C#, .NET, and Visual Studio - 2018 Year in Review


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My second contribution to this year’s CSAdvent (and one of the final two posts!), hosted by my buddy Matt Groves. Visit https://crosscuttingconcerns.com/The-Second-Annual-C-Advent to see the full calendar of posts!

The past year has been wonderful for the C# / .NET / Visual Studio developer community, so let’s take a quick look back at some of the great things that have come from Microsoft (and at how they progressed throughout the year)!

January 2018

January 2018 was mostly about “previews”, as we got our hands on:

  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 preview 2
  • Visual Studio for Mac version 7.4 preview
  • Preview 1 of ASP.NET MVC 5.2.4, Web API 5.2.4, and Web Pages 3.2.4

Outside of preview versions, we also got:

  • .NET Framework 4.7.1

February 2018

February had a few road map releases (that were subsequently followed up with preview releases), such as :

  • .NET Core 2.1
  • EF Core 2.1
  • ASP.NET Core 2.1

February also saw the full release of ASP.NET MVC 5.2.4, Web API 5.2.4, and Web Pages 3.2.4, as well as some preview releases:

  • ASP.NET Core 2.1.0 preview 1
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 preview 4 (Did we skip 15.6 preview 3?)
  • .NET Framework 4.7.2 “Early Access Build 3052”
  • .NET Core 2.1 preview 1

In the “a little more exciting” category, we got our first taste of Blazor as an experimental project that promised C# and Razor running in the browser!

March 2018

In March, we got the full release of Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 and Visual Studio for Mac 7.4, followed quickly with the first AND second preview of Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7 and the first preview of Visual Studio for Mac 7.5!

Also, with the release of VS 2017 15.6, we saw an update to the F# language and tools!

And, more previews!

  • .NET Framework 4.7.2 “Early Access Build 3056”
  • Preview 1 of ASP.NET MVC 5.2.58, Web API 5.2.5, and Web Pages 3.2.5
  • First “Public” preview of Blazor!

April 2018

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7 preview 3 dropped, as well as a Visual Studio 2017 road map (a little late to the party, I’d say).

Other previews started dropping as well, such as:

  • ASP.NET Core 2.1.0 preview 2
  • .NET Core 2.1.0 preview 2
  • EF Core 2.1.0 preview 2
  • Blazor 0.2.0

Finally, a full release of the .NET Framework 4.7.2, as well as an announcement for a new “Library Manager” for managing client-side content for web applications.

May 2018

May saw an exciting slew of releases:

  • Azure Storage Explorer
  • ASP.NET MVC 5.2.5, Web API 5.2.5, and Web Pages 3.2.5
  • Visual Studio IntelliCode
  • Visual Studio for Mac version 7.5
  • RC 1 of .NET Core 2.1
  • RC 1 of EF Core 2.1
  • RC 1 of ASP.NET 2.1
  • Blazor 0.3.0 “Experimental”
  • ML.NET
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7
  • F# Language and Tools update for Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7
  • C# 7.3

Before May was over (but only barely!), we got even more -

  • .NET Core 2.1
  • EF Core 2.1
  • ASP.NET Core 2.1
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.8 preview 2

May also gave us the announcement for .NET Core 3 with WinForms and WPF support!

June 2018

Right out of the gate (well, almost), we got ML.NET 0.2, .NET Framework 4.8 Early Access build 3621, Blazor 0.4.0 “experimental”.

Towards the end of the month, we saw Visual Studio 2017 version 15.8 preview 3, as well as the first announcement (that I can find) of Visual Studio 2019.

The first end-of-life (EOL, for short) statement of the year occurred in June, as well, with the announcement that .NET Core 2.0 EOL on October 1 2018.

July 2018

Not a lot going on in July, but we did get a few things:

  • ML.NET 0.3
  • Blazor 0.5.0 “experimental”
  • .NET Framework 4.7.2
  • .NET Framework 4.8 Early Access build 3622
  • F# 4.5 Preview

August 2018

August makes up a big for July with some big hitters:

  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.8
  • Library Manager (part of Visual Studio 2017 15.8)
  • Visual Studio for Mac version 7.6
  • Library Manager CLI
  • ASP.NET Core 2.2.0 preview 1
  • ML.NET 0.4
  • F# 4.5

September 2018

Lots of previews for September!

  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9 preview 2
  • ASP.NET Core 2.2.0 preview 2
  • EF Core 2.2.0 preview 2
  • .NET Core 2.2.0 preview 2
  • ML.NET 0.5.0
  • .NET Framework 4.8 Early Access build 3646

October 2018

October saw a number of preview releases, much like September:

  • ML.NET 0.6.0
  • ASP.NET Core 2.2.0 preview 3
  • .NET Core 2.2.0 preview 3
  • EF Core 2.2.0 preview 3
  • Blazor 0.6.0 “experimental”
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9 preview 3
  • .NET Framework 4.8 Early Access build 3673

We received the first announcement of Visual Studio 2019 for Mac, as well as a Visual Studio for Mac road map!

November 2018

The number of previews is slowing down as we head into the holiday season (and as a couple of things get a full release):

  • Razor support in VSCode in preview
  • Blazor 0.7.0 “experimental”
  • .NET Standard 2.1
  • ML.NET 0.7.0
  • .NET Framework 4.8 Early Access build 3694

Finally, we received Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9, and Visual Studio for Mac version 7.7!

December 2018

Once the folks at Microsoft got over their Turkey comas, we got some early holiday gifts:

  • ML.NET 0.8.0
  • .NET Core 2.2
  • ASP.NET Core 2.2
  • EF Core 2.2

We also got some nice previews during the month as well, such as:

  • Visual Studio 2019 preview 1
  • .NET Core 3 preview 1
  • C# 8.0 (Note: not “all” features are available yet)
  • .NET Framework 4.8 Early Access build 3707


Well, folks, that’s a wrap on 2018. We received tons of updates from Microsoft all across the board - from new experimental frameworks (Blazor) to quick iterations of the “Core Suite” (.NET, EF, and ASP.NET) and Visual Studio.

As we head into the new year, we have some exciting things to look forward to as well, such as the release of Visual Studio 2019 (though expect a few more previews first), .NET Core 3, C# 8.0, and .NET Framework 4.8 (which may be the last one for a while).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me as we looked back on 2018 as well, as the 2018 C# Advent posts.

Have a wonderful holiday season (however you choose to celebrate it)!

And, remember, be kind to one another.

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