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With Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft started the trend of releasing Visual Studio Ultimate Feature Packs. With the upcoming release of Visual Studio 11, Microsoft intends to continue this trend. Today, Microsoft’s Jason Zander announced this at the DevConnections conference in Las Vegas. Brian Harry, also from Microsoft, announced similar information at VSLive! at the same time.
More specifically, he said the first Feature pack would be released soon after the release of Visual Studio 11, which is expected around the release of Windows 8. These feature packs are not simply Service Packs with bug fixes and slight enhancements, but rather are releases of functionality to help developers. There were several Feature Packs released for Visual Studio 2010. These included:
- Visual Studio 2010 Load Test Feature Pack (Visual Studio Ultimate and MSDN Subscribers)
- Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management Feature Pack
- Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 (MSDN Subscribers) – Code visualization and modeling.
Zander announced that the first Feature Pack would target Visual Studio Ultimate. It will include functionality in two core areas. The first being improvements with IntelliTrace, and the second being with SharePoint Quality of Service testing scenarios. Both of these are challenges that Microsoft has seen between the operations teams and developers.
A lot of features are being added to Visual Studio 11. With the Feature Pack, new capabilities are being added to customize the collection of trace data. In talking to Microsoft’s Brian Harry, he stated that the updates will allow you to not only dynamically work with the tracing, but you will also be able to configure the level of data collection you want within sections of your application. Currently, data collection is more of an “on or off” type of system. With this Feature Pack, you’ll get the ability to throttle up and down the amount of data within areas of your application. This means you’ll be able to focus where you collect the data, whether at a class level, an ASP.NET page, or even a specific function. Equally valuable is the ability to know work with IntelliTrace without needing to start or stop Visual Studio in many cases.