Recently, Microsoft announced “a major update to Developer Assistant” for Visual Studio that adds support for “contextually aware web powered solutions for C++.” Developer Assistant is a plug-in for Visual Studio that adds Bing search capabilities and features to your development environment in Visual Studio to help solve your development-related questions.
Microsoft expands the top three components of Developer Assistant to support C++, including:
- Code Samples access in your IDE environment
- Project search from popular sources
- Bing-powered contextual search
The new update to Developer Assistant adds 43 million C++ code samples, bringing the total amount available to 64 million C++ code samples. In addition to MSDN, Stack Overflow and GitHub, Microsoft adds C++ code samples from other C++ domains, including cppreference.com and cplusplus.com. These new soruces for C++ code sampels will provide developers with a bigger library of options to use.
The new Developer Assistant update allows access to thousands of code samples, ranging from CRT (C runtime libraries) to STL (standard template library), and also includes other open source C++ resources like Boost, Direct3D, and OpenCV. Developers can access these resources all from within Visual Studio.
At the moment, there are two ways to access these code samples:
- Automatic code samples in your IntelliSense experience
- Code samples for your tasks using natural language in the “How do I – box” (Ctrl+shift+F1) or in the Bing search box
In the Visual Studio toolbar, there is a “How do I…” search box to help find solutions to any programming issues you may have. The search box will bring up examples of C++ code snippets and sample projects from either MSDN or GitHub.
Bing Contextual Search offers C++ support to get web search help on keywords or any compiler error you might encounter. The Visual Studio Developer Assistant algorithm focuses on all the additional contextual parameters, such as project type and programming language, as well as any compiler error issues might appear in a Bing search.
If you are in Visual Studio, you can select right-click on a specific word or code snippet to find more information through Bing Contextual Search.
If you select “Bing Contextual Search” from the drop-down menu after you right-click the word, code snippet, or compiler error, the Bing search results displayed showing you more information (see below).