First CTP Released for Visual Studio 2013 Update 2

by Jeff Martin on Feb 07, 2014 |

The second update to VS2013 and TFS2013 has been released in preview form, and promises several significant additions to several areas of the product.  Note that while this release is a Community Technology Preview it is NOT suitable for use in production environments unlike some of the previous CTPs that have been delivered.  This CTP should only be used in test environments or virtual machines where the possibility of data loss or corrupt files is not a concern.

Developers that use tags in TFS will find significant usability enhancements in how tags are handled after applying this update.  Notably tags can now be queried, work items can be tagged, and permissions can be set on who can create new tags.  This makes tags more than just a visual indicator, and the addition of permissions will manage their use while minimize typos.

Profiling receives a couple of updates too.  The first is a new CPU Usage tool that provides a way to explore which functions are using the CPU (managed, native, and JavaScript).  The previously introduced diagnostic hub now allows multiple tools to be concurrently, and the results are combined so that a single timeline can show CPU usage, energy consumption, and UI responsiveness (depending on what has been selected.)  Update 2 also includes a new JSON Visualizer for the Visual Studio debugger and works with all the languages that the debugger supports. 

According to Microsoft’s Brian Harry, a future CTP for Update 2 will bring expand the Update’s offerings even more by delivering additional features for Git, including support for annotate, reverting commits, and the ability to push/pull from multiple remote repositories.

There are a couple of known issues when using this CTP, so care should be taken when exploring the update.  Furthermore, Microsoft installation instructions note a difference in how this CTP is applied to VS2013 versus TFS2013.  TFS2013 users are strongly encouraged to take a full backup of their current database prior to installation as a there is no ability to perform a rollback if installation is unsuccessful.  For full details consult the CTP’s Knowledge Base article.

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