Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 gets first update

Microsoft officially launched Visual Studio 2012 in September with a big launch event in San Francisco. Today, the company announced the first major free software update for the Windows application development tool has been released.

In a post on the official Visual Studio blog, S. Somasegar, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Division, writes about what's been added in this first update. It includes some additions to help developers make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps. He states:

For Windows Store applications for Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 includes support for both mixed-mode managed/native debugging and for native ARM dump debugging.  Update 1 also includes improved diagnostics and testing support for Windows Store apps, such as with a JavaScript memory analysis tool, support for data-driven unit tests, and C++ unit testing enhancements. Additionally, for developers building apps for Windows Phone 8, we’ve enabled code analysis to help improve the quality of their phone apps.

The update, which can be downloaded from Microsoft's website, also adds some additional support for making SharePoint applications, along with even more support for agile teams. There's also more support for testing apps, with Somasegar stating, "Cross-browser testing is now supported, with the ability to record tests on Internet Explorer and later replay them with most modern browsers."

Microsoft also recently released a new optional download for Visual Studio 2012 called Productivity Power Tools.  Somasegar states:

Created by individuals on the Visual Studio team, this is a pack of extensions focused on further streamlining the developer experience within Visual Studio 2012, with features like colorized parameter help, a custom document well, automatic brace completion, an enhanced scroll bar, and much more.

Source: Visual Studio blog  | Image via Microsoft

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10 Comments

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It's worth noting that other items for download (including all TFS-related items) have been updated with Update 1.

That leads me to believe that they fixed lots of TFS-related features and bugs.

Can't wait for the one that actually makes the Update thing useful. How many apps have update system built in that doesn't actually do any updating? Its like "Oh hi! There's an update available. Go get it and install it yourself." It's really dumb.

This is also not the first update. It's like the 2nd or 3rd one.

SharpGreen said,
How many apps have update system built in that doesn't actually do any updating? Its like "Oh hi! There's an update available. Go get it and install it yourself." It's really dumb.

In normal standard applications (e.g. a media player, a text editor, ...) I see a hassle free auto-update process as a good feature, and even there if there's a mayor change it may not be such a good idea (e.g. users not willing to change).

But in a toolchain like Visual Studio I don't see auto-updating specially useful, in fact depending on the software you're developing you may not want to update before evaluating in a virtual environment if the update would break compilation or not (e.g. running system tests, regression tests, ...).

KaoDome said,

In normal standard applications (e.g. a media player, a text editor, ...) I see a hassle free auto-update process as a good feature, and even there if there's a mayor change it may not be such a good idea (e.g. users not willing to change).

But in a toolchain like Visual Studio I don't see auto-updating specially useful, in fact depending on the software you're developing you may not want to update before evaluating in a virtual environment if the update would break compilation or not (e.g. running system tests, regression tests, ...).

Unless the actual frameworks and toolchains were updated as well, I can't see an IDE update breaking compilation or otherwise making a program you were writing, stop working.

I just think that if they're going to go through the trouble to add something to check for updates, they should at least provide some way to download and install them automatically. Otherwise there's no point and even doing it IMO.

KaoDome said,

In normal standard applications (e.g. a media player, a text editor, ...) I see a hassle free auto-update process as a good feature, and even there if there's a mayor change it may not be such a good idea (e.g. users not willing to change).

But in a toolchain like Visual Studio I don't see auto-updating specially useful, in fact depending on the software you're developing you may not want to update before evaluating in a virtual environment if the update would break compilation or not (e.g. running system tests, regression tests, ...).

I agree 100%. Can you imagine the cussing if it "auto-updated" and caused developers to spend hours or weeks trouble shooting a compile issue?

Now, what I WOULD like to see (And it might be in 2012, I don't know as I'm not using it yet) is the ability to look up and choose to install from a list all of the add ons and such that are required for Windows Phone development, etc.

Good news on the update. I waited for over a month for the Productivity Power Tools. Honestly, that's something that needs to be included in Visual Studio by default. It's probably the single most useful extension I have installed.