Microsoft Releases New Visual Studio 2012 CTP

Microsoft today announced the release of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2 of Visual Studio 2012 Update 2, with some major upgrades related to application lifecycle management (ALM).

Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry revealed the CTP at the company's ALM Summit, which runs from Jan. 29-Jan. 31.

Highlights of the CTP include improvements in tracking, test case management and unit testing improvements -- including, for the first time, unit testing on Window Phone apps.

Harry also said in a blog entry that the CTP isn't a "go-live" CTP; it's for evaluation purposes only. "We're trying to learn from Update 1 and get feedback earlier in the cycle," he wrote.

One major unit testing-related change is related to the Visual Studio tools known as Fakes and Stubs. Previously, these tools were only available in Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate; they're now available with the Premium edition, which Harry said could ease issues with some development teams that were on different editions of Visual Studio 2012.

Another key bit of news from the keynote was Harry's announcement that Blend is being re-integrated into Visual Studio with the CTP. Blend, a tool for UI design, wasn't included in the initial release of Visual Studio 2012, which many developers were unhappy about. That has been rectified with the CTP. This version of Blend also includes support for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Silverlight and SketchFlow.

In terms of Agile development, Harry pointed to one bit of new functionality in the Team Foundation Server (TFS) collaboration tool: work item tagging. An organizational improvement, tagging provides "categorization and filtering of work items," Harry explained on his blog. "Easily add tags to items and then filter by them in both backlog and work item query views in Team Web Access," he explained.

The Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 CTP 2 can be found here.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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