What's New In Visual Studio 2012

USER INTERFACE

The RC includes a series of improvements to the overall UX, which were based on the beta user feedback. Now you can customize the look and feel of Visual Studio development environment as per your convenience. A new Dark Theme has been developed for this purpose.

Performance

The performance has been enhanced drastically with respect to its entire earlier version. The performance between beta and RC was extensive and covers just about every aspect of the product. There were improvements in XAML (compiler, loading documents, and the design surface), debugging, editing large C++ files, Test Lab Management and the list goes on.

IDE

The IDE improvements in RC focus on responses to customer feedback, polishing features, and performance improvements. We received feedback about the shared scope and options between Quick Find and Find-in-Files in the beta. Since then, we released an extension to help address this in the short term, and have now included that update in the RC release. With the RC, you can now perform a Quick Find without automatically changing the scope setting in Find-in-Files as well.

Solution Explorer is an example of an area where we made some tweaks to round out the experience and polish the feature in RC. We found that the Solution Explorer toolbar was overflowing, so we removed commands that already have other placements in the IDE (e.g. context menus, key bindings, menus) and don’t affect the solution view or project hierarchy.

For large solutions, it can be hard to find items in Solution Explorer. In the RC, we’ve introduced Solution Explorer filtering to help you scope to the relevant content and focus on whatever is important for your current task. This way, you can restrict Solution explorer to show just the files you’re currently working with. The new filtering options include Pending Changes and Open Files, and can be found under the button shown below:

Finally, we improved the Quick Launch performance, so that search results are returned nearly instantaneously now.

Metro style apps

If you plan to build Metro style apps, make sure to install Visual Studio 2012 RC on a machine with the Windows 8 Release Preview. There are a number of enhancements for building Metro style apps in the RC release.

You can develop

  • ·         Metro style apps using XAML
  • ·         Metro style apps using JavaScript

ASP.NET 4.5

ASP.NET Web Forms has been updated to fully support the new async “await” keyword. Page events and control events can now be marked as “async” and utilize the new async support added in .NET 4.5”.

MVC 4 projects now include Entity Framework 5 which has full support for “migrations” allowing developers to keep their code and databases in sync as changes are made.     ASP.NET MVC now also renders HTML 5 by default so when displaying the Person model the following HTML will be emitted now: id=”BirthDate” name=”BirthDate” type=”datetime” value=”5/31/2012 12:00:00 AM”

Web tools

If you’re doing web development, you’ll notice a handful of updates in the RC. First off, we’ve updated some of the project templates. We made the MVC4 Empty template truly empty, and renamed the original empty template to now be called the “Basic” template. We also improved the performance of the New Project creation time.

You’ll also notice some IDE improvements. For example, we now support the ability to run an app from Visual Studio in multiple browsers, through a more discoverable UI.

There’s a host of additional web tooling improvements. For example, HTML and CSS editor enhancements, including updated HTML5 IntelliSense and SVG support. We also updated the publish UI to support incremental database schema preview. The Page Inspector experience has been improved, such that we no longer add web.config ,appSettings key VisualStudioDesignTime:Enabled, as page inspector will work with server side code as long as it’s in debug mode.

LightSwitch

Visual Studio LightSwith Cosmopolitan Shell and Theme extension provides a modern and clean UI for your LightSwitch applications. For LightSwitch projects, there are several new features that we’ve lit up in RC. Last March, we published a preview of theLightSwitch Cosmopolitan Shell & Theme on the VS Gallery to give LightSwitch applications a more modern look-and-feel and corporate branding.  Since then, we’ve fixed a significant number of community reported visual bugs and improving readability (such as adding data grid lines). Based on the positive feedback, we’ve now made the Cosmopolitan Shell & Theme the default UI for new projects (shown below).

Another change that we made based on customer feedback was to add the application logo to the login screen for applications using forms authentication. It will show up once you deploy the application. Furthermore, we have significantly improved the performance of core data operations, which in turn improves many application scenarios (querying, paging, loading data in a list/grid, etc.).

Team Foundation Server

There were a few updates to TFS since the beta. The first is the ability to use SQL backups of existing Team Foundation Server instances to create (upgrade) a new Team Foundation instance during the initial setup.  The second is the ability to automatically add new features to existing projects using older Team Project Templates when upgrading – this has been one of the most requested upgrade features for Team Foundation Server.

The Team Foundation Server team also improved the user interfaces with updates such as the ability to collapse/expand iterations in Team Web access and the addition of personal and favorite queries in pending changes – which makes it simple to drag and drop related work items to a pending check-in.

Testing Tools

Most of the testing improvements in the RC focused around customer feedback on the beta, as well as a variety of performance and scalability improvements (for example, reducing the size of the output files from test runs and code coverage result).

Coded UI Features

Visual Studio 2012 RC includes a new feature for the analysis of Coded UI Test playback logs, which filters and logs important information for you in a more readable format. Using the actionable information in the Coded UI Test logs, you should able to debug issues more quickly. For example, here’s a picture of the new log, after running a Coded UI Test on a failure case:

Microsoft Test Manager

To make it even easier to get up and running using Microsoft Test Manager, we’ve integrated a Media Foundation based Video Recorder so you no longer have to install the Expression Encoder to create video recordings of your test cases.

Architectural Tools

In RC the Architecture Tools include new facilities for understanding the structural relationships between elements of the code. You can now use contextual commands on selected code elements in a dependency graph to find, for example, all the types derived directly or indirectly from another type, or the methods that call a selected method:

 

 

 

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