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Visual Studio 2013 reaches beyond the IDE

Martin Heller | Feb. 13, 2014
Microsoft delivers editing, debugging, deployment, project architecture, and ALM improvements stretching from Windows to Web development, from mobile devices to clouds

Visual Studio 2013 installs side by side with Visual Studio 2012, and the projects and solutions are largely interchangeable. Upgrading from Visual Studio 2012 Professional to Visual Studio 2013 Professional costs a mere $99 until the end of January, and upgrading any other edition is just a matter of renewing your MSDN subscription. I'd suggest that, unless you discover incompatibilities between compiler versions that affect your code, upgrading is a no-brainer.

  • Big improvements to the application lifecycle management portion of the product, including the introduction of a hosted Team Foundation Service that allows you to build, test, and even deploy in the cloud
  • Incorporation of InRelease, a release management product, into TFS
  • Vastly improved tooling for Web development, including a single ASP.Net project wizard that allows you to combine the different Microsoft Web technologies easily
  • Improved code editing and browsing, including a Peek Definition action that allows you to look up code definitions without disturbing your underlying edit window
  • Monitoring agents have become lightweight enough for continuous monitoring of production ASP.Net sites, and IntelliTrace lets you go to the code that caused a fault in production using the dump file
  • Better support of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Python editing and debugging
  • JavaScript editing is slightly behind C# editing in that it lacks the Peek Definition action
  • With so many actions in Visual Studio and TFS, so many documents in MSDN, so many samples, and so many videos to view, the learning curve for a new developer can appear to be overwhelming
  • Visual Studio 2013 has three color schemes, all of which are ugly and have top-level menu items ALL IN CAPS

 

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