New Updates Announced for VS2012
Contrary to previous reports, there will be a fourth update for Visual Studio 2012 that coincides with the release of Visual Studio 2013. Microsoft’s Brian Harry made the announcement along with the rationale: better support for project round-tripping in order to ease compatility with VS2013.
Officially titled Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC1, this package is available for download now and can be applied to both Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS). The final production version of the update is not expected to be as large as previous Updates 1 & 2, so it would appear to match the description of Update 3: key bug fixes and stability enhancements. Those hoping for significant new features to VS2012 will likely be discouraged, although it is a positive sign that an update is coming at all considering Microsoft’s previous claims that Update 3 was the end of the road.
The current list of bug fixes for 2012.4 is limited to TFS and LightSwitch. The TFS improvements affect administration, build automation, version control, IE navigation performance, and web access. Harry does say that since 2012.4 has been committed to, it makes sense for it to “include a roll up of fixes for all important customer reported [issues] by the time it locks down”. Further, “less than half the fixes that will ultimately be in the release are in this release candidate”.
Note that this is a cumulative release that includes all prior updates, so it does not need to be applied to a system that already has Update 3 applied. While this can be applied to existing Visual Studio installations, Microsoft states in the release notes that TFS administrators should make a full backup of existing databases first. Otherwise an error during 2012.4’s installation could render the system unstable and a restore would be required.