If you have read Jason Zander’s post earlier today, you know that Visual Studio 2012 has been released to the web! Check out the MSDN Subscriber Download Page and the Visual Studio product website. This release has brought a huge amount of new value for C++ developers. Here are the highlights:
Standard Template Library
Here is the detailed discussion on C++ 11 features in Visual Studio 2012, with links to the corresponding C++ 11 specs. Please also see the fun video series on STL … by STL.
Compiler and Linker
We’ve made major investments to help developers make the most of their target hardware. We are introducing the auto-vectorizer to take advantage of SSE2 instructions to make your loops go faster by doing 4 number operations at time, auto-parallelizer to automatically spread your work on many CPUs, and C++ AMP (C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism) to leverage the power of GPU for data parallel algorithms. Note that C++ AMP also comes with a first-class debugging and profiling support.
We continue to enhance the breadth and depth of Parallel Patterns Libraries (PPL). In addition to major investments in async programming, we’ve added more to algorithms and concurrent collections. We are also working very hard in bringing most of these concepts into the next revision of the C++ standard.
In addition to the Parallel Tasks window and Parallel Stacks window, Visual Studio 2012 offers a new Parallel Watch window so that you can examine the values of an expression across all threads and processes, and perform sorting and filtering on the results.
Note: XAML/DirectX interop :Developers targeting Windows 8 Store apps can use both XAML and DirectX in the same app, which allows developers to build flexible user interfaces like the one in FreshPaint app.
In addition to the general Visual Studio IDE improvements like the new Solution Explorer, Preview Tabs, new Find, Compare, and Asynchronous Solution Load etc., we’ve made several IDE enhancements that are new for C++ and help C++ developers be more productive with Visual Studio.
Static code analysis helps identify runtime issues at compile time when they are much cheaper to fix. Code analysis for C++ feature in Visual Studio 2012 has been enhanced aiming to provide improved user experiences as well as analysis capabilities. In this new version, code analysis has been extended to support 64 bit apps, ship with additional concurrency rules to detect issues like race conditions, and offer the ability for creating customized rule sets. This feature is now available in all Visual Studio editions allowing every developer to make the best use of it.
Architecture Dependency Graphs
Generate dependency graphs from source code to better understand the architecture of your existing apps or code written by others. In Visual Studio 2012 you can generate dependency graphs by binaries, classes, namespaces, and include files for C++ apps. Also, use Architecture Explorer tool window to explore the assets and structure of your solution by looking at solution view or class view.
Example: Dependency Graph by Binary
Example: Dependency Graph by Include Files
Use Architecture Explorer to browse assets in the solution
Unit Test Framework for C++
Visual Studio 2012 ships with a new unit test framework for native C++. You can write light-weight unit tests for your C++ applications to quickly verify application behaviors. Use the new Test Explorer tool window to discover and manage your tests along with test results. This feature is now available in all Visual Studio editions.
Code coverage has been updated to dynamically instrument binaries at runtime. This lowers the configuration overhead, provides better performance and enables a smoother user experience. Code coverage feature has also been integrated well with the new C++ unit test framework in Visual Studio 2012 allowing you to collect code-coverage data from unit tests for C++ app by one single click within Visual Studio IDE.
We’ve announced two things that will arrive in a few months:
C++ for Windows Phone 8
As soon as the Windows Phone 8 SDK is made available, C++ developers will be able to target Windows Phone. Stay Tuned!
Example: Windows 8 Marble Maze Sample targeting Windows Phone 8
As always, we love hearing from you. Thanks for keeping us honest and kudos to those who have influenced our product design for the better!
On behalf of the VC++ team,
Lead Program Manager, C++
Thanks to all involved for all the native code love in Visual Studio 2012. Looking forward to Microsoft's further adventures in native code... Some kick ***, on the metal, C++ libraries would be good now.
So, any indication when VS 2012 will hit Dreamspark?
Thanks! I take it you've read Herb's post on libraries: herbsutter.com/.../facebook-folly-oss-c-libraries
Do you have any favorite domains of libraries that you'd love to see?
Check out Neil Carter's response on Soma's blog post today. blogs.msdn.com/.../visual-studio-2012-and-net-4-5-now-available.aspx
If you have further questions on that, feel free to leave a note on Soma's blog.
Thank you for reaching out to us regarding DreamSpark's availability of Visual Studio 2012. This is an incredibly exciting release for us.
If you are a student and your school or institution has a DreamSpark Subscription, the Program Administrator for your DreamSpark Subscription will have access to Visual Studio 2012 today through MSDN Subscriber Downloads (msdn.microsoft.com/.../downloads).
For students with accounts on DreamSpark.com, or with student accounts in their school or institution's ELMS WebStore we are working as quickly as possible to make this available and have a release target of August 24th.
DreamSpark Global Program Manager
Any hint of when the full c++11 support (variadic templates, initializer lists, etc) update will be released?
Sorry John - nothing that we can share yet.
Well on the native libraries front (and take it as read that all of these should play nicely with STL, i.e. use std::basic_string and support contains and algorithms): XML parsing, file-system, web-stack (get Casablanca into supported mode), compression would be a good start.
Viz updates, Variadics and List Initialisation would be nice, but and I know you're sick of hearing this... Windows XP binary generation (i.e. the option to target either the Win7 or Win8 SDK) without having to bring the hammer of side-by-side installing VS2010. We have far too many clients in Financial Services who are going to stick with XP until the bitter end. Desperately need to be able to use out-of-the-box VS2012 to target Windows XP and create mixed-mode apps that combine C++ 11, C++/CLI and .NET 4.
I'm really happy to be getting back onto RTM tools, despite how relatively stable the RC was. Anything particularly notable changed since the RC? I expect it's a pretty hard feature-freeze at that point.
Hi, Are there any improvements for Microsoft Foundation Classes in Visual Studio 2012?
Thanks for the details on libraries Tom.
Re: Windows XP. We hear you:). The plan still is targeting a late-Fall release as per the previous post: blogs.msdn.com/.../10320645.aspx
Almost all of the work post-RC was related to fit-and-finish, reliability and performance work - and mostly those reported by developers.
We've fixed a large number of connect issues/suggestions around MFC. See blogs.msdn.com/.../10320171.aspx However, no large chunk feature items this release.
Congratulations! I also want to say that I'm quite impressed at how MS listened to the community regarding XP support and native C++ in the Express SKU.
I think the decisions to support these things maybe came a bit late, but I really thought that XP support was a dead duck, so I'm especially impressed with that turn around. Kudos.
Simon Buchan: My last major change was to make <atomic>'s implementation header-only between RC and RTM, for increased performance.