Lesson 2 - Installing Visual Studio 2015

Tutorial Series: Free C# Fundamentals via ASP.NET Web Apps

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In this lesson, you will learn how to download and install Visual Studio. If you already happen to have a version of Visual Studio 2015 installed, you can safely skip these steps and continue on with the next lesson where we build our first web application.

The great news is that you don't have to spend a single penny to get started in building web applications, or learning C#. With the introduction of the free "Community" version of Visual Studio, you have access to everything you need in order to get started building applications on the Microsoft platform. This free version of Visual Studio is essentially the same package that you would get with the paid Professional edition - giving you access to the full selection of extensions and toolsets. The only differences between the free and paid versions are in the licensing guidelines. Simply put, if you are using Visual Studio within a large team project, or an enterprise business, you are required to purchase the Professional license. Otherwise, as an individual or as a part of a small team you can enjoy all of the benefits found in the paid version by using the free version. It was a great move by Microsoft designed to introduce developers into the fold.

Prepare Your Computer for Visual Studio

Before proceeding with the installation of Visual Studio, you should first make sure that your operating system is up to date by downloading and installing any Windows Updates that are available to you. Keep in mind that you can use Visual Studio on either Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, but in these lessons we are going to assume that you are running the latest Windows OS (which at the time of this writing would be Windows 10).

Assuming that you're using Windows 10, there is a way to force Windows to update itself. Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for Updates. Download and install any available updates for Windows before proceeding.


WindowsUpdate


The next step is to open up the Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer, browser and navigate to:

https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-community-vs.aspx

This will take you to the download page for the current version of Visual Studio Community. However, it may be even easier to simply type into a search engine and enter the following search terms:

"Download Visual Studio Community"

VisualStudioDownload

Once you have downloaded the installer, go ahead and run it. The installer itself is very small but when it runs it will grab everything it needs from Microsoft's servers in order to completely install Visual Studio locally onto your computer.

You will need to have a Microsoft account to complete the installation process, so if you do not yet have one you will need to sign up for one at:

http://outlook.live.com

You'll have to sign in one more time with Visual Studio. While there are several editions and versions of Visual Studio available to you, be sure to install the Community edition. You won't need the extra tools in the paid versions for this course, so I'd recommend simply using Community 2015, as it is all you need at this time.

Typically you leave the Installation defaults as is, though you may wish to change which drive the files are installed on if your primary drive is low on space.

You'll have to agree to the license terms and the privacy policy, and there is also an option to join the Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program. This is a way for Microsoft to collect telemetry about your use of Visual Studio, in aggregate format, so that they know where to invest dollars going forward.

User Account Control pops up when it is truly ready to install, click yes, and that should complete the process. This will take a few minutes to complete.

Installation Errors

That should cover the entire installation process for all of the tools you will need moving forward. If you happen upon an installation error during this process, you have some options available to you in order to diagnose and resolve the issue. Often simply rebooting your computer will fix the issue. However, if that doesn't fix the error, first try to find the solution by using a search engine, making sure to include in your search query the exact error message or error code that you encountered.

If your error persists despite all of your web searching, or you feel that your error is best handled by an actual human being, then you may want to ask for help on popular question/answer forums such as:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/forums

http://www.stackexchange.com

Keep in mind that there are helpful people in the community who are called "Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals" (MVP's). They are awarded this title as an acknowledgment of their dedication to helping people, such as you, solve problems. To make their job easier, make sure that your question includes the entire error message, including any numerical codes that are provided. Also, be sure to include the operating system that you're currently using as well as any other pertinent details. Also, be sure to mention everything you have tried to remedy the problem, so that steps that previously failed are not repeated.

Once your installation has successfully completed, you'll be ready to move on with the following lessons.


Related Articles in this Tutorial:

Lesson 1 - Series Introduction

Lesson 2 - Installing Visual Studio 2015

Lesson 3 - Building Your First Web App

Lesson 4 - Understanding What You Just Did

Lesson 5 - Working with Projects in Visual Studio

Lesson 6 - Simple Web Page Formatting in Visual Studio

Challenge 1

Solution 1

Lesson 7 - Variables and Data Types

Lesson 8 - Data Type Conversion

Lesson 9 - Arithmetic Operators

Lesson 10 - C# Syntax Basics

Challenge 2 - ChallengeSimpleCalculator

Solution - ChallengeSimpleCalculator

Lesson 11 - Conditional If Statements

Lesson 12 - The Conditional Ternary Operator

Challenge 3 - ChallengeConditionalRadioButton

Solution - Challenge Conditional RadioButton

Lesson 13 - Comparison and Logical Operators

Lesson 13 Challenge - First Papa Bob's Website

Solution - Challenge First Papa Bob's Website

Lesson 14 - Working with Dates and Times

Lesson 15 - Working With Spans of Time

Lesson 16 - Working with the Calendar Server Control

Challenge 4 - Challenge Days Between Dates

Solution - Challenge Days Between Dates

Lesson 17 - Page_Load and Page.IsPostBack

Lesson 18 - Setting a Break Point and Debugging

Lesson 19 - Formatting Strings

Challenge 5 - Challenge Epic Spies Assignment

Solution - Challenge Epic Spies Assignment

Lesson 20 - Maintaining State with ViewState

Lesson 21 - Storing Values in Arrays

Lesson 22 - Understanding Multidimensional Arrays

Lesson 23 - Changing the Length of an Array

Challenge 6 - Challenge Epic Spies Asset Tracker

Solution - Challenge Epic Spies Asset Tracker

Lesson 24 - Understanding Variable Scope

Lesson 25 - Code Blocks and Nested If Statements

Lesson 26 - Looping with the For Iteration Statement

Challenge 7 - Challenge For Xmen Battle Count

Solution - Challenge For Xmen Battle Count

Lesson 27 - Looping with the while() & do...while() Iteration Statements

Lesson 28 - Creating and Calling Simple Helper Methods

Lesson 29 - Creating Methods with Input Parameters

Lesson 30 - Returning Values from Methods

Lesson 31 - Creating Overloaded Methods

Lesson 32 - Creating Optional Parameters

Lesson 33 - Creating Names Parameters

Lesson 34 - Creating Methods with Output Parameters

Challenge 8 - Challenge Postal Calculator Helper Methods

Solution - Challenge Postal Calculator Helper Methods

Mega Challenge Casino

Solution - Mega Challenge Casino

Lesson 35 - Manipulating Strings

Challenge 9 - Phun With Strings

Solution - Challenge Phun With Strings

Lesson 36 - Introduction to Classes and Objects

Challenge - Hero Monster Classes Part 1

Solution - Hero Monster Classes Part 1

Challenge - Hero Monster Classes Part 2

Solution - Challenge Hero Monster Classes Part 2

Lesson 37 - Creating Class Files Creating Cohesive Classes and Code Navigation

Lesson 38 - Understanding Object References and Object Lifetime

Lesson 39 - Understanding the .NET Framework and Compilation

Lesson 40 - Namespaces and Using Directives

Lesson 41 - Creating Class Libraries and Adding References to Assemblies

Lesson 42 - Accessibility Modifiers, Fields and Properties

Lesson 43 - Creating Constructor Methods

Lesson 44 - Naming Conventions for Identifiers

Lesson 45 - Static vs Instance Members

Challenge 10 - Challenge Simple Darts

Solution - Challenge Simple Darts

Lesson 46 - Working with the List Collection

Lesson 47 - Object Initializers

Lesson 48 - Collection Initializers

Lesson 49 - Working with the Dictionary Collection

Lesson 50 - Looping with the foreach Iteration Statement

Lesson 51 - Implicitly-Typed Variables with the var Keyword

Challenge 11 - Challenge Student Courses

Solution - Challenge Student Courses

Mega Challenge War

Solution - Mega Challenge War

Lesson 52 - Creating GUIDs

Lesson 53 - Working with Enumerations

Lesson 54 - Understanding the switch() Statement

Lesson 55 - First Pass at the Separation of Concerns Principle

Lesson 56 - Understanding Exception Handling

Lesson 57 - Understanding Global Exception Handling

Lesson 58 - Understanding Custom Exceptions

Lesson 59 - Creating a Database in Visual Studio

Lesson 60 - Creating an Entity Data Model

Lesson 61 - Displaying the DbSet Result in an ASP.NET GridView

Lesson 62 - Implementing a Button Command in a GridView

Lesson 63 - Using a Tools-Centric Approach to Building a Database Application

Lesson 64 - Using a Maintenance-Driven Approach to Building a Database Application

Lesson 65 - Creating a New Instance of an Entity and Persisting it to the Database

Lesson 66 - Package Management with NuGet

Lesson 67 - NuGet No-Commit Workflow

Lesson 68 - Introduction the Twitter Bootstrap CSS Framework

Lesson 69 - Mapping Enum Types to Entity Properties in the Framework Designer

Lesson 70 - Deploying the App to Microsoft Azure Web Services Web Apps

Papa Bob's Mega Challenge

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 1 - Setting up the Solution

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 2 - Adding an Order to the Database

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 3 - Passing an Order from the Presentation Layer

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 4 - Creating the Order Form

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 5 - Adding Enums

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 6 - Creating an Order with Validation

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 7 - Calculating the Order Price

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 8 - Displaying the Price to the User

Papa Bob's Mega Solution Part 9 - Creating the Order Management Page


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