers and grid

Blogs

Developer Tools Blogs Take advantage of the insights and recommendations available in the Developer Tools Blogs site.

The Developer Tools Blogs keep you up-to-date on all new releases and include deep dive posts on a broad range of features. For insights into the .NET world, check out the DotNet Blog. You can find detailed expertise in each language area team blog — C#, VB, C++ and, F# — to name a few.


Known Issues

Visual Studio 2017 Known Issues See all existing known issues and available workarounds in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4.

We are fully committed to listening to your feedback. Visit the Developer Community site to find the latest issues, log new issues, and upvote existing issues.


Visual Studio 2017 Release Notes History

Visual Studio 2017 Preview Release Notes

The Developer Community Portal See customer-reported issues fixed in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Release Notes

The Developer Community Portal See customer-reported issues fixed in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2 Release Notes

The Developer Community Portal See customer-reported issues fixed in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.1 Release Notes

The Developer Community Portal See customer-reported issues fixed in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.1.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.0 Release Notes

The Developer Community Portal See customer-reported issues fixed in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.0.


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