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VS2012: Improvements for ALM and Web Developers

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Microsoft's formal launch of Visual Studio 2012 focused on how they envision the tool meeting the needs of today's software development trends. But during the keynote some additional insight into the company's current viewpoint was provided.

During the opening keynote by Microsoft's S. Somasegar, he explained that one of the key processes necessary for modern development is application lifecyle management and how VS2012 is intended to support that. Another observation was that Microsoft made a “huge bet on HTML5 & JavaScript” with VS2012. Lets take a closer look at both of these areas.

HTML5 / JavaScript

Some of the increased support for HTML5 & JavaScript was demonstrated during the keynote by Microsoft's Orville McDonald. VS2012 has improved IntelliSense support for HTML5 to allow for code completion and validation. If the file originally being edited in HTML5 being was switched to HTML4, the editor will detect this version change. The HTML tags that were compliant under 5 but not 4 would be marked accordingly. Microsoft notes that the JavaScript engine used in VS2012 is the same one used by Internet Explorer 9.

Developers can already view client-side code/HTML with a web browser. McDonald introduced the new Page Inspector, which allows developers to view the code on the server side. This provides a dynamically updated view “... of the code that goes to the exact line of code on the server that's being used to render what I'm seeing in my UI.”

Application Lifecycle Management

Microsoft's Nicole Herkowitz demonstrated some new features to assist with ALM. Specifically, improvements to Team Foundation Server 2012 provide for better management of planning developer resources. Views can be customized to show backlog items, work priority, and developer availability to complete those items.

VS2012 supports the use of IntelliTrace in production environments which is especially as Visual Studio cannot typically be deployed in those situations. As Herkowitz notes, VS2012 allows developers to “...provide the operations team with IntelliTrace collectors so they can now run some very basic Power Shell commands to collect some rich data and then get it back to the development team to then start debugging.”

Additional enhancements to this process are expected with the first Update to VS2012, and InfoQ will report as more information becomes available.

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