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.