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Visual Studio 2013 Current Status

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Visual Studio Team Foundation Service Officially released




    In case you haven’t heard yet, we have announced the RTM of our Team Foundation Service.  Our long-term vision is to have up to 5 users free at all times and then some pricing model for over 5 users.  Currently it is all free to my knowledge.  Here is a blurb from the main site:


    Plan projects, collaborate with your team, and manage your code online from anywhere.

    Check your code directly into the cloud using Visual Studio or Eclipse. Manage work items and bugs in Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari.



    Check it out here:

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Visual Studio 2012 Virtual Launch Event -- September 12, 2012



















    The Visual Studio 2012 Virtual Launch Event is coming September 12!  Make sure to add this free event to your calendar so you can attend.  Just click the Add to Calendar link above to make sure you don’t miss out on some great stuff!

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Team Foundation Server and GIT Integration with Git-tf









    On August 13, 2012, Brian Harry announced our new Team Foundation Server integration with Git.  You can find his post here:


    Why did we do it?  Well, Brian himself says it best in his post:

    “Distributed Version Control (DVCS) has a growing following. It enables a set of workflows that can be very handy and Git is an increasingly popular DVCS solution. Today, we are announcing Git-tf, a solution that enables you to work locally with a Git repo – edit, commit, revert, branch, merge, etc. and then “sync up” with a central TFS repository. In this way, you can have the best of both DVCS and TFS.”



    Git-tf Project

    This new effort is an open source one called Git-tf and you can find the project here:


    The best part is you can run Git-tf on Linux, MacOS, or Windows


    Here is a screenshot from the CodePlex site showing usage examples:



    If you just want to download the bits and the getting started guide you can go here:



    Learning More

    You should also check out this video that shows how the new features work:



    If you find yourself having issues you can always check out StackOverflow for any Git-tf tagged items:

    (Note: at the time of this writing there was only one entry in there so far)

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Visual Studio Update 2 (CTP 2) Available


    Download the Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 CTP 2 package now



    From Brian Harry’s blog post [highlighting added by me]:


    Today we released the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 (VS2012.2). It’s exciting to see the next update of VS working it’s way to completion. There’s going to be a ton of cool new capabilities in Update 2. Not all of them are available in this CTP but many are. Below, I’ve described the significant improvement’s that you’ll find in this CTP and I’ve grouped them into 4 categories:

    1. Agile Planning
    2. Quality Enablement
    3. Line of Business Development
    4. Developer Experience


    This CTP is NOT a “go-live” CTP. It is for evaluation only. We’re trying to learn from Update 1 and get feedback earlier in the cycle. We will be having “go-live” pre-releases of Update 2 in order to facilitate that but not quite yet.




    Brian’s post has some great stuff in it with plenty of screenshots. 



    You also can get more detail here from the KB article found here:


    I’ve reproduced some of the information from the KB article verbatim with a little formatting to make it easier to read:


    PLEASE NOTE: Technology Previews have not been subject to final validation and are not meant to be run on production workstations or servers. Since installation of Visual Studio CTPs and installation of Team Foundation Server CTPs work differently, please read the recommended upgrade approach for each product carefully.

    For Visual Studio: The recommended approach for upgrading Visual Studio on developer workstations is installing the latest Visual Studio Update CTP on top of an RTM release or a previous CTP build of that Update. Visual Studio CTPs can be upgraded to a different build.

    For Team Foundation Server: Do not install a Team Foundation Server Update CTP on a production server, as it could put the server in an unsupported state. Unlike with Visual Studio CTPs, installing a Team Foundation Server CTP fully replaces the current release on the server with the CTP. Team Foundation Server CTPs cannot be upgraded to future CTPs or releases nor "downgraded" to a previous release.




    New technology improvements and fixed issues in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 CTP 2

    New technology improvements

    Agile Planning
    Easy and flexible agile planning for any team.

      Team Foundation Server
      • New work item tags provide lightweight metadata for work items
      • "Connect" dialog box is added to Team Explorer to locate different team project connections and projects
      • Ability to send a work item as an email message in TFS Web Access

    Quality Enablement
    Lightweight browser-based test management and execution to reduce the time that is required to continuously enable quality in software projects.

      Unit Test
      • Windows Store app unit testing now supports interaction with the UI thread
      • Windows Store app unit testing now supports using an async lambda inside Assert.ThrowsException
      • New unit test playlists enable control and execution of a subset of unit tests
      • Group unit tests by class

      UI Testing
      • Extended cross-browser support

      Microsoft Test Manager
      • Customize resolution states & failure states for test analysis

      Test Case Manager (Web Access)
      • Ability to view and edit test cases in a test plan from TFS Web Access
      • Ability to run manual test cases and file bugs from TFS Web Access

    Line of Business Development

    Additional capabilities to modernize existing LOB applications and create new business applications across connected devices that are powered by continuous services.

      • Web & load testing support for SharePoint applications
      • Record and playback support through Coded UI for performing UI validations on SharePoint 2013 applications

      Phone Tools
      • Enable build and deploy workflows of Windows Phone projects from the command line without having to install the full Windows Phone developer tools

    Developer Experience
    Improvements in the IDE to create a better and more productive developer experience.

      Code Map
      • Improvements in code map debugger integration and responsiveness

      • Symbol loading improvements in IntelliTrace and profiler

      • Blue theme now available in the Visual Studio 2012 IDE

      Blend for Visual Studio 2012
      • Support for Sketchflow, WPF, and Silverlight

      Performance & Reliability
      • Performance improvements in XAML designer load for the following scenarios:
        • Large Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications
        • Working with third-party custom controls




    ASP.NET Editor

    • You cannot add multiple CSS classes in the "class" attribute of any element by using IntelliSense. IntelliSense cannot show a list of available CSS classes if you press Spacebar to add another CSS class.

    Visual Studio IDE

    • 759433: Non-ASCII character is displayed in the title of the threaded wait dialog box.


    • 764454: Visual Studio 2012 takes longer than expected to save a large ASPX file.


    • Threaded wait dialog title bar does not display the correct color when you use the blue theme in a custom Visual Studio 2010 color theme.
    • When you debug a Windows Store application using HTML that uses a sandboxed iframe in Visual Studio 2012, the application exits unexpectedly.
    • A memory leak may occur in Visual Studio 2012 when a Visual C++ solution is loaded.
    • Stability of Visual Studio 2012 is improved when it is loading solutions.
    • Visual Studio 2012 may crash with the System.ArgumentException exception when you switch between windows (this includes document windows, auto-hidden windows, tabbed tool windows, and so on).
    • Visual Studio 2012 may crash during shutdown if a Visual Studio Add-in package is installed.
    • You encounter performance issues the first time that you copy text from the editor if the toolbox is invisible in Visual Studio 2012.
    • You cannot access local help content after you install Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 if you change the location of the local help content.
    • Build error when you build a Portable Class Library project if you select the .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Phone 8 as the target frameworks.

    MS Build

    Windows Development Tools

    • The multiple-scale image support feature that was included in Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 incorrectly requires a scale 140 badge logo image of size 34 x 34 pixels. The size should be 33 x 33 pixels.

    Windows Form


    • 752266: Visual C++ application that is compiled by using the cl /O2 /arch:AVX /EHsc command in the Visual Studio 2012 x86 Native Tools Command Prompt intermittently exits.


    • Assume that you configure the platform target to x64 for a Visual C++ application. You compile the application by using the /O2 or /Ox optimization option. In this situation, incorrect machine code is generated when the compile converts int64 type to int32 type inside a loop. For example, you may compile the following code:

      int A[8];for (__int64 i=0; i<8; i++) {  A[i] = i + 1;}

    • When you compile a Visual C++ application that contains the following code together with the /analyze option on an ARM platform, an internal compiler error occurs:

      class Base {};

      template <typename T>
      class Derived : public Base {};

      template <typename P3>
      Derived<P3> Make( P3 p3 );

      void foo()
      Base& b = Make(sizeof(long));

    • IntelliSense becomes unresponsive when you type some code into the editor, specifically when you add overload functions to partial classes. For example, you use code that resembles the following:

      Namespace N
         partial ref struct S
         ref struct S
           void test();
           void test(int);
           void test(int, int);

    • IntelliSense does not work in a source file that contains lambda expressions that have more than one return value. For example:

      [] () {
              bool b;
              std::wstring k;
              return k;
              return k;

    • When you use Intel's new TSX (Transactional Synchronization Extensions) through intrinsics provided by Visual Studio 2012 on Intel's Haswell hardware, the C++ compiler generates incorrect machine code. This causes the transaction operation to be non-exclusive.
    • C++ compiler generates incorrect function hints in the fixup record in PDB files.
    • When you create an empty Visual C++ project, the SDL checks option is cleared even though the SDL checks check box is selected in the Application wizard.
    • X64-based Visual C++ tool set does not contain all cumulative fixes for the x86-based Visual C++ tool set in Visual Studio 2012 updates.

    Graphics Diagnostics

    • Assume that you have a Windows Phone or a Windows Store project that references a separate project that contains assets that are created by using Visual Studio Graphics tools. When you try to build the main project, the assets are not deployed together with the main project. This causes build errors in the Windows Store application or run time errors in the Windows Phone application.


    • When you try to install a Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 package that does not contain Entity Framework tools, you receive the following error message:

      "Entity Framework Designer for Visual Studio 2012 - enu package failed"

    Test and Lab Manager

    • Assume that you have applied Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 on a computer that has TFS 2012 and Visual Studio 2012 installed. You try to run a build that contains tests on the computer. In this situation, the build fails together with a MethodNotFoundException exception.
    • Merged code coverage files display incorrect coverage data.

    XAML Designer


    The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.


  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Win Up To $40,000 in the Windows 8 Apps For Social Good Contest



    Want to make some money and help people at the same time?  This is how you do it!  Check out this contest going on at NetSquared, here is what they say:



    Open for submissions


    Submissions Close:

    Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:59pm


    Voting Opens:

    Fri, 03/01/2013 - 12:01am


    Voting Closes:

    Fri, 03/15/2013 - 11:59pm


    Winners Announced:

    Mon, 03/25/2013 - 12:00pm


    Winner Receives:

    • Best Overall Windows 8 App: $15,000
    • Best Overall Windows 8 Phone App: $15,000;
    • People’s Choice App: $10,000;
    • PLUS Windows 8 Phone for each winner!



    NOTE: entries must serve a "social good".
    WE define this as a good or service that provides some sort of benefit to the general public and doesn’t solely exist to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders. Some classic examples of social good topics are: clean water, literacy, food security, healthy & safe environment. For the purposes of this contest, we’re considering any topic within TechSoup Global's HackerHelper Wiki.


    Want to help people find the closest organic produce? Interested in making it easier for people to conserve more energy? Can you make online donations easier? How about making math easier for kids?


    Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest invites both new and seasoned developers to create an app for “social good” – and you could win one of three cash prizes to help fuel your dream and keep it going!

    Best Overall Windows 8 App: $15,000
    Best Overall Windows 8 Phone App: $15,000
    People’s Choice App: $10,000

    PLUS - each winner will receive a Windows Phone!


    Want to help but aren't sure where to start?
    The HackerHelper Wiki will help you figure out what problem you want to work on, give you resources (including data sets and APIs), and show you where to find more information.


    Have an idea or part of an app but don't know how to get it done?
    Generation App provides what you need to make coding Windows 8 apps or games a snap. Find the tools, help, and support you need to make sure your app is available now that Windows 8 is here.



    Make sure to go to for all the contest details.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    MSDN Features You Need to Know About: MSDN Online Concierge


    Did you know as an MSDN subscriber of any level you have access to a personal online valet of sorts?  It’s called the MSDN Online Chat which is totally misleading in my opinion.  I prefer to call it the “Online Concierge” as that is more in-line with what the service does.


    Online Concierge

    Okay so what DOES this service do?  Well let’s start by being clear about what they do NOT do:  they are not, repeat, are NOT technical support. Period. We have technical support avenues but this is not one of them. What this service does is look up information for you so you can continue to work on other things. The best way to show you is by example, so here we go…


    Be My Research Assistant

    I recently did a post about the new VS2012 Update 1 and wanted some additional links.  I was also busy working on some midyear performance review items so decided to let the concierge handle finding the info.  Below are the steps you would follow to do the same thing I did.


    To get started, you go to the main MSDN site ( and click on the link to access your benefits:



    At the bottom of the list of benefits you will see the MSDN Online Chat:



    I want to reemphasize that THIS IS NOT TECHNICAL SUPPORT.  These folks are paid to be your research assistants as you can see by the description and/or answer MSDN benefits questions.  In this case I got “Harrison” and asked him about documentation on VS2012 Update 1:



    Below is the rest of the transcript, that I had emailed to me from the chat window, from the conversation verbatim with extra space, some commentary, and emphasis added:


    info: Please wait for an agent to respond.  You are currently '1' in the queue.
    info: Privacy Statement

    You are now chatting with 'Harrison'.

    Harrison: Thank you Zain for contacting the MSDN Online Concierge. How may I assist you today?
    Zain Naboulsi: hello harrison, can you tell me where to find information on Visual Studio 2012 Update 1?

    Harrison: Thank you for your inquiry. Let me provide you the download link, Zain. Just one moment please.

    [ZN: I wanted to simulate having to run off to lunch or go to a meeting or something here to show how awesome they are.  They will do the research and email you the result later on.]
    Zain Naboulsi: I need to jump off can you email it to me?

    Harrison: Sure, may I know if you are referring to the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 with Update 1?
    Zain Naboulsi: Nope just want the list of bug fixes and new features in Visual Studio 2012 Update 1


    [ZN: Highlighted below is the standard disclaimer you will usually get when doing one of these sessions. They are great helpers and research assistants but they are NOT TECHNICAL SUPPORT.  Not sure if I mentioned that 100 times already or not but wanted to be clear]
    Harrison: Thanks for your clarification. I will see if I can help to find some documentation that will point you to the right direction. However please understand that we are not technical professionals, and if we are unable to locate anything specific for your concern, I can also provide you some other support options. May I know if that's OK for you?
    Zain Naboulsi: sounds good :)

    Harrison: Thank you for your understanding. May I know your preferred email address please?
    Zain Naboulsi:

    Harrison: Thank you. I will send it to you later after my researching, Zain. May I know if there is anything else I can help you with at this time?
    Zain Naboulsi: that should do it, thanks for your help :)

    Harrison: My pleasure. If you have any further concern, please feel free to come back again. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    Harrison: Take care and bye for now.
    Harrison: Have a nice day.
    info: Your chat transcript will be sent to at the end of your chat.



    And there you have it!  I’ll bet twenty bajillion dollars that you didn’t know about this benefit already.  Most people don’t so don’t feel bad.  These folks are available 24/7 so take advantage of your new research assistants to help you find things out!

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 (KB2707250): New Features


    In my last post I wrote about installation and the list of bug fixes in Update 1:


    In this post I’ll just re-show the new features mentioned in the KB article found here:


    In later posts I’ll show more of these in detail and explore them like I usually do for new features.  So, with all that said, here are the new features introduced in Update 1:


    Microsoft SharePoint Development

    To improve quality, scalability and agility, additional application life cycle management (ALM) capabilities are added to SharePoint development, such as load testing and coded UI testing support.

    Windows Development

    Agile Teams

    You can use Web Access for your Agile plan easily, and new Kanban support is available alongside existing Scrum support.

    New Test Features in Microsoft Test Manager (MTM)

    New Features in Team Foundation Server

    Other improvements

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Upgrading to Visual Studio 2012 RTM


    Question: Can you upgrade Visual Studio 2012 RC to Visual Studio 2012 RTM?

    Short Answer: Yes.


    Long Answer

    I’ve had several folks ask me about upgrading VS2012 RC to RTM recently.  I thought it would be a good idea to review the upgrade paths.


    In case you have been living in a cave, we have launched VS2012 RTM already:


    Many people think you have to uninstall the RC but that isn’t true.  You can find the full compatibility and upgrade information here:



    Here are the verbatim pieces most relevant to upgrading with non-RTM information removed for clarity:


    Upgrade paths

    When following the supported upgrade paths, your Visual Studio source, solution, and project files will continue to work; however, you should expect to make some changes to sources. While we cannot guarantee binary compatibility between releases, we will do our best to document significant changes to assist you with updates.

    • Supported:
      • Upgrade from .NET 4.5 Beta to Release (RTM)
      • Upgrade from Visual Studio 2012 RC to Release (RTM) (same edition only - e.g., Professional RC to Professional RTM)
      • Upgrade from .NET 4.5 RC to Release (RTM)
    • Not supported:
      • Upgrade from Visual Studio 11 Beta to Release (RTM)
      • Upgrade from Visual Studio 2012 RC to Release (RTM) (mismatched editions - e.g., Ultimate RC to Professional RTM)
      • Upgrade to .NET 4.5 Release (RTM) or Visual Studio 2012 Release (RTM) on prerelease versions of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012





    On the off chance that you have to uninstall the RC you can find the instructions here:


    Pay particular attention to the uninstall order if you have multiple VS2012 versions installed.  Here is the order (top first, bottom last) to uninstall from the KB article:

    • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 Release Candidate
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Premium Release Candidate
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Professional Release Candidate
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 Release Candidate
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web Release Candidate
  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Windows Azure Solution Cookbook



    I started working with Azure almost five years ago and have been very happy to see it evolve and mature.  If you are working with Azure or just learning how to use this offering then you need to start with Clint Edmonson’s “Windows Azure Solution Cookbook” found here:


    Here is what this is all about in Clint’s own words:

    “[…] it’s hard for architects and developers to get a big picture of the Azure platform and how all the features can be used together to build solutions. Microsoft is shipping new services on a quarterly basis and each new service is designed to solve a particular need our customers are asking for. We need a way to see these services holistically as a set of building blocks or ingredients to use in our solutions. […] In this series going to offer up some architectural recipes to help visualize solutions to the common scenarios we’ve identified since Azure’s launch.”


    Don’t let the “architecture” word fool you.  This is an exceptional view into how you can leverage Azure.  For example, here is the overview pic that he provides for working with mobile:


    Clint goes into clear, precise explanations about how you can achieve these goals.  Make sure you take advantage of this most excellent look into using our latest and greatest Azure features.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Microsoft Internal Usage of TFS: January - June 2012



    I love data!  And, since I am hyper-focused on all things Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server, I love data about our internal usage of the products we sell to our customers.  Make no mistake, we are hard-core users of the same technologies we ask you to use.  Case in point is the publishing of our internal TFS statistics.  You can find all the good data in the great post by Erin Geaney here:


    Make sure check out the stats so you can get a feel for how we use TFS internally at Microsoft!


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