It is difficult and time consuming to track down bugs. Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate has a new feature called IntelliTrace to help. It collect data while application is executing. The collected data is called IntelliTrace events. There are about 150 of such events. They are collected by default, and stored to disk for each session.

IntelliTrace is being marketed as providing the right information at the right time. It helps you determine the exact steps required to reproduce a problem. A certain amount of information is collected by default. You can “turn up the dial” to get even more data collected.

The IntelliTrace logging only works for managed apps. It assists with viewing the prior state of an application without restarting the app. In the end this helps you diagnose problems quicker. You can also set up the tracing to perform custom actions when things go wrong. As an side you don’t need to have symbols present for IntelliTrace to work.

Visual Studio 2010

Visual Studio 2010 has a number of big changes in it. This version implements new standards changes from C++0x. It also uses MSBuild to do all builds. Finally Microsoft is updating the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). There are also a host of other little changes in the latest version as well.

The C++0x changes include lamba expressions. These are unnamed function objects, and are handy to customize the Standard Template Library. The auto keyword from C++ is being changed to mean a variable type can be inferred by its initializer. There is a new static_assert which allows assertions to be tested at compile time. A new nullptr will enforce type safety for null pointers, replacing NULL (which by the way is not being deprecated yet).

MSBuild is the tool previously using to compile C# and VB code. Now it will be used for all Microsoft language compilation. MSBuild is an extensible build engine that uses XML. Microsoft is also finally enhancing the MFC library. This is mostly to take advantage of new APIs in Windows 7. You can recompile your MFC app with the new Visual Studio and get Windows 7 behavior immediately. The MFC Class Wizard is also back in the IDE.

The C++ standard library is being rewritten to take advantage of the C++0x feature set. Parallel programming efforts have been advanced. The new C++ project extension is now vcxproj. Multi touch is supported. There is Restart Manager support so your apps can save their state before they are terminated. The next version of Visual Studio is poised to pack a big punch for developers.