Feeds

Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 arrives, first of many

Rapid releases planned to fix bugs, add features

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Microsoft has released the first major update to Visual Studio 2012, in what company reps say is only the first in "a regular cadence" of planned improvements to its flagship developer tool suite.

Redmond launched VS2012 just over two months ago, but according to S. Somasegar, corporate veep of Microsoft's Developer Division, coders should expect regular updates at shorter intervals from now on.

"Importantly, this isn't just about bug fixes, though it contains quite a few of those," Somasegar wrote in a blog post on Monday. "This update also delivers a wealth of new functionality into Visual Studio 2012."

Predictably, several of those new features are designed to aid developers who want to build Windows Store apps for Windows 8's new Start Screen. VS2012 Update 1 adds debugging support for mixed-mode managed/native apps and for ARM-based apps, as well as improved diagnostics and testing support for Windows Store apps.

The update also adds static code analysis for Windows 8 Phone apps, to help developers make the most of handset resources and extend battery life.

Not everything in the update is about Microsoft's latest platforms though. It also enables C++ developers to target Windows XP from within VS2012, which means they can now use a single tool chain to build applications for a broader range of systems. (Visual Studio 2012 itself requires Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, or Windows Server 2012 to run.)

In addition to code-authoring tools, VS2012 Update 1 also includes a number of new features that aid code testing. In particular, it introduces load, performance, and UI testing tools for SharePoint applications, but it also includes a number of improved testing tools for other types of projects, including HTML and ASP.Net apps.

Finally, the update gives developers new tools for managing agile development processes. Building on the task board and Scrum support that was included when VS2012 shipped, the update adds tools for creating Kanban boards and flow diagrams. It also overhauls the web-based interface to Team Foundation Server with an improved UI.

The update is available now as a free download for all versions of Visual Studio 2012, via a web installer. A helpful blog post from Microsoft's Rob Caron also explains how to create a standalone installer for updating systems offline.

As for when the next update for Visual Studio 2012 will arrive, Somasegar gave no hint, saying only "stay tuned." If Microsoft really is planning to release updates at a regular pace, though, we may see another one as early as February. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.