imageOn Monday, the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update was released and with it, new extensions and tools to the existing ASP.NET runtime. More importantly, new extensions and tools to the existing runtime without breaking existing applications! Nice. For details on the update, check out these posts.

But to save you the time reading it, here’s 5 fast facts about the release that will make you want to go and download it right away! After all, who doesn’t love tools that make it easer to get work done, right?

1   Several new Visual Studio project templates
New templates for ASP.NET Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC, and ASP.NET Web APIs!
  • The new Facebook template makes it easy to create full Facebook apps that interact with the social graph. 
  • The new Single Page Application template is designed to build quick and simple apps with Knockout.js and ASP.NET Web APIs.
  • Finally, a big bonus with this release, is that it is now possible to create new ASP.NET MVC templates using a Visual Studio extension (VSIX).  Expect to see a lot more templates from Microsoft and others in the community!
     
2   ASP.NET SignalR
This release includes the SignalR realtime communications system as ASP.NET SignalR, an officially supported component of ASP.NET. ASP.NET SignalR makes it easy to enable two-way, real-time communications between clients (browsers, mobile applications, desktops, etc.) and server code. (More on ASP.NET SignalR)
 
3   Visual Studio Web Tools updates
Including:
  • New editor features
  • Updates for page inspector
  • Improved publishing
  • Many others…
4   Friendly URL support
New ASP.NET Web Forms projects include the friendly URLs support, allowing you to use simple URLs like http://mysite.com/edit/23 instead of http://mysite.com/Edit.aspx?ID=23. Scott Hanselman wrote up a great explanation - Introducing ASP.NET FriendlyUrls - cleaner URLs, easier Routing, and Mobile Views for ASP.NET Web Forms.
 
5   Updates for generated help pages, tracing, and OData
ASP.NET Web APIs were introduced with the ASP.NET MVC 4.5 release last August.  With Monday’s new release, ASP.NET Web APIs have been enhanced to support a configurable, automatic Help Page generation, diagnostic trace output to System.Diagnostics.Trace, and powerful OData support which includes advanced OData routing, metadata enhancements, query validation, and many more features. 

Perhaps the best part about this release is that you can start using it right away! This release does not modify the ASP.NET runtime; code using these new templates will work without having to make any changes to your Windows Azure Cloud Services, Windows Azure Web Sites, or any server or developer machine running ASP.NET 4.5/ASP.NET MVC 4.

Pretty neat stuff, eh? All of your pain points getting some tender loving care!

Do you have 30 minutes or so?

Check out fellow evangelist Jon Galloway’s video, walking you through all of these updates via demos - Introduction to the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 Release. You can also learn more about the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 release at http://asp.net/vnext - this is the ASP.NET team’s top resource for all new ASP.NET releases.

Get the bits

You can go ahead and download the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 release now from http://asp.net/vnext. The installation should take you less than 10 minutes and shouldn’t even require a reboot! Make sure you close all instances of Visual Studio 2012 though!

By the way:  If you have installed an earlier version of Mads Kristensen’s excellent (and free) Web Essentials 2012 extension, you’ll want to update it to the latest version before installing the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update (and if you don’t have it and you’re doing any kind of web development, you MUST get it!)  The latest version of the Web Essentials 2012 extension works well with the new release – if you have an older version you will get a runtime error when you launch Visual Studio.  Updating to the latest version of the extension prior to installing the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update will fix this.

Join the Conversation

Give the new bits a try and let us know what you think. The team and I will look forward to your commentary in this discussion on the Canadian Developer Connection LinkedIn group. If you aren’t already a member of the group, take this opportunity to join one of LinkedIn’s fastest-growing, networking, and learning group for Canadian developers such as yourself. With over 6,000 Canadian developers supporting the group, it’s a great place to engage in informative discussions, ask questions, and find answers.