Welcome to Visual Studio 2015
This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, see Visual Studio documentation. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Visual Studio. Download it here
Welcome to Visual Studio! We’ve got everything you need to create great apps for devices or desktop apps, for the web and in the cloud. Write code for iOS, Android, and Windows in one IDE. Get great IntelliSense, easy code navigation, fast builds, and quick deployment. Visual Studio increases your productivity and makes it easy to do your work alone or as part of a larger team.
Click here for release notes for Visual Studio 2015 update 3.
Click here for release notes for Visual Studio 2017.
Download Visual Studio Community 2015 for free to start coding right away. If you want to do cross-platform development, make sure that you install the optional packages. You can get more features with Visual Studio Professional or Visual Studio Enterprise.
Jump right in, create a new project, and start writing code. Choose the type of app you want to create. Or you can take a tour of the Visual Studio IDE to get familiar with the tools.
And don’t forget to explore our code gallery to find samples to help you write your app more quickly!
Extend Visual Studio
Add your own Visual Studio extension to include a tool or script that you often use while coding. You can create custom menu items and tool windows to integrate your own tools into the Visual Studio IDE. You can extend the Visual Studio editor to analyze and fix code, or add a new project type to include just what you need.
To find the latest version of the Visual Studio Extensibility Tools (VS SDK), see Visual Studio SDK.
You can use the .NET Compiler Platform (Roslyn) to write your own code analyzers and code generators.
Find extensions for the Visual Studio IDE in the Visual Studio Marketplace. The extensions in the Marketplace are created by Microsoft developers as well as our development community.
Build apps for Android, iOS, and Windows
You can use Visual Studio to build apps for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Learn more about Cross-Platform Mobile Development in Visual Studio.
For information about Universal Windows Apps (UWP), see What's a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app?.
Choose the tools you need based on your app requirements and the language you want to use.
Xamarin for Visual Studio: A common code base in C# for all devices
Visual Studio Tools for Unity: 2D/3D game development in C#
C++ for Cross-Platform Mobile Development: Shared code libraries and apps in C++
Visual Studio Emulator for Android: Visual Studio Emulator for Android: Debug and test your Android apps no matter the IDE
Connect your apps to services
You can connect to these services out of the box (assuming that you have an account for each service):
Integrate Office 365 REST APIs into your own app to connect to data stored in the cloud. For more information, see these samples.
Write great web apps with ASP.NET
ASP.NET 5 is a major Update to MVC, WebAPI and SignalR, and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. ASP.NET has been designed from the ground up to provide you with a lean and composable .NET stack for building modern cloud-based web apps and services.
Build, test, and manage your code
Check in your code
If you work on a team, you need to share the latest versions of the code too so everyone on the team is using the same codebase. Visual Studio seamlessly integrates with Visual Studio Team Services or Team Foundation Server to provide version control with Git or TFVC (Team Foundation Version Control). Use Visual Studio Team Services to store your code in the cloud with no maintenance of a local server. Use Team Foundation Server if you want to have an on-premises server. Every time you create a code project, you have the option to add it to version control. To learn about which version control system is best for your needs, see Choosing the right version control for your project.
Build your app
You can build your app locally and make sure that it works correctly. Then use the debugging tools to fix any issues with your app. Or you can build projects on shared build servers or in the cloud. Automate your build process to build the code that the devs on your team have checked into version control. For example, you can build one or more projects nightly or every time that code is checked in.
Test your app
Create unit tests to improve the quality of your app. These tests can be run every time you check in, and as part of your build.
Plan, create, and run manual and automated tests for your app. Test plans, suites, test cases and your test results are stored in the cloud with Visual Studio Team Services or on-premises with Team Foundation Server. Learn more about testing the application.
Deliver your team’s code faster
Remove barriers between members of your team and improve collaboration. Go further and automate the release of your app to each stage in your development all the way to production. Monitor your app's performance and availability when live. Collect real-time usage data about how your customers are actually using your app. See DevOps and Application Lifecycle Management for more details.