March CTP (“CTP4”) of Visual Studio Update 2 now available

March CTP (“CTP4”) of Visual Studio Update 2 now available

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Visual Studio Updates are a 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. 



The March CTP or CTP4 will likely be the last CTP before formally releasing Visual Studio Updat2 and can be downloaded here:

Of course the purpose of CTPs is to get feedback and identify any problems before they are released,  so if you find any issues please let us know!

Submit Bug


New Features in CTP4 for Visual Studio Update 2

HTML Client and SharePoint support for LightSwitch

The big new feature for this CTP is a new HTML client and SharePoint Support for LightSwitch; To bring folks up to speed on building HTML clients with LightSwitch we have done an entire blog post on this topic; for more information please see the post by John Stallo at:

(note: Robert MacLean, one of the ALM MVPs, just pointed out to that there are some steps needed before getting started if you had Preview 2 on your computer – please see: Upgrading from Preview 2 to CTP)



Inline editing of text of test steps and results in the test execution of the browser based test management 


Enabling testers to test in environments with out needing to install any software is one our top priorities.  In this CTP we continue to enhance light weight browser based test case management by enable editing both results and test case steps [-while in the process of executing the test case.   In the screen shot above you can see I created a test case with very terse high level steps –but during the execution I able to add additional information for later test runs.


SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint User Profile diagnostics support with IntelliTrace



One of the benefits of the Visual Studio updates is the ability to add capabilities for platforms that do not align with the Visual Studio ship cycle.  To this end SharePoint has been a focus area and this continues with SharePoint 2013 and the ability to use Intellitrace to diagnose User Profile issues.




Customize columns in the Team Foundation Kanban Board


If your team is using or looking to get started with the kanban method the new Team Foundation Server kanban board is a great tool to help you get started.   With Visual Studio Update 2 the kanban board has been improved with the ability to customize the columns to better align with your development. For more information check out Gregg Boers post: Kanban customizable columns, “under the hood” or Tarun Arora’s TFS Kanban board Swim lane customization walk through


Servicing in High Availability SQL Environments 

Team Foundation Servers databases involved in SQL AlwaysOn or database mirroring can now perform upgraded. For an in-depth post on the ALM Blog with a walk through of this in the next couple of days.


Team Foundation Visual Studio Update 2 CTP4 is “go-live’ 

While not a feature per se, Team Foundation Server 2012 with Update 2 CTP 4 is “go-live”. This means that you can use this build in production environments. This is still a pre-release, so there may be issues that will be fixed/changed for the final release.  Upgrade from Update 2 CTP 4 to Update 2 RTM is supported. In order to upgrade to future releases, you will be required to first upgrade from Update 2 CTP 4 to the released (RTM) version of Update 2.


ALM Features included in the previous Visual Studio Update 2 CTPs:

  1. Web based Test Case Management
  2. Code Map Debugger Integration and Responsiveness Improvements
  3. TDD for Windows Phone Unit Tests
  4. Test Explorer group tests by Class
  5. Web based version control Explore and Compare
  6. Send work items in email
  7. Email work items from backlogs
  8. Web version control Improvements
  9. New Team Explorer Connection dialog display multiple servers, TPCs and projects
  10. Advanced SharePoint 2010 Load Testing
  11. Team Foundation Server Work Item Tagging
  12. Extended cross browser support in Coded UI Testing
  13. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 support in Coded UI Testing
  14. Test Explorer test details improvements for Coded UI Tests
  15. Improvements in Windows Store Applications Unit Testing
  16. Test Explorer test playlists
  17. Symbol Loading improvements for IntelliTrace and Profiler
  18. While not technically part of Update 2: Git as version control on Team Foundation Service
  19. Fakes now available in Visual Studio Premium
  20. Coded user interface testing support for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7
  21. Visual Studio HTML and JavaScript profiler
  22. Enable adding attachments to test outcomes in web based test case management
  23. Enable pausing and resuming test execution in web based test case management
  24. The ability to clone test cases in Microsoft Test Manager



Note: If you see the following error (TF400534) when attempting to install a localized version of Team Foundation Server (RUS, ITA, or JPN) with the web installer; the operating system needs to be updated.  Running Windows Update will resolve the problem and enable you to install Team Foundation Server Update 2.


For other known issues and the bugs this update resolves please see:

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  • If I remember correctly, when Update 2 was released it was clear that it was not "go-live" for Visual Studio 2012 (the IDE, not TFS).

    Given that you say it's likely this is the last release before it goes RTW, does this mean CTP4 is "go-live" for the Visual Studio 2012 IDE?

  • Hello,

    You asked:

    >>..."does this mean CTP4 is "go-live" for the Visual Studio 2012 IDE?"

    Visual Studio 2012 CTP4 IDE is NOT "go-live".

    "Go-live" means quite a bit different things for clients and server products and we wanted to make sure there was nothing (like a EULA) impeding the usage of the Team Foundation Server CTPs.



  • Hi Charles,

    What does Brain Harry mean when he says:

    "[the] most notable thing about this CTP is that it is “go-live”"


  • Could you please put the recent(after August 2012 till Febrary 2013) fixes of the C++ compiler into the Update2-RTM?? It's realy demanded to our programmers. Several problems in our company's project have being found at the, which seems identical as those described by other guys that found several. Your team declared those as 'fixed', However we still both get stuck at and can't test those. The fixes you declared at the release note are too old. We almost tested every Update CTPs you released and found no improvement. It's not enough to get those fixes from your next major versions rather than from updates, because even if we can wait, The changed plan of your product may produce some new bugs(it's unavoidable no matter how prudent we or your programmers be). To you, if you don't release them, the guys that found a bug that has already been fixed will still report it to your feedback site, which just bothers both of you and reporters.

  • Tagging of work items: I don't see any way to edit tags in the Visual Studio Client.  Have I missed something?

  • Is there any intention of improving the TDD experience with this update.  My team is finding VS2012 to be totally unproductive for TDD because of the length of time the discovery and WriteTestCases step takes before a new test or a test that calls code that has been modified take.  In our case this can be around 50 seconds but I have read of other people experiencing it taking 2 minutes.

    This makes VS2012 unusable for TDD and we've reverted to 2010.

  • @Simon Vane

    Have you tried this CTP of Update 2? We have made a number of improvements in which we have seen significant improvements to the discovery time for some customers. If you still feel that after this Update you still have issues with performance I'd love to hear more about them and dig a little deeper.


    Joshua Weber

  • Great work guys., says "SketchFlow support is available today as a preview and will be released in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2."

    Just an FYI, and hoping that you'll be able to keep with the published statement, or update it.

  • After installing Update 2 CTP 4 I got "Children cannot be evaluated" for all variables on C++/CLI DLL.

  • Hi Joshua,

    I posted a problem here but it does not seem to have been moderated.  I have also raised a bug ( and have not received any feedback.


  • Is it possible to implement SHA3 in the update?

  • any chance of an iso (for vs, not tfs)

  • @Bruce Wayne

    Use the /layout switch to download all files, create an ISO and use them for all PCs you want:

  • When you add a list to the report, then you add some fields and a table, there are no "group and sort" properties in the list which was available in previous versions. Try following all of the steps in this vid: and you will get an error.

  • Still no support for ce devices.

    2008 is getting old, would really love to upgrade but my main focus is ce devices at the moment.  Disappointing to see that the ce device support rumors are false

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