Helix Plugin for Visual Studio Gives Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 Helix Power and Scale!
Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 represents a great upgrade with many new features for this popular development environment. Microsoft has taken a fascinating turn with their support of open source projects, and even cross-platform development. With VS 2017, there are many new technologies: the cross-platform .NET Core, robust built-in language support, getting into functional programming with F# for big data and machine learning applications, not to mention continuing to ratchet up integration and ease of use for developers deploying to the Azure cloud. Microsoft really makes it easy to adopt new tech these days, too. Just one great example of the cross-platform and cloud support is the appearance of “Add Docker Support” on the Project Menu in VS 2017 — you can instantly spin up the dev image of your application in a Docker container for easy iterative debugging!
Windows developers are a key part of the Perforce community, and one important area of our efforts on the platform is new enhancements to the Helix Plugin for Visual Studio (P4VS), which has been downloaded almost 250,000 times! While the plugin has been around since 2012, the recent update is significant and provides access to more Perforce Helix features. It uses Microsoft’s new SCC Integration to let developers access Helix Core’s powerful capabilities right from within the Visual Studio interface.
If you are a Visual Studio user, but you’ve been using the command-line interface or Helix Visual Client (P4V), now is a great time to try out P4VS. P4VS is a Visual Studio Integration Package designed for full compatibility and ease of use. Perforce is a certified member of the Microsoft Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program. Built on P4API.NET for speed and stability, P4VS is available on 32-bit and is compatible with 64-bit Windows platforms.
“Start Me Up”
The enhancements start with the installation of P4VS. When you install the plugin, if you already have a Helix workspace root, it becomes your default workspace for VS projects. Then, when you start a new project, you can use P4VS in the bottom right-hand corner of the windows so your new work can be included in version control from inception.
You’ve always had the ability to work online and offline with Helix Core, but now the connection toolbar at the top of the UI lets you see your connection status and updates it dynamically. It also lets you see and connect to a list of the recent Helix servers you’ve used. It functions similarly to the connections button in Perforce’s own Helix Visual Client (P4V). You can choose from existing selections or type in the information for a new server. This is a great time saver if you connect to multiple servers.
It’s now easier than ever before to manage your work when working offline. The menu selection and icon on the toolbar allows you to reconcile offline work on your terms. The reconcile is based on the solution root and everything under it. When you choose reconcile, it shows the local files that are not in the Perforce depot. It shows any modifications, moves, adds, and deletes. If there is a really long list of files for adds, deletes, and mods, we tell you how many there are. There is also an “advanced” selection that brings up the P4V diff option.
P4VS is integrated with the Visual Studio Solution Explorer, providing access to functionality and status information. Badges on file icons indicate Perforce status. When you right click a file in Solution Explorer, the appropriate P4VS actions enabled for that file are available for selection in the context menu.
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