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Understanding the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 update for Windows Vista

Sure, you've kept up with changes to Visual Studio 2005, but if you haven't started building code for Windows Vista yet, you might not have kept up with changes to this development environment that specifically target or run on that operating system.

That's where the Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista, released in March, 2007, comes into play. This SP may be installed into the following Visual Studio-related tools, languages and editions:

Visual Studio 2005 Tools for OfficeVisual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects
Visual Basic 2005 Express EditionVisual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
Visual C++ 2005 Express EditionVisual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers
Visual C# 2005 Express EditionVisual Studio 2005 Team Suite
Visual J# 2005 Express Edition (English only)Visual Studio 2005 Team Test Load Agent
Visual Web Developer 2005 Express EditionVisual Studio 2005 Team Test Load Controller
Visual Studio 2005 Premier Partner EditionVisual Studio 2005 Code Profiler
Visual Studio 2005 Professional EditionVisual Studio 2005 Team Explorer
Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition

The Visual Studio on Windows Vista and SP1 Release Notes pages are probably the best places to go diving for details on what this service pack brings to the table, and for a recitation of known potential problems and gotchas. The major items about which you should be aware going in are as follows:

  • Visual Basic 6.0 report continues unabated, but other development tools except for those built around Visual Studio 2005 should be upgraded to that version, with VS 2005 SP1 and the SP1 Update for Vista installed.
  • The logical consequence of the preceding item is that Visual Studio .NET 2003 is not supported for Windows Vista. Existing applications built around .NET 1.1 and 2.0 Framework runtimes will run on Windows Vista (only older developer tools and environments are affected), as will those built around 3.0 as well.
  • Going forward, Microsoft wants to help developers move .NET Framework 1.1 code to .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 environments, but .NET Framework 2.0 is a strict subset of .NET Framework 3.0, so 2.0 applications remain completely compatible.

For those with older Visual Studio code that needs to move to Windows Vista, there may be some pain in the foregoing, as well as some potential gain. We can only sympathize with the former and hope it is offset by plenty of the latter.

Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail etittel@techtarget.com with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!

This was first published in June 2007

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