Announcing new Web Features in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 CTP2

Announcing new Web Features in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 CTP2

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Update 4/21/2014: please see for Update 2 RC web features.

Today, the Visual Studio team announced the release of CTP2 of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 .  Our team added a few useful features and did some bug fixing in this update to improve the web development experience.  We will have future blogs to talk about some of the features in detail.  The release note contains more details.

New SASS project item and editor

We added LESS in VS2013 RTM, and we now have a SASS project item and editor.  SASS editor features are comparable to LESS editor, include colorization, variable and Mixins IntelliSense, comment/uncomment, quick info, formatting, syntax validation, outlining, goto definition, color picker, tools option setting etc.



New JSON project item and editor

We have added a JSON project item and editor to Visual Studio.  Current JSON editor features include colorization, syntax validation, brace completion, outlining, tools option setting and more.


Create remote Azure resources option when creating a new Web project

We added a Windows Azure “Create remote resources” checkbox on the new web application dialog.  By choosing it, you will be able to integrate the experience of creating a new web application, setting up the Windows Azure publishing site for testing, and creating publishing profile in a few simple steps.



We also supports remote debugging for WAWS and remote view of Azure website content files in the server explorer.

ASP.NET Scaffolding

If your model is using Enums, then the MVC Scaffolder will generate dropdown for Enum. This uses the Enum helpers in MVC.

Updated the EditorFor templates in MVC Scaffolding so they use the Bootstrap classes.

MVC and Web API Scaffolders will add 5.1 packages for MVC and Web API

One ASP.NET Template changes

We updated ASP.NET templates to support Account Confirmation and Password Reset.

We updated ASP.NET Web API template to support authentication using On Premises Organizational Accounts.

ASP.NET SPA template now shows a template where the authentication is based on MVC and server side views. The template has a WebAPI controller which can only be accessed by authenticated users.

LESS editor improvements

We added features including nested media queries, named parameter support, support for selector interpolation, support for semicolons as parameter separators, goto definition for @import, goto definition of variables and mixins.

Knockout IntelliSense upgrade

We added a non-standard KnockOut syntax for VS intelliSense, “ko-vs-editor viewModel:” syntax.  It can be used to bind to multiple view models on a page using comments in the form:

Code Snippet
  1. <!-- ko-vs-editor viewModel: <any javascript expression that evaluates to an object> -->
  3. <!-- /ko-vs-editor >


We also added support for nested ViewModel IntelliSense, so you may drill into deeply nested objects on the ViewModel.

<div data-bind=”text:” />

The IntelilSense displayed is the full IntelliSense of the JavaScript Object.


New URL Picker in HTML, Razor, CSS, LESS and SASS pages

VS 2013 shipped with no URL picker outside of WebForm pages.  The new URL picker for HTML, Razor, CSS, LESS and SASS editors is a dialog-free, fluent typing picker that understands ‘..’ and filters file lists appropriately for img’s and links.




Browser Link New Features

BrowserLink now supports HTTPS connections and will list that in Dashboard with other connections as long as the certificate is trusted by browser.

ASP.NET Web Forms

The Web Forms templates now show how to do Account Confirmation and Password Reset for ASP.NET Identity.

Entity Framework Data Source and Dynamic Data Provider for Entity Framework 6. For more details please see

ASP.NET MVC 5.1.1, ASP.NET Web API 2.1.1 and ASP.NET Web Pages 3.1.1 are included

We announced ASP.NET MVC 5.1, ASP.NET Web API 2.1 and ASP.NET Web Pages 3.1 in January.  We integrated that release with some minor bug fixes into VS 2013 Update 2 CTP2.

ASP.NET Identity

We integrated Microsoft.AspNet.Identity 2.0-alpha1 into the new project templates.  You can upgrade it to Microsoft.AspNet.Identity 2.0-beta1 to use two factor authentication and more features.

Entity Framework

We integrated Entity Framework 6.1.0-alpha1 into the new project template.  You can upgrade it to Entity Framework 6.1.0-beta1 to use the newest beta1 features.

Microsoft OWIN Components

We integrated stable version Microsoft OWIN Components (2.0.2) into the new project templates.  You can upgrade it to 2.1.0.  Please look at the release notes for the latest stable version (2.1.0) for more detailed information, which includes support for Google OAuth2 authentication and static file server.


NuGet 2.8 RTM is included in this release.  You can always get the latest NuGet extension for Visual Studio through the menu “Tools->Extensions and Updates…”.


We included 2.0.2 NuGet package for SignalR .  Please look at the release notes for more detailed information

Known Problems

Web Essential 2013 is not yet compatible with the Update 2 CTP2. If you install Update 2 CTP2, after opening Visual Studio, you’ll get an error message “EditorExtensionsPackage” couldn’t be loaded.   Please visit this web essential blog post on how to get the compatible build for VS2013 Update 2 CTP2.

When creating an App for SharePoint with an ASP.NET MVC web application, users will receive the following message:

o Error: this template attempted to load component assembly 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.Project, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a'. For more information on this problem and how to enable this template, please see documentation on Customizing Project Templates

o The workaround to create a new provider-hosted or autohosted app for SharePoint using an MVC web application is to follow the steps:

  • Create a MVC web application project first.
  • After the web project is created, right-click the project node to launch the context menu.
  • In the context menu, select “Convert”, then choose “Convert to App for SharePoint Project…”.


We hope you can evaluate these new features and let us know about any bugs and suggestions.  For VS features, please use Connect to submit bugs, ASP.NET UserVoice to submit and vote for suggestions, and the ASP.NET Forums for Q&A.  For MVC/WebAPI/WebPages issues, please submit any issues you encounter and feature suggestions for future releases on our CodePlex site. Thank you!

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  • Please add 8 and 4 and type the answer here:
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  • All the frameworks got an update except SignalR? What's up with that ?

  • @Livingston, SignalR is on its own release schedule and is open sourced on  Since it's nuget package shipped, it won't affect VS tooling.  

  • Is there an option to omit ko-vs-editor and use Durandal convention?

  • @slawek, no, we don’t have direct support for Durandal convention.  But it’s easy to create your own intelliSense file like this:

     Create a js file that will be referenced in scripts\_references.js, with following content:

    _VSEditor_TestObj = {

       displayName: 'test’,


    You will be able to see the intelliSense when doing the following:

       <!-- ko-vs-editor viewModel: _VSEditor_TestObj -->

       <h2 data-bind="html: "></h2>

       <!-- /ko-vs-editor >

  • Great work over-all --but-- I'd like to see more reliable Intellisense when attempting to declare CSS colors and improved responsiveness when attempting to use that little popup that can allow me to sort CSS declarations both of which are hit and miss being mostly miss.

    /* example */

    .class-name // rarely does the popup appear to allow me to sort properties when I hover or click on .class-name


     margin-top: .5em;

     background-color: // Intellisense flakes out here

     padding: 1em;


  • We need compiler from less/sass to css

  • @Clinton,

    The sorting mechanism is not part of Visual Studio, but the Web Essentials extension. Could you perhaps open a bug on their github page and add more details about the issue?

    In terms of Intellisense for colors, what do you mean by flaky?

  • @Tristan,

    You can get the compilers for LESS, SCSS, CoffeeScript and Markdown in Web Essentials

  • What about exploring azure deployed website files in server explorer? Is it there?

  • I am currently installing the CTP. but when you guys release this officially - how does it work. Do I need to remove the CTP and install the official release or can the official release do this automatically ? can you guys please provide some insights on this front ?

  • Excellent! Keep rocking! I really like all of these new features.

  • Good news. As a relatively new user, I am just surprised that a small thing like a LESS syntax highlighting update needs to wait for a whole VS release. I thought that the goal was to provide updates more often and bundling things like LESS and SASS with VS itself sounds contradictory to this goal (ok, VS releases are now only months apart but still, it is not ideal to wait for tiny bug fixes for months). Wouldn't it make more sense to bundle these smaller things with WE or possibly provide a separate download like TypeScript does?

  • @Madhu Ranjan, yes, remote view of Azure website files are not supported in this version.  I've update the blog, thanks!

  • @Lohith, when we release the next version, you can simply just install it. We've made the upgrade process very simple now days.

  • Is there support for Windows Store app projects using CoffeeScript?

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