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Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 Formally Released

by Jeff Martin on Apr 05, 2013 |

When Microsoft released VS2012, they expressed a desire to update the product with a regular update tempo. Roughly a month after Update 2's final preview release, Microsoft has released the official Update 2 package for Visual Studio 2012 that includes several new features as well as numerous bug fixes.

Microsoft's S. Somasegar lists the five areas specifically targetted for enhancement with this release:

  • Agile planning
  • Quality enablement
  • Windows Store development
  • Line-of-business development
  • General developer experience

Agile planning support is addressed with the new ability to customize the Kanban board, and the ability to use tags on TFS work items. Quality enablement is the phrase Somasegar uses to refer to quality assurance and software testing related functionality. Improvements here include greater unit testing support for areas such as Windows Phone 8 apps, aysnchronous code, and improved support for SharePoint 2013 testing. Windows Store development primarily benefits from improved JavaScript app diagnostics. Line-of-business application enhancements are focused around LightSwitch and Blend. Further, as Scott Guthrie noted, the separately released ASP.NET and Web Tools Update is also part of Update 2 saving a separate download if it has not already been downloaded.

Beyond all of the features that are included, several issues and bugs discovered in previous iterations of VS2012 have been fixed. Details on these corrected issues is available here. Microsoft's Charles Sterling illustrates some of the ALM features in Update 2, and one new feature of particular importance is TFS2012's compatibility with 2010 build servers. Configuring this arrangement is described in detail by Martin Hinshelwood's blog post. Finally, Brian Harry notes that with Update 2 most (but not all) of the TFS settings are preserved during the upgrade from TFS Update 1 to Update 2.

Update 2 is a cumulative release, meaning that includes all of the benfits of Update 1 so a fresh installation of VS2012 may be directly upgraded without first installing Update 1. An ISO image for installation on non-Internet connected machines is not provided but Microsoft has provided a work-around-- running the Update 2 executable with the "/layout" option which will download all of the files necessary for offline installations (Step by step instructions are listed at the bottom of Update 2's download page). While no formal size is given by Microsoft my local installation indicates roughly 1.8 GB of space is required.

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