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Posted 30 Mar 2007


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A Sneaky Peek At Orcas

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30 Mar 20074 min read
A Sneaky Peek At Visual Studio 9 (Codenamed Orcas)


A while ago I published an article on .NET 3.0 WPF Tools && Examples and another one on .NET 3.5 Integrated Query Language (LINQ). I don't know if anyone looked at those.

But anyway, what is of interest is that these 2 articles all used pre-released CTP editions of tools such as Cider" - The Visual Studio Designer for WPF, and the actual May 2006 LINQ CTP for LINQ development.

Which is all well and good, but don't we really want to use all these new technologies such as WPF/WCF/WWF/Cardspace/ LINQ/DLINQ/XLINQ in a single all encompassing IDE ?

If your answer to this question was yes (which it should be), then you will probably be interested in the new Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" - March 2007 Community Technology Preview (CTP). I have just downloaded this (its about 4GB, but I was curious) and would just like to share some screen shots with you lot, just so you can see what you will be getting (providing it doesn't change too much) when this version of Visual Studio is released.

So without further ado, let's look at some screen shots.

Visual Studio "Orcas" Preview Screen Shots

Main Project Types

Main Projects (I use C#, I'm sure it's the same for VB)

Image 1

It can be seen that there are a few new project templates here for dealing with WPF.

Office Templates

Image 2

Another Window shows that there is now Office templates. So it looks like we can now write true .NET Office apps. Or will this still use Interop ???

Winforms Application

Creating a new Windows Forms Application is much the same as Visual Studio 2005. With the exception of that we now get a nice WPF_Interoperability ElementHost control. Nice.

Image 3

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

Creating a new Windows Presentation Foundation Application is easily done by the new project template which will create the boiler plate code for creating a new Windows Presentation Foundation Application. What is also nice is that all the XAML controls can now be dragged straight onto the current document. This is basically replacing the current Visual Studio 2005 XAML add-in "Cider" - The Visual Studio Designer for WPF where the developer may switch between Design / XAML code.

Image 4

Image 5

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

Creating a new Windows Communication Foundation Application is easily done by the new project template which will create the boiler plate code for creating a new Windows Communication Foundation Application.

Image 6

Image 7

Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF)

Creating a new Windows Workflow Foundation Application is easily done by the new project template which will create the boiler plate code for creating a new Windows Workflow Foundation Application. This is basically replacing the current Visual Studio 2005 Workflow add-in Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (Windows Workflow Foundation).

Image 8

Image 9

It can be seen that the developer can drag and drop workflow elements straight from the toolbox.

Image 10


Currently the new Language Integrated Query extensions to Visual Studio are available as a standalone CTP (The May 2006 LINQ CTP) though, apparently these names will be changed in the new version of Visual Studio "Orcas"

  • LINQ will be renamed -> LINQ to Objects
  • DLINQ will be renamed -> LINQ to SQL
  • XLINQ will be renamed -> LINQ to XML

I am also in the process of writing 3 articles on these, which are available here if you are interested.

But anyway let's have a look at what we get with Visual Studio "Orcas".

Well there is actually a LINQ to SQL designer (in the March 2006 CTP this is currently called the DLINQ designer) that can be used to specify the database entities. Think of these as tables. This could of course also be done through code, if like me, you don't like designers.

Image 11

It can also be seen that for one of these entity (table) classes we can either let the designer automatically create the INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE commands for us. Or we could specify our own custom logic, StoredProcedures for example. I am going to cover this in my next LINQ article (part 2 of 3, part 1 is available here. If you like this, you may also like that one).

The LINQ to SQL designer will produce the required code to allow the database entities to be queried, as shown below.

Image 12

Web Project (ASP.NET)

To me it looks like a Web project now uses the standard ASP.NET 2.0 stuff, along with some of the better CSS Editing that is available within the Expression Web Designer Beta

Anyway it looks like this when you try and add new styles. The toolbox is largely the same as Visual Studio 2005.

Image 13

Other Items That May Be Added To A Project

What other items can we add to a project (I use C#, I'm sure it's the same for VB).

Image 14

Image 15

The items that are circled appear to be the new item types that should be of particular interest.


Obviously this article has no ground breaking content here, its just showing you good folk what the new Visual Studio may look like. It's more about curiosity than anything else.

It does however look like the next version of Visual Studio will actually bring all these .NET 3.0 (WPF/WCF/WWF Cardspace) / .NET 3.5 (LINQ/DLINQ/XLINQ) together in one usable IDE which can only be a good thing IMHO.


  • v1.0 30/03/07: Initial issue


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

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Written By
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I currently hold the following qualifications (amongst others, I also studied Music Technology and Electronics, for my sins)

- MSc (Passed with distinctions), in Information Technology for E-Commerce
- BSc Hons (1st class) in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence

Both of these at Sussex University UK.


I am lucky enough to have won a few awards for Zany Crazy code articles over the years

  • Microsoft C# MVP 2016
  • Codeproject MVP 2016
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2015
  • Codeproject MVP 2015
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2014
  • Codeproject MVP 2014
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2013
  • Codeproject MVP 2013
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2012
  • Codeproject MVP 2012
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2011
  • Codeproject MVP 2011
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2010
  • Codeproject MVP 2010
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2009
  • Codeproject MVP 2009
  • Microsoft C# MVP 2008
  • Codeproject MVP 2008
  • And numerous codeproject awards which you can see over at my blog

Comments and Discussions

GeneralWMV Player issue Pin
ctrlnick6-Nov-08 6:28
ctrlnick6-Nov-08 6:28 
GeneralRe: WMV Player issue Pin
Sacha Barber6-Nov-08 9:39
Sacha Barber6-Nov-08 9:39 
GeneralThanks Sacha Pin
Adam Tibi2-Apr-07 22:30
professionalAdam Tibi2-Apr-07 22:30 
GeneralRe: Thanks Sacha Pin
Sacha Barber2-Apr-07 22:58
Sacha Barber2-Apr-07 22:58 
GeneralOffice Applications Pin
aafvstam2-Apr-07 20:16
aafvstam2-Apr-07 20:16 
GeneralRe: Office Applications Pin
Sacha Barber2-Apr-07 20:47
Sacha Barber2-Apr-07 20:47 
Thanks for that info.

Do you happen to know how long the Orcas CTP will last. Is is time expiry linked. Will if affect my Visual Studio 2005 installation ???

Any ideas of this front ???

sacha barber

Generalthanks.. Pin
HankiDesign30-Mar-07 8:34
HankiDesign30-Mar-07 8:34 
GeneralRe: thanks.. Pin
Sacha Barber30-Mar-07 22:05
Sacha Barber30-Mar-07 22:05 

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