Visual Studio 2015 Front-end Tooling Series - Introduction

With the new ASP.NET web tooling, Visual Studio contains a number of front-end tools to make life a little easier at design-time. In this series, I show how each one can increase your development process.

Written by Jonathan "JD" Danylko • Last Updated: • Develop •
Collection of tools on a peg board.

With ASP.NET MVC Core 1.0 out, it's a whole new world for Microsoft web developers.

Not only do we have a faster compiler, we also have a new set of client-side tools for the command-line jockeys on your team using Visual Studio.

Front-end tools like Grunt, Gulp, npm, Bower, Node, SASS, and LESS. They sound like characters in a video game, right?

These tools are becoming the standard in your front-end web development process.

Why do I need them?

With the development of JavaScript libraries like AngularJs, ReactAurelia, Ember, and Meteor, you can create an entire application using only JavaScript (although web services would be great to have to retrieve data). ;-)

When you create these types of applications, you need to minify and bundle JavaScript, optimize images, include and install JavaScript packages (yes, I said JavaScript packages), and optimize CSS.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If you don't know by now, JavaScript is quickly becoming critical to your language skill set and Visual Studio can use these tools in either a GUI or at a command-line level.

Over the next series of posts, we'll be covering each new front-end tool included with Visual Studio, introduce some add-ons to assist your development, and how each tool can optimize your workflow when developing client-side (and server-side) applications.

However, be aware that each of these tools can run independently outside of Visual Studio on its own. Some companies have integrated the tooling into their IDEs to make their product more marketable (i.e. JetBrain's WebStorm).

So let's get started with LESS and SASS!

Visual Studio Front-End Tooling Series

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Picture of Jonathan "JD" Danylko

Jonathan "JD" Danylko is an author, web architect, and entrepreneur who's been programming for over 30 years. He's developed websites for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies since 1996.

He currently works at Insight Enterprises as an Architect.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "I like to write and I like to code. I also like to write about code."

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