Experiences and Experiments in Programming

 Monday, February 18, 2013

If you are using Visual Studio 2012, you probably know that an update was made available toward the end of last year. Well they have done it again! The second update to Visual Studio 2012 is available now and this update has some terrific features.

There is no way to list them all but there are a few that I think will be usable very quickly.

There are some nice updates to the Visual Studio 2012 Page Inspector. The page inspector now supports live CSS updates. Also the Page Inspector allows you to map items that were added dynamically to a page using JavaScript back to the JavaScript code that added them. You can find out more about these features at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/webdev/archive/2012/12/14/css-auto-sync-and-javascript-selection-mapping-in-page-inspector.aspx.

Some of the things I am excited about are the ASP.NET editor enhancements.

  • You get some added syntax highlighting for things like CoffeScript, JsRender and others.
  • Even better, you get Intellisense for Knockout bindings!
  • If you use LESS (and you should), we know have first class support for editing LESS files. Previously in order to get LESS editor support, you had to install Mads Kristensen’s Web Essentials 2012 extension. This is a terrific extension with other enhancements besides LESS editor support. But it is sure nice to get editor support without having need for a third party tool. By the way, if you currently have the Web Essentials 2012 extension, you need to update it to the latest version prior to installing the Visual Studio Update 2.
  • If you have consumed any services that transmit data using JSON, you will love the “JSON to .NET class” support. You can paste (using Paste Special) any JSON data from the clipboard into a C# or VB.NET code file and Visual Studio will automatically generate .NET classes inferred from the JSON!

If you are one of the many developers using OData, ASP.NET Web API now provides support for OData endpoints that support both ATOM and JSON-light formats. There are also some other enhancements to ASP.NET Web API that you will find helpful!

If you use SignalR, then you will love the SignalR template support in this update! There are now templates for creating Hubs and Persistent Connections.

The ASP.NET team had released an out-of-cycle preview of a new library to support friendly urls in Web Forms. This is now included in this update. With this update, Web Forms supports friendly urls and mobile pages!  This is terrific news for developers of Web Forms!

ASP.NET MVC has its share of updates as well including two new interesting templates: A Facebook application template and the return of the Single Page Application template. For anyone who used the pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2012, you may remember the Single Page Application template as one of the available templates for ASP.NET MVC. The team decided to remove it before final release because it was just not ready. Well, it is back! This is a terrific addition to the available MVC templates! You can find out more about the Single Page Application template here.

There are more improvements in this update as well. If you want to find out more about some of the updates you can see Scott Guthrie’s announcement.

You can download the update here: Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.

Monday, February 18, 2013 12:58:55 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Who Am I - Todd Miranda
MVP Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET
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