Microsoft Delivers Final Version of Visual Studio 2013

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-10-17

Microsoft Delivers Final Version of Visual Studio 2013

On the same day Microsoft began making Windows 8.1 generally available, the company also announced that the final releases of Visual Studio 2013, .NET 4.5.1 and Team Foundation Server 2013 (TFS) are now available for download.

In a blog post on the availability of the final releases of the developer tools—also known as release to manufacturing (RTM) releases—Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's developer division, cited several new features and capabilities in Visual Studio 2013, including editor enhancements such as Peek and CodeLens, diagnostics tools for UI responsiveness and energy consumption, major updates for ASP.NET Web development, and expanded application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities with Git support and agile portfolio management. A list of the new features in Visual Studio 2013 can be found here.

"Visual Studio 2013 is the best tool for developers and teams to build and deliver modern, connected applications on all of Microsoft's platforms," Somasegar said. "From Windows Azure and SQL Server to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8, Visual Studio 2013 supports the breadth of Microsoft's developer platforms."

In a separate post, Brian Harry, a Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the product unit manager for Team Foundation Server (TFS), said getting Visual Studio 2013 is easy. "If you have an active MSDN subscription, you already own it," he said. "If you don't, you can upgrade your VS Pro subscription for $99, for a limited time. Check out purchasing options here:

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers can download from the MSDN Subscriber Downloads page.

Harry also noted that Visual Studio 2013 can be installed side-by-side with previous versions of Visual Studio, or if you have a VS 2013 prerelease, it can be installed straight over the top of the prerelease. While TFS 2013 cannot be installed side-by-side, it can be installed over the top of either a previous version—TFS 2012 or TFS 2010—or a prerelease.

"We're already hard at work planning for the improvements we will make in VS/TFS 2013.1, so expect to hear more over in the next few months," he said.

Microsoft will be hosting a Visual Studio 2013 launch event Nov. 13.

Meanwhile, in another Microsoft post, Scott Guthrie, a corporate vice president in the Microsoft developer division, delved into some of what he referred to as "fantastic" enhancements to ASP.NET, Web development and the Entity Framework that comes along with the new release.


Microsoft Delivers Final Version of Visual Studio 2013

One improvement is the notion of One ASP.NET. "With the release of Visual Studio 2013, we have taken a step towards unifying the experience of using the different ASP.NET sub-frameworks (Web Forms, MVC, Web API, SignalR, etc), and you can now easily mix and match the different ASP.NET technologies you want to use within a single application," Guthrie said.

Scott Hanselman, a principal program manager in Microsoft's Web Platform and Tools unit, demonstrated this in one of the best attended sessions at Microsoft's Build 2013 event in June.

Visual Studio 2013 includes a new, much richer, HTML editor for Razor files and HTML files in Web applications, Guthrie said. The new HTML editor provides a single unified schema based on HTML5. "It has automatic brace completion, jQuery UI and AngularJS attribute IntelliSense, attribute IntelliSense Grouping, and other great improvements," he said.

The new "One ASP.NET" project delivers richer authentication support. In addition, the new default project templates for ASP.NET Web Forms, MVC, Web API and Single Page Application (SPA) are built using Bootstrap, Guthrie said. "Bootstrap is an open-source CSS [Cascading Style Sheets] framework that helps you build responsive Websites which look great on different form factors such as mobile phones, tables and desktops."

Another key addition is the new Browser Link feature in Visual Studio 2013, which enables developers to run their app within multiple browsers on their dev machine, connect them to Visual Studio and simultaneously refresh all of them just by clicking a button in the toolbar. "You can connect multiple browsers (including IE Firefox and Chrome) to your development site, including mobile emulators, and click refresh to refresh all the browsers all at the same time," Guthrie said. "This makes it much easier to easily develop/test against multiple browsers in parallel. Browser Link also exposes an API to enable developers to write Browser Link extensions."

Also, ASP.NET Scaffolding is a new code-generation framework for ASP.NET Web applications. Guthrie said it makes it easy to add boilerplate code to your project that interacts with a data model. In previous versions of Visual Studio, scaffolding was limited to ASP.NET MVC projects. With Visual Studio 2013, you can now use scaffolding for any ASP.NET project, including Web Forms, he said.

In addition, ASP.NET Identity is a new membership system for ASP.NET applications that we are introducing with this release, Guthrie said. Check out Guthrie's post for more information, including graphics, on the new features.


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