Visual Studio Overview


What is Visual Studio?

Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) exclusively developed by Microsoft. It was first introduced in the year 2000 and is actively used to develop software programs, such as desktop applications, websites, web apps, web services, mobile applications, games, etc.

  • It supports various programming languages to compile and execute such as C#, Visual Basics, C/C++, Python, JavaScript, etc.
  • It can produce both native code and managed code.

Why Visual Studio?

An integrated development environment (IDE) is a feature-rich application that can be used for many aspects of software development. The Visual Studio IDE makes it easy to edit, debug, build, and publish your app.

  • It is a creative launching pad that you can use to edit, debug, and build code, and then publish an app.
  • It is a feature-rich program that can be used for many aspects of software development.
  • It includes the standard editor, debugger, compilers, code completion tools, graphical designers, and many more features to ease the software development process.

History

The first version of Visual Studio was released in 1997 and it was known as Visual Studio 97. Here is the brief version history for Visual Studio.

Product name Version Release date
Visual Studio 2019 16.0 2019-04-02
Visual Studio 2017 15.0 2017-03-07
Visual Studio 2015 14.0 2015-07-20
Visual Studio 2013 12.0 2013-10-17
Visual Studio 2012 11.0 2012-09-12
Visual Studio 2010 10.0 2010-04-12
Visual Studio 2008 9.0 2007-11-19
Visual Studio 2005 8.0 2005-11-07
Visual Studio .NET 2003 7.1 2003-04-24
Visual Studio .NET (2002) 7.0 2002-02-13
Visual Studio 6.0 6.0 1998-09-02
Visual Studio 97 50 1997-03-19

The currently supported Visual Studio version is 2019. It is available since 2 April 2019 for download.

System Requirements

Here is the basic information on the system requirements for installing and running the Visual Studio 2019 family of products.

Visual Studio 2019 for Windows

The following are the minimum system requirements for Visual Studio 2019.

Operating Systems Windows 10 version 1703 or higher: Home, Professional, Education, and Enterprise
Windows Server 2019: Standard and Datacenter
Windows Server 2016: Standard and Datacenter
Windows 8.1 (with Update 2919355): Core, Professional, and Enterprise
Windows Server 2012 R2 (with Update 2919355): Essentials, Standard, Datacenter
Windows 7 SP1 (with latest Windows Updates): Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate
Hardware 1.8 GHz or faster processor. Quad-core or better recommended
2 GB of RAM; 8 GB of RAM recommended (2.5 GB minimum if running on a virtual machine)
Hard disk space: Minimum of 800MB up to 210 GB of available space, depending on features installed; typical installations require 20-50 GB of free space.
Hard disk speed: to improve performance, install Windows and Visual Studio on a solid state drive (SSD).
Video card that supports a minimum display resolution of 720p (1280 by 720); Visual Studio will work best at a resolution of WXGA (1366 by 768) or higher.
Supported Languages English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Visual Studio 2019 for Mac

The following are the minimum system requirements for Visual Studio 2019 for Mac.

Operating Systems macOS Catalina 10.15
macOS Mojave 10.14
macOS High Sierra 10.13
The latest version of Xcode 11 requires macOS Mojave 10.14, therefore Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Mac projects also require that minimum version.
Hardware 1.8 GHz or faster processor. Dual-core or better recommended.
4 GB of RAM; 8 GB of RAM recommended (4 GB minimum if running on a virtual machine).
Hard disk required, by default: approx 5.6GB.
Supported Languages English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Editions

Microsoft Visual Studio is available in the following three editions.

Community

The Community Edition was announced on 12 November 2014, as a new free version, with similar functionality to Visual Studio Professional.

  • Before the only free editions of Visual Studio were the feature-limited Express variants.
  • Unlike the Express variants, Visual Studio Community supports multiple languages and provides support for extensions.
  • Individual developers have no restrictions on their use of the Community edition.

The following uses also allow unlimited usage.

  • Contributing to Open Source projects.
  • Academic research.
  • Learning environment in a classroom.
  • Developing and testing device drivers for the Windows operating system.

Visual Studio Community is oriented towards individual developers and small teams.

Professional

As of Visual Studio 2010, the Professional edition is the entry-level commercial edition of Visual Studio.

  • Previously, a more feature restricted Standard edition was available.
  • It provides an IDE for all supported development languages.
  • MSDN support is available as MSDN Essentials or the full MSDN library depending on licensing.
  • It supports XML and XSLT editing and can create deployment packages that only use ClickOnce and MSI.
  • It includes tools like Server Explorer and integration with Microsoft SQL Server also.
  • Windows Mobile development support was included in Visual Studio 2005 Standard, however, with Visual Studio 2008, it is only available in Professional and higher editions.
  • Windows Phone 7 development support was added to all editions in Visual Studio 2010.
  • Windows Mobile development is no longer supported in Visual Studio 2010, it is superseded by Windows Phone 7.

Enterprise

In addition to the features provided by the Professional edition, the Enterprise edition provides a new set of software development, database development, collaboration, metrics, architecture, testing, and reporting tools.