Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Visual Studio 2013 Preview First Look

If you have not already downloaded and installed Visual Studio 2013 Preview, you can download it from here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/2013-downloads

With the Visual Studio 2013 Preview, Microsoft has made some very welcome changes to the User Interface.  First and foremost, Microsoft has brought back much (but not all) of the color that was formerly lost with the release of Visual Studio 2012.  In addition, Microsoft has also added some enhancements to the initial start-up process:




As you can see from the initial start-up, Microsoft now provides you with the ability to sign into Visual Studio using your Windows Live ID in order to provide synchronization capabilities across your computers for such things as your Visual Studio settings.  Therefore, if you typically use Visual Studio across multiple computers (such as work desktop and a work laptop), then you no longer have to worry about synchronizing any setting changes between the 2 different machines/environments!  A very handy feature indeed!

Next, as you can see from the New Project dialog, Microsoft has not “colorized” the New Project dialog back to the way it was in Visual Studio 2010 and has simply retained the black, white and gray color schemes left over from Visual Studio 2012:


One of the most exciting features about Visual Studio 2013, however, is the new ASP.NET Web Application project type:


As you can tell from the image above, the various different ASP.NET project types have been simply eliminated and consolidated into a single ASP.NET Web Application project type. 

Now, when I create a new ASP.NET Web Application, I have the ability to easily mix-and-match ASP.NET MVC with ASP.NET Web Forms—finally!!!  This will allow development teams that are still attempting to transition and upgrade their applications from ASP.NET Web Forms over to ASP.NET MVC, a much easier and smoother overall process for migration.


There is also a new Authentication configuration screen which allows easily selecting the type of authentication scheme that needs to be used in your new ASP.NET Web Application.


Once your ASP.NET Hybrid (MVC & Web Forms) application has been created, you can see just how easy it is to add ASP.NET Web Forms or Web User controls to your application:


Also, you will notice that they have once again added back color to Solution Explorer particularly for Folders which were sorely missing from the Visual Studio 2012 release:


Lastly, just out of curiosity, I attempted to open this newly created solution in Visual Studio 2012:


While I got this error and proceeded with the Web Platform Installer installation process (which ultimately failed), I was still able to finally successfully render the solution in Visual Studio 2012 and still use the very same features!  Wow!!


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