Visual Studio 2012 RC introduced a number of enhancements to deployment functionality:

  • Visual Studio now stores publish profiles in XML files, making it easier to share and customize profiles.
  • The publish profile specifies the build configuration to be deployed.
  • The publish profile specifies database deployment settings
  • The publish profile stores credentials for publishing separately from other profile information, so you can share profiles without sharing credentials.
  • A new Publish Web wizard UI facilitates updating the publish profile.
  • The Publish Web wizard enables you to import publish settings from a file that you download from a hosting provider.
  • The Publish Web wizard enables you to preview file and database changes before they are made on the destination server.
  • You can create Web.config transformation files that are linked to publish profiles, not just to build configurations.
  • If you have a database that is managed by Entity Framework Code First, Visual Studio can automatically configure Code First Migrations to automate incremental database deployment. For an overview of how this works, see this blog post.
  • A new dialog box enables you to specify precompile and merge options that will be applied during the deployment process.

For details on these features and how to use them, see these newly updated and newly published resources:

Feedback is welcome, and you can post your comments either here or in the tutorials and MSDN pages.

-- Tom Dykstra
ASP.NET and Web Tools Developer Content