CTP for Visual Studio Update 2 now available

CTP for Visual Studio Update 2 now available

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As I have mentioned, the Visual Studio Updates are a new mechanism we are using to provide ongoing value throughout the year to our Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server customers. These updates will provide features to support the latest software trends in the market, and also offer an easy way to deploy bug fixes.  In Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 we are focusing on Modern Application Lifecycle and Modern App Development

Modern application lifecycle has been improved in Visual Studio Update 2 with significant improvements to both quality enablement and agile development.  Agile development has been made easier and more flexible with Work Item enhancements (tags, filtering, sharing), Kanban board customization and improved user interfaces.  Quality Enablement now supports a lightweight browser-based test management and execution to enable development teams to easily view/edit tests and your customers to run tests in a way that needs no installation on the system being tested and works non-Windows platforms; to decrease the time needed to continuously enable quality in software projects.

Modern application development focuses on improving the line of business development and developer experience.  Highlights for the line of business developers include: LightSwitch.  The developer experience improvements in the IDE include a new theme, Code Map debugger integration and performance in key areas areas including XAML design and Code Map rendering. 

The CTP Can be downloaded here:


Please let us know if you have any issues!

 Submit Bug

ALM Features in this CTP:

  1. Code Map Debugger Integration and Responsiveness Improvements
  2. TDD for Windows Phone Unit Tests
  3. Test Explorer group tests by Class
  4. Web based version control Explore and Compare
  5. Send work items in email
  6. Email work items from backlogs
  7. Web version control Improvements
  8. New Team Explorer Connection dialog display multiple servers, TPCs and projects
  9. Team Foundation Server Work Item Tagging
  10. Improvements in Windows Store Applications Unit Testing
  11. Test Explorer test playlists
  12. Symbol Loading improvements for IntelliTrace and Profiler
  13. While not technically part of Update 2: Git as version control on Team Foundation Service

Specifically for Testers

  1. Web based Test Case Management
  2. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 support in Coded UI Testing 
  3. Test Explorer test details improvements for Coded UI Tests
  4. Advanced SharePoint 2010 Load Testing
  5. Extended cross browser support in Coded UI Testing


A look at the ALM features in this CTP

In the forth coming days we will be releasing an entire series of blog posts on these features…but the descriptions below should definitely serve to wet your appetite until then!

Test Explorer Playlists


Being able to play an specific set of tests has been a highly requested feature….and one that we are introducing in Visual Studio Update 2!

To access this new functionality bring up the Test Explorer, right click a test and choose add to playlist. Then to play the playlist, the “Play all Tests” is a drop down that will display your playlists.

Test Explorer grouping/filtering tests by Class


The new Test Explorer has been lauded for its faster performance, non blocking asynchronous behavior and the ability to serve multiple Test Frameworks. –But the loss of functionality around grouping and test lists has been an area of contention…With Update 2 we now provide both grouping by class and test lists!

Test Explorer improved details for Coded UI tests


The Test Explorer has been improved to better display the Coded UI Test details; for instance hyperlinks are now active for attachments and log files.

For more information on how to do enable the image log this please see: Enabling HtmlLogger & Tracing in Coded UI Test


Team Foundation Server Work item Tagging


Work Item Tags offer a an easy way to filter work items and show associated Tasks.  The way in which this could be used is almost limitless such as tagging bugs to make them easier to triage or tagging BPI’s to assist with your stack ranking and will almost certainly be one those features people will be using them in ways we never considered!

Note: To see Tags in the Product backlog, you can use the “Column Options” on the toolbar to add it to the view, just as you would add any other column.


New Team Explorer Connection dialog displays multiple servers, team project collections and team projects


The Team Foundation Server development teams have really focused on removing any friction in your development process while adding a ton of value and the new connect view in Team Explorer epitomizes this philosophy by displaying the all your Team Foundation Servers, Team Project Collections and Team Projects you have connected to.


Web based Test Case Management


The ability to manage test cases from a browser was one of the top customer requests that we added to Visual Studio Update 2.  These new features enable several new testing scenarios like testing non Windows based applications, testing environments with NO test tools needing to be installed,easily enabling your development team to view and edit test cases and letting stake holders walk through the case steps from their own computer.  If the test case management tools are of interest, please check back as I will be doing a detailed post next week!


Advanced SharePoint 2010 Load Testing

Visual Studio Update 1 released

Web and Load Testing  SharePoint 2010 Web. With Update 2, Visual Studio has been enhanced to enable more advanced scenarios  such as: workflows, InfoPath forms, excel services, manage metadata, lookup columns and Office Web Companions. InfoPath forms web tests can now support the request plugin. The recorder for Web and Performance test can also record the web companions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PPT, One Note as well as Social and SharePoint Applications.

Visual Studio Update 2 has also added the extensibility of web and load testing. You can now parameterize the input data in an XML file. Examples where you might use this: tokens for authentication or columns lists.  Please note this extensibility is only available for SharePoint Applications. Watch out for a detailed post on this new extensibility later early next month.


TDD for Windows Phone Unit Tests

The familiar Visual Studio 2012 TDD experience is now available for Windows Phone Unit Tests. You can author, run and debug unit tests for Windows Phone 8 either on an emulator or a physical device right from Visual Studio IDE.

Please see the entire article at: Windows Phone Unit Tests in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

Improvements in Windows Store applications Unit Tests

Visual Studio Update2 CTP adds two new features in the Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestPlatform.UnitTestFramework.AppContainer namespace to make unit testing Window Store apps even easier:

  • Assert.ThrowsException<T> method enables you to test whether an exception is thrown in an async lambda expression.
  • UITestMethodAttribute attribute [UITestMethod] enables you to run unit tests on the main UI thread.

Watch for a complete post on this topic early next month!


Code Map Debugger Integration and Responsiveness Improvements


Code Map has been enhanced to provide debugger integration enabling a visual overview of what you are debugging and stepping through to help understand and debug complex code without getting lost.


Git as version control on Team Foundation Service


Not really an Update 2 feature, since this is only a preview feature for the Team Foundation Service.  But, since Brian Harry announced it today I feel I have to at least mention that fact Team Foundation Service now has Git version control.

Please see the entire article at: Getting Started with Git in Visual Studio and Team Foundation Service

Known Issues

While there is a KB for Visual Studio Update 2 at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2797912

- I wanted to highlight one issue I ran into:

Problem: Team Explorer will not work properly if you have VS 2012 RTM and installs TFS Update 2 CTP 2 side by side.

Resolution:1. Install VS Update CTP 2 in the machine.

B. User has VS 2012 RTM and installs TFS Update 2 CTP 2 side by side and then un-installs TFS Update 2 CTP 2.

How to fix the problem?

1. Un-install the TFS Update 2 CTP 2 Object Model (see instructions below).

2. From Add/Remove/Programs repair VS 2012 RTM.

C. User has VS 2012 RTM and installs VS Update 2 CTP 2 and then un-installs VS Update 2 CTP2.

How to fix the problem?

1. Un-install the TFS Update 2 CTP 2 Object Model (see instructions below).

2. From Add/Remove/Programs repair VS 2012 RTM.

How to un-install TFS Update 2 CTP 2 Object Model (OM)?

Run the following commands (in the specified order) from a cmd window running as administrator (replace “C:\” with your system drive).

                                In a 32-bit operation system:

                                                msiexec /x "C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\{722645F7-6EC1-3CED-A011-207435B9DA56}v11.0.60115\packages\TFSObjectModel\x86\enu\TFSObjectModelLP-x86_enu.msi"

msiexec /x "C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\{583E6CA2-1620-328B-ACB0-82E32CD138DD}v11.0.60115\packages\TFSObjectModel\x86\Core\TFSObjectModel-x86.msi"

                                In a 64-bit operation system:

                                                msiexec /x "C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\{DF3A8165-FCE9-360E-A050-63C2D7C4CE28}v11.0.60115\packages\TFSObjectModel\x64\enu\TFSObjectModelLP-x64_enu.msi"

msiexec /x "C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\{EAD5D2E9-E465-3242-AFD9-2F1BA4EC90DE}v11.0.60115\packages\TFSObjectModel\x64\Core\TFSObjectModel-x64.msi"



We have confirmed an issue with Licensing causing TEST hub to be hidden. This problem only shows up on an on-premise Team Foundation Server installation if you have upgraded from Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server Update 1 to Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server Update 2 CTP3.   If you have not upgraded your Team Foundation Server you probably have not given access to your users (see this post for details on how to do this).  image_thumb[2]


Temporary Workaround: you can still access all the test functionality of the TEST hub by directly specifying the “_testmanagement” in the URL: “http://SERVER:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection/TEAMPROJECT/_testmanagement



This problem does not occur if you did a fresh install of Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 February CTP OR have upgraded from Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 RTM to VS 2012 Visual Studio Update 2 CTP3. 


The Team has also created a private utility you can apply to your server so the Test Hub will reappear (after you have set the access level)….to receive this private utility please send email to: Ravi Shanker

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 5 and 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Question: How does the TFS team come up with these features?

    You guys told us to put our suggestions on the user voice site. And your customers have been voting for months on what they want, and it seems like our requests are getting very little love.

    Will we ever get any of the top TFS requests in these Quarterly Updates for 2012?

    Seeing how it seems like you seem to never update uservoice requests here are the top 13 TFS items with the most votes.

    1 rename project in TFS - ALLEN: I REALLY want this feature as so many of my team projects are named the wrong this and we have to do painful migrations and we lose history/fidelity. Why is this so freakin hard?

    2 VS11. Bring back the old "Pending Changes" window -ALLEN: The new pending changes window is so bad I go back to using VS 2010. I have devs who've tried 2012 and moved back to 2010 because of this one feature being so broken.

    3 Enable distributed source control (DVCS) - ALLEN: Seems like you guys are working on this one...but there's so many issues with regular TFS Version Control I'm not clear on why you guys don't fix those first. I'm looking at trying to do diffs on "renamed" folders/items....ugly.

    4 Allow for updating project templates on existing projects in TFS - ALLEN: I'd love to see this improved when changing templates say between scrum to agile, agile to CMMI, CMMI to custom, etc. Why is changing\customizing process templates and WITS so difficult?

    5 make it possible to move a Team Project between Team Project Collections - ALLEN: Oh god, PLEASE, I want. Our business groups are always wanting to move these things around and we can't!

    6 Provide build configuration dependencies in TFS Build - ALLEN: the latest status update says "planned", ok cool. This could be interesting if it's as easy to use as FinalBuilder/Team City.

    7 Treat TFS as an Enterprise Symbol Server - ALLEN: meh! Sure fine...improve this slightly. It would be a nice to have.

    8 create a central place to manage rights for TFS, Sharepoint and Reporting Services - ALLEN:+1 BILLION. Security is

    a NIGHTMARE with TFS, and we've had to invest weeks into building tools and using AD groups. FIX THIS!!!!

    9 Switch between list view and tree view in pending changes window - ALLEN: Again see number 2. Seems like again people want the old pending changes experience.

    10 Merge by Workitem -ALLEN: This would be a huge win...but Martin Woodward said it was some kind of anti-pattern on TFS rocks...Why is this an anti-pattern?

    11 Hide Work Item Types (WITs) based on permission/security group - ALLEN: Why the hell do my Project Managers have to see Code Reviews when they create work items from Excel or Project?

    12 New Work Item Control: Checkbox - ALLEN: Duh! How hard could this be?! Seriously! The comment says it all "Checkboxes introduced from the very beginning (Windows 1 actually, I checked. ;)"

    13 develop an empowering Process Template editor!! -ALLEN: Why do we still have the terrible tool from VS 2005, go talk to the windows workflow team and build something YESTERDAY.


  • (continued)

    Alright so now let me review your features:

    1.Web based Test Case Management - ALLEN: COOL! But let me guess I can't use it for UAT and I still have to have people buy MSDN with Test Pro. Licensing kills this feature so its DOA. Do my testers still have to go to MTM...I bet they do for video recording/screenshots? Why the two experiences? CONFUSING.

    2.Code Map Debugger Integration and Responsiveness Improvements - ALLEN: Yawn. Requires Ultimate. Tell me when Premium gets it then I'll be interested.

    3.Test Explorer group tests by Class - ALLEN: Yawn. You guys broke test lists that had been in the product since 2005, our beloved VSMDI files. Thanks for fixing what you broke?

    4.Web based version control Explore and Compare - Nice I guess...but who uses this feature? We can't check-in code via the web or branch/merge, so who was this built for and why???

    5.Send work items in email - ALLEN: Another Yawn. You broke this and had to put it back. Thanks for fixing what you broke.

    6.Email work items from backlogs ALLEN:  Slightly interested.  Let me get this straight, your devs took the code from item 5 and added the button on the backlog. Nice I guess?

    7.Web version control Improvements - ALLEN: Again yawn..Why should my users care? What will they notice?

    8.New Team Explorer Connection dialog display multiple servers, TPCs and projects - ALLEN: COOL! THANK THE DEAR SWEET LORD. Can you do work item queries across team projects yet?

    9.Advanced SharePoint 2010 Load Testing - ALLEN: Yawn. Guess you had to make the office division happy.

    10.Team Foundation Server Work Item Tagging - ALLEN: Slightly interested..is it as easy to use as bugzilla/Jirra tags? Can I do tag chains? Where do I control the list of tags...does this require new WITs (6.2?) be deployed again?

    11.Extended cross browser support in Coded UI Testing - ALLEN: Slightly interested, we looked at Squish...way too expensive...how is this improved?

    12.Microsoft SharePoint 2013 support in Coded UI Testing  - ALLEN: Slightly interested, again we don't do sharepoint dev, so not a huge win...but I'm sure it fills a gap.

    13.Test Explorer test details improvements for Coded UI Tests - ALLEN: Slightly interested I'll have to take a look, QTP just beats codedui  hands down.

    14.Improvements in Windows Store Applications Unit Testing  - ALLEN: Yawn. Maybe in 3 years when Windows 8 takes off we'll need this.

    15.Test Explorer test playlists - ALLEN: Yawn. WTF on the naming? Is this a rick roll? Never going to give you up.. Seriously "playlists”? The name should be Test Execution Lists like in other tools.

    16.Symbol Loading improvements for IntelliTrace and Profiler - ALLEN: Slightly interested.

    17.While not technically part of Update 2: Git as version control on Team Foundation Service - ALLEN: Yawn. If this is not part of Update 2 why list this here. Is this only for the cloud version of TFS if so double yawn.

    It would seem that Update 2 is lacking the features I want (uservoice) but you earned:

    2 - COOL!

    7 - Slightly interested

    8 - Yawns

  • @Allen drop me an email and I will set up a meeting with you and the person that owns the TFS back log (Works for Brian Harry)...That way you can answer your first question for me<g>

    My email is:


  • I installed the VS2012 CTP update but now can't connect to TFS server. Get "Object reference not set to an instance of an object".

  • Keith, please send me the details on what you doing so we can figure that out. buckh-microsoft-com

  • I have the same problem as Keith. Cau you help me?

  • I installed the CTP but I am unable to see the Test link to access the web based test case management.  Any help is appreciated, thanks!

  • @Keith Elder, there was a bug in this CTP that produced a null ref error when connecting to a TFS 2008 server.  While compatibility between VS 2012 and TFS 2008 isn't officially supported, we did fix that bug for the next CTP.

  • Hello Alicia,

    You need to go to control panel in TFS and give the user access.

    I will add screen shots for this in the TCM Web post at:




  • i added a new ADO.NET and connected to a database, initially the database items appear in the data sources panel, but then when you switch to another tab in VS to implement these, the entities added, disappear.  I have reproduced this problem several times. VS crashes many times and i find it more unstable compared to previous versions, e.g. i want to rename a window, VS crashes for 30 seconds, then resumes. This did not happen before the CTP update.

  • I have the same problem as Keith: installed the VS2012 CTP update but now can't connect to TFS server. Get "Object reference not set to an instance of an object".

    Would you please address the issue here in the forum.

  • Sorry, just saw Adam Barr's response, and yes, we still have TFS 2008 (due for upgrade soon).

    I appreciate that it is not officially supported, and yet all the VS 2012 and updates worked fine up to now, so this was a bit frustrating. Also, very difficult to find a specific reference to this issue...even above under 'Known Issues'.

    I am assuming that uninstalling the CTP is the only resolution until the next release?

  • @Adam Barr: Your response about fixing the TFS 2008 null reference bug in the "next" CTP was dated 2/6, and there is a CTP 3 also published on that date...is that the one with the fix...because as far as I can tell that is the version I just downloaded and first encountered the error....(its a bit confusing because they are all KB2707250)?

  • I see that there is TDD support extended for Windows Phone/emulator.  Would coded ui recorder be able to identify the objects inside the emulator.

  • Hello,

    I could not see the "tagging" feature from VS IDE. Just from TFS web access ...

    I am missing something?


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