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What's New in Visual Studio 2010 & .NET 4 for Web Developers

Code Navigation

Visual Studio 2010 provides a new way of finding code within your application. If you hold down the Control key, and hit the "comma" key, the new Navigate To window will open. This lets you type in some characters, and Visual Studio shows you all the code that contains those characters, be it a variable name, a method, an event handler, or even an external file such as a graphic. Imagine a scenario where you know that the code you're looking for has something to do with a "cart", but you can't remember exactly what it is called. Figure 3 is an example of where the user has typed the value cart, and Visual Studio has found all the code containing that word. This should make it a lot easier for you to find what you need. The Pascal casing previously mentioned for Intellisense also works in the Navigate To window.

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Figure 3: The 'Navigate To' window.

Visualization Tools

There are enough visualization tools in Visual Studio 2010 to fill several full articles in their own right! For example, Web developers are able to generate a dependency graph of their site, which shows not only how pages are dependent on each other, but also how they are dependent on controls and how they use any code-behind logic. You can dive directly into the pages, master templates, controls definitions, or code directly from the graph. Figure 4 is an example of a Web Application where there are a number of Services, a number of Controllers, and a number of Models. You can see that the Models entity has been opened up and we can see the classes within the application. You could also drill further down into the code behind these classes.

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Figure 4: Dependency graph of a web site.

Profiling and Debugging

Another upgrade that we'd like to highlight is where we've improved profiling and debugging of your applications. So, for example, you can profile your application to see where the bottlenecks are, and where you need to tweak it to improve performance. So, for example in Figure 5 you can see where the Visual Studio has measured each of the executing elements within the application and its effect on CPU usage. This helps make your applications and the servers that they run on much more effective.

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Figure 5: Using the Visual Studio profiler.

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