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ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 with Enhancements for MVC, Azure and SignalR

by Anand Narayanaswamy on Feb 20, 2013 |

Microsoft has released ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 with enhancements for Visual Studio Web Tooling, ASP.NET Web API, Web Forms, MVC, Windows Azure Authentication including support for SignalR.

ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 includes updated ASP.NET templates for jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Validation, Modernizr, Knockout and other open source NuGet packages. Moreover, you will be able to publish to Windows Azure web sites from within Visual Studio 2012 with an ability to update local to remote files and vice versa.

ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 includes Visual Studio 2012 Page Inspector enhancements which include JavaScript selection mapping and CSS live updates. With this release, Visual Studio 2012 code editor supports syntax highlighting for CoffeeScript, Mustache, Handlebars and JsRender. Moreover, HTML editor provides Intellisense support for Knockout bindings and enables you to paste JSON as a .NET class. It also enables you to add extensibility hooks so that third-party mobile emulators can be installed as a VSIX.

"If you have installed an earlier version of Mads Kristensen's excellent (and free) Web Essentials 2012 extension, you'll want to update it to the latest version before installing today's ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update," says Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President, Server and Tools Business, Microsoft.

ASP.NET Web API provides support for OData endpoints that enables you to work with rich query semantics, paging, $metadata, CRUD operations and custom actions over any data source. The release includes a new tracing functionality which enables you to diagnose problems either using Visual Studio 2012 or on Windows Azure.

Moreover, the updated Web API projects now include a link to an automatically generated help page that shows how to call your web API including the display of all of your API endpoints, HTTP verbs, parameters, sample request and response messages. It is also possible to customize the help page by adding custom documentation and test client functionality.

ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 includes Visual Studio 2012 template for creation of SignalR projects as well as adding SignalR support to existing Web Forms and MVC applications including full support for friendly URLs with an ability to pass parameters to pages as segments of the URL. The new release also provides support of friendly URLs for mobile devices. For instance, YourPage.Mobile.aspx is the format that will be rendered by default on a mobile browser.

"ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 doesn't change any GAC'ed (Global Assembly Cache) files. It won't mess up your install of ASP.NET or change any existing projects. It's changes are either tooling within Visual Studio, or additions and improvements via local NuGet packages," said Scott Hanselman, Program Manager, Microsoft.

ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 enables you to build a Facebook application with the help of a new application template and are displayed inside the Facebook chrome via an iframe. It also includes a single page template for ASP.NET MVC which enables you to build interactive client-side web apps using HTML 5, CSS 3 and the popular Knockout and jQuery JavaScript libraries. Moreover, community contributed MVC templates such as BreezeJS, Ember, DurandalJS and Hot Towel are also included with the latest release.

ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 delivers a new Windows Azure Authentication mechanism for MVC, Web Pages, and Web Forms, that enables your application to authenticate Office 365 users from your organization including an ability to create users in your own custom Windows Azure Active Directory domain.

Steve Gentile commented that he hope to see support for an AngularJS template in the next version.

Dhana says typescript enhancements are missing.

James Barrow

Is the update of Web Essentials because of the built in LESS and CoffeeScript support? I was sad to see that feature removed from Web Essentials this morning, but hopefully will be glad to see support returned from the update.

Mads Kristensen commented:

Yes, both LESS and CoffeeScript went from Web Essentials into the official Web Tools 2012.2 release. That's why it had to be removed from Web Essentials so it wouldn't cause conflicts (which it did).

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