Announcing F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web!

Announcing F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web!

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The F# team is excited to announce that F# Tools for Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web is now available!

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web (available here) is a free development environment that programmers can use to build projects such as ASP.NET applications and Windows Azure cloud services. This F# Tools release adds in F# 3.0 components, such as the F# 3.0 compiler, F# Interactive, IDE support, and new F# features such as type providers and query expressions.

Note: if you already have Visual Studio 2012 Professional or higher, you don’t need to install this—you have everything you need as part of your existing installation.

Further information on using F# across various platforms can be found at

Video Intro to F#

Check out the video F# 3.0 information rich programming at the Visual Studio Launch Site.

Quick Start: Installing F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web

Launch the Web Platform Installer from here and click Install.

Or, if you already have Web Platform Installer on your machine, you can also launch it and search for “F#”:


Add that component, and click Install. Any dependencies you need, such as Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web, will be automatically detected and installed. The online registration grants a free product key, and you’ll be using F# with Visual Studio in no time.

It’s that easy!

Data at Your Fingertips with F# 3.0

Now it is easier than ever to access many important data sources, using a set of built-in type providers for SQL databases and web data protocols. These providers make it simpler, more uniform, and more intuitive to access data sources. Plus, it’s an extensible mechanism, so you can even write your own type provider.

For instance, using the built-in OData type provider, you can query the Netflix OData catalog:

query the Netflix OData catalog


You get IntelliSense as soon as you put in the URL for the Netflix catalog and start writing the query.

Here’s a more advanced query that pulls out the 100 worst movies from Netflix’s catalog:

a more advanced query that pulls out the 100 worst movies from Netflix’s catalog


We want everyone to be able to experience the productivity and fun of using F# for development.  When F# was released in Visual Studio 2010, we published a free CTP version of the F# compiler and tooling for the free Visual Studio Shell. Long-time F# enthusiasts may recall the days of F# as a Microsoft Research project and downloading the F# compiler from the MSR website.

Now with the launch of Visual Studio 2012, we’re happy to make it even easier to get started using a free version of F#. :)

Learn More

There are myriad resources for getting started with and learning more about F#.  Here’s a sampling:



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  • Great!

    Are there any plans to offer similar support for Desktop and Metro applications?

  • @Moondevil Thanks for your interest!

    We don't have plans to release free F# tools for the Desktop Express or Win 8 Express products. We chose to target Visual Studio Express for Web, because it's an excellent fit with F# 3.0’s main focus of information-rich programming. Type providers and query expressions have a natural affinity with server-side and cloud computing, and Express for Web has great tooling (and continuous updates) for these workloads.

    Let us know what you think of this release!

  • try to follow the link to install F#

    but web platform install couldn't find the product...

    search return nothing for F#

  • @Moondevil, F# 2.0 ran under the free Visual Studio 2010 Integrated Shell. Perhaps F# 3.0 runs under the 2012 shell?

  • Thank you, but I have a problem.

    WebPI is not working via proxy at work for me. Is there an offline installer available?

  • Nevermind, found it here

  • Please add support for the tools in desktop express as well.

  • I had been thinking that C# had totally taken F# away from us. I prefer F# and am so happy you are doing this. Don't forget F#. Keep improving and evolving it. Thanks

  • Please add support for the tools in desktop express as well.

  • It would serve Microsoft well not to neglect F# for the desktop as there are hobby users which are also potential start ups - which in term could provide revenue for the commercial VS product line. Not supporting F# as an equal citizen is a bad decision in my opinion. On the other hand, I also believe Microsoft may be cannibalizing its own platform a little with the VS pricing. Costly tools will impact platform support. Express tools will at least allow hobbyists to get going who can then switch to commercial versions as their ideas turn into viable products.

  • You know what else would be great? If as part of the "IDE support" you could manage to somehow squeeze in the ability to use folders without having to unload the project and edit the project file by hand...just saying.

  • "Let us know what you think of this release!"

    I think you need to release it for the desktop product. Cripes, it's like you people are determined to keep anyone from ever using F#.

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