After several years in the making, Microsoft has today launched Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0. The upgraded IDE broadens Visual Studio’s ALM capabilities and introduces code-focused productivity features.

Visual Studio 2010 adds architecture and testing tools that help developers automate testing, reproduce bugs and model software. Upgrades made to Team Foundation Server (TFS) are focused on helping large development teams to collaborate and adhere to requirements. Third-party tools can plug into TFS to extend its functionality.

In a written statement, Terry Clancy, of Microsoft’s Development Tools Ecosystem, said the launch of Visual Studio 2010 “represents a major move forward in the underlying architecture of Visual Studio to better support modular managed code, WFP-based components and extensibility for partners via the Microsoft Extensibility Framework (MEF). It is also significant because of the large momentum that has built up behind this release; with over 57 VSIP (Visual Studio Industry Partner Program) partners simultaneously  shipping products compatible with VS 2010, we expect a very rapid uptake of this product.”

For day-to-day programming, Microsoft has added code search across all languages; the ability to highlight all references to a symbol; generation of stubs for types, methods, properties and constructors; and displaying live build-error information in design-time for C#.

.NET 4.0 features deeper integration between Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation, with Extensible Application Markup Language underlying that integration.

Microsoft has added new client-side technology to ASP.NET, including full data binding and template programming. ASP.NET MVC 2 offers more HTML helpers, model validation and various API additions.

Other additions that .NET 4.0 brings support for dynamic languages, extensions for parallel programming, new C# and Visual Basic language features, the F# programming language, and technologies for Microsoft’s Oslo modeling platform.

The company has also updated the ADO.NET Entity Framework, solidifying its position as Microsoft’s de facto data access solution.

Visual Studio 2008 Team System and 2008 Team Suite customers are eligible to upgrade to the Ultimate edition of Visual Studio 2010 for a US$3,841 renewal fee. That includes 750 hours of computing time on Windows Azure per month for eight months; project templates are packaged with VS 2010.

Customers that use Visual Studio 2008 Architect Edition, Database Edition, Developer Edition and Test Edition can renew their licenses for $2,299. Customers that use Visual Studio 2008 Professional may upgrade to Visual Studio 2010 Professional for $799.

With the release comes the availability of free training from learning company AppDev. Users can register for training for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio ALM tools (15+ hours) at Also, the Visual Studio 2010 Training Kit and Hands-on Labs are available.

Code instrumentation and runtime analytics are built into Visual Studio by PreEmptive Solutions. Dotfuscator Suite 2010, PreEmptive’s commercial solution, extends those default capabilities with additional development time and runtime features, the elimination of instrumentation limits, customization options, and a repository for reporting. It also adds information from Microsoft’s Windows Management Instrumentation layer.

Additionally, the Dotfuscator Suite instruments Silverlight XAP files without additional coding. It provides analytics for Silverlight 4 applications, merging Web analytics with developer analytics. The Silverlight 4 runtime will be available on the Web later this week.

Silverlight 4 gives developers access to local resources, including hardware, Windows 7 APIs and Component Object Model applications.