Visual Studio 2013 New IDE Features

Disclaimer : A reader over at Reddit commented that I didn’t mention which edition of Visual Studio I was basing this article on as some of the features are not available on certain editions of the tools. This article is based on Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Edition which I use via my companies MSDN subscription.

Now that Visual Studio 2013 has been released and I have had a little play around with it, I thought I would write about some of my favorite new IDE features. Microsoft has added in some useful features that will really make using the IDE a richer experience.

As a larger package Microsoft has packed a lot into Visual Studio 2013. For a more complete look at the new features in this development environment you can view the official release notes at MSDN.

Visual Studio 2013 Integrated Development Environment
Visual Studio 2013 Integrated Development Environment

The new IDE features I want to cover are:

    • Code Preview Scroll Bar
    • Peek Definition
    • Code Lenses
    • Test Explorer – Sort by Class
    • Sign in to Visual Studio

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    Composing Services into Layers

    In this article I want to discuss a web services architecture that I have worked with over the last 7 years in a couple of different companies. The architecture I am discussing composes web services into layers, but there is much more to it than that. Nothing in this article is rocket science to an experienced services developer, but it is a way of working that has proven very reliable and easy to understand for developers that gets them working in a consistent way.

    Typical 3 Tiered Architecture
    Typical 3 Tiered Architecture

    The diagram above shows what you will typically be used to working with in an enterprise. It is a standard 3 tiered architecture comprising of the following layers:

    • Presentation Layer: This contains any views that your users will interact with like, web sites, smart phone applications, desktop clients, etc.
    • Business Logic Layer: This contains the under lying logic for your application which may be comprised of web services, REST Services, windows services etc. The presentation layer shouldn’t contain any business logic and therefore should be quite dumb to the inner workings of your system, this is what the Business Logic Layer is for.
    • Data Layer: This contains your data storage. This typically is an SQL database (SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL) or one of the newer blend of NoSql Databases (RavenDB, MongoDB, Cassandra). Typically your data layer may expose stored procedures to the Business Logic Layer, or your business logic may connect via an Object relational mapper such as Enterprise Library, NHibernate or SubSonic.

    This article is going to concern itself predominantly with the Web Services part of the Business Logic Layer.

    Has This Blog Been Abandoned?

    This Is Not An Abandoned Blog
    This Is Not An Abandoned Blog

    I have had a few emails from readers of this blog over the last week asking if it has been abandoned. The answer is No. I was off work for a month after having surgery and then on my return to work I was pretty snowed under, but I am definitely continuing to write posts.  I am currently half way through my next large article on Service Oriented Architecture Design and will have that posted over the next month.

    In the mean time, thank you to everyone that reads this blog regularly. Over the past 3 months, traffic has been rising quite a lot, far more than I ever anticipated, so I will definitely be continuing with it. I have lots of interesting posts in the pipeline, as well as expanding the training section.

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