Microsoft

 

Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 is now available to download and is primarily focused on bug fixes.

VS2012.3 is an incrementally smaller update than its two predecessors: it includes a few new capabilities, but is focused primarily on bug fixes.  You can find a detailed list of included fixes in the associated Support article.  If you’ve already installed VS2012.2, this update will install on top of it, and if you haven’t, this update includes all of the features from VS2012.1 and VS2012.2, so you can install it on top of either of those or on the RTM release and still get all of the value from those previous updates.  Note that it’s important to install this update if you need to be able to "round-trip" projects between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013, or if you want to run Visual Studio 2012 on the Windows 8.1 Preview. – S.Somasegar

Download VS2012.3 now!

References

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/somasegar/archive/2013/06/26/visual-studio-2013-preview.aspx

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Microsoft released it’s second update for Visual Studio 2012. So far they’re been releasing updates every quarter since it was released in late 2012.

sshot-448

This is a considerable update that adds lots of new features, bug fixes and performance improvements. There is even a new Blue theme, that gives the IDE a VS2010 look.

sshot-450

Highlights of this update are:

  • Agile Planning
  • Quality Enablement
  • Windows Store Development
  • Line-of-business Development
  • Development Experience

Install Update 2 today to get the latest support Visual Studio has to offer.

Enjoy

On January 30 2013, Microsoft announced the availability of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) for Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 (VS2012.2).

As mentioned in the announcement, there is going to be a ton of cool new capabilities coming in Update 2. With that said, not all of them are available in the CTP, but many are.

The significant improvements in this CTP can be categorized into the following groups:

  1. Agile Planning
  2. Quality Enablement
  3. Line of Business Development
  4. Developer Experience

Developer Experience

Here are a couple screenshots for what’s been changed/added for a developer experience.

Visual Studio Blue Theme. Time and time again, you hear people asking that they bring back the VS2010 theme. Well it looks like the included the “Blue” theme that was previously available on the Visual Studio Gallery:

vs2012_update2_ctp_blue_theme

CodeMap and Debugger Integration. You can now easily add a call stack to a CodeMap to explore the code dependencies from your debugging session:

vs2012_update2_ctp_codemap

Blend for Visual Studio 2012. Finally, Blend has been added back into VS2012, which includes support for WPF, Silverlight and Sketchflow:

vs2012_update2_ctp_blend

NOTE: This CTP is not a “go-live” CTP and is for evaluation purposes only.

Head over to the post for complete details on what’s coming.

I’m looking forward to this update and can’t wait to hear about other cool new capabilities.

Three new sets of storyboarding shapes are now available for iOS, iPhone and iPad.

These shape libraries are available with the Storyboarding functionality that is included with Visual Studio 2012 Premium, Ultimate and Test Professional products.

Here are a sample of the icons included with these shape libraries…

Common iOS Icons

iPhone controls

iPad controls

You can read more about Storyboarding functionality in my blog post  an introduction to PowerPoint storyboarding.

Downloading the Shapes

You can download these shape from the Visual Studio Gallery.

Another one of the new features introduced in Visual Studio 2012 is the Microsoft Feedback Client, which can help your development team gather both solicited and unsolicited feedback about your software projects from your customers and stakeholders.

The feedback client allows you to capture your interaction with the application as video and/or verbal or type-written comments. Your feedback is then stored in Team Foundation Server 2012.

Let’s have a quick look at how to get started and provide some feedback.

Getting Started

Start by going to the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 program folder and select Microsoft Feedback Client  as shown here:

image

You will then be prompted to connect to your Team Foundation Server. You may have noticed that I’m connecting to my TFS Preview account. This is a FREE preview to TFS in the cloud. I’ll write more about that in a future post.

image

After you’ve connected to your Team Foundation Server, you will see the Microsoft Feedback Client. This is a very simple, yet powerful tool for capturing essential feedback and of course it’s got a similar look and feel to Visual Studio 2012.

1. Launch the application

In this scenario I’m providing voluntary feedback, so I have to manually start the application I want to provide feedback on.

image

However when you initiate a feedback session, your user/stakeholder will receive instructions via email on how to start providing feedback. Once the feedback tool opens to the Start tab, the user will launch your application by following the instructions provided. In this example, a link to start your web application:

image

2. Provide feedback

The feedback tool contains a lot of options for how and what feedback you provide. I will start by providing some simple feedback. In this example I took a screenshot of MS Paint and included a comment.

image

As mentioned above, you can record your interactions with the application, include verbal and/or written comments, attach files and/or screenshots.

image

3. Review and submit your feedback

After you’ve entered your feedback, you can review, make corrections and/or additions and rate your feedback with the stars. Once your ready happy with what you have, click on the Submit and Close button to submit your feedback.

image

After you’ve submitted your feedback, the Microsoft Feedback Client will then close and your feedback is sent to your Team Foundation Server, where the system automatically creates a work item which contains the feedback you submitted.

Now when you connect to your Team Foundation Server and do a query on Feedback, you will see your feedback work items:

image

Downloading the Feedback Client for TFS

If you don’t already have the Microsoft Feedback Client installed, then you will need to browse to the Additional software section on the Visual Studio download page. Here you will expand the Feedback Client for TFS section and select the appropriate download:

image

Wrapping Up

I think this is a great addition to Visual Studio 2012 and is something I look forward to using when developing and testing my software projects and recording the necessary feedback to share with my team.

If you’re not using this tool…you should be.

Further Reading

Here is some additional reading that is available on the MSDN site:

Engage Stakeholders: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/hh301769(VS.110).aspx#provide_feedback

Provide Feedback: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh362461.aspx

One of the new features introduced in Visual Studio 2012 is an add-in for PowerPoint that allows you to do Storyboarding.

PowerPoint Storyboarding allows you to quickly and easily put together an interface design, whether it be for a website, a mobile device, Windows 8, or a desktop application, and then get the necessary feedback from your stakeholders. And since it’s PowerPoint, then even your stakeholders can easily make changes and show you exactly what they want.

NOTE: This feature is only available for Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate users.

Let’s Get Started

Start by going to the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 program folder and select PowerPoint Storyboarding as shown here:

image

This will launch PowerPoint with a blank slide and take you to the Storyboarding tab. You will notice the Storyboard Shapes to the right of your slide and provide all kinds of shapes for your interface design. These shapes are also searchable via the search box.

image

Here is a sample slide of what can be accomplished:

storyboading sample

Managing Shapes

One of the neat features found in PowerPoint Storyboarding is the ability to manage your custom shapes as well as export them for other team members to use.

Additionally you can also download community shapes by going to Visual Studio Gallery and downloading any of the available shapes. Most are free, but at the time of this post…there was 1 paid set of shapes.

Once you’ve downloaded a set of shapes, you can import them from the Import Shapes button found in the Shapes section:

image

Team Integration

If you’re using Team Foundation Server, then you can link your storyboard to one or more requirements/user stories with the Storyboard Links button:

image

NOTE: If you’re not using Team Foundation Server, then there is now a free Team Foundation Server Express 2012 edition, which can be used by up to 5 developers. You can download it from Visual Studio Download page.

product_ex_tfs-tile

So there is no reason not to be using Team Foundation Server .Smile

Further Reading (Documentation)

I found the following links pretty good at documenting Storyboards and providing greater details:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh409276(VS.110).aspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh301773(VS.110).aspx

I’ve been using Visual Studio 2012 for just over a week now and I’m really liking all the new features and functionality that comes with it. However I’m still not a huge fan of the new light/dark themes. I would like to use the Dark theme, but find it’s just too dark. It would be nice if they made it a few shades lighter.

Anyway I came across the following blog post on Jason Zander’s blog about the Top 12 of Visual Studio 2012 and I thought I would share it.

In summary, with Visual Studio 2012 you can:

  1. Develop for Windows 8
  2. Develop for the Web
  3. Developer for Windows Phone 8
  4. Develop for Windows Azure
  5. Develop Business Applications
  6. Develop Games and other 3D Applications
  7. Take advantage of the latest language enhancements
  8. Performance, Reliability and Compatibility Improvements
  9. New IDE Productivity Features
  10. Improve your code quality with enhanced testing tools
  11. Reduce cycle times using tools for agile practices
  12. Deliver Cloud-Based Services with Smoother Collaboration between Operations and Engineering

Checkout Jason Zander’s blog post for the full article the Top 12 of Visual Studio 2012.

If you have access to Visual Studio 2012, I highly recommend you give it a try. You can always work in both Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 as they are backwards compatible with one another.

Happy Coding!

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