Microsoft: Newer Versions of Visual Studio Can Load Older Projects
The company calls this ability "round-tripping," and says that Visual Studio 2013 will be able to load projects as far back as Visual Studio 2010.
Now that Microsoft has moved to completely Agile methodologies with its flagship development product, Visual Studio, it has to deal with a new sort of problem: backward compatibility, and the ability to load projects from older versions onto newer iterations of the IDE.
That issue has become even more acute since the announcement of Visual Studio 2013 at the recent TechEd conference. Microsoft's answer is "round-tripping," and it's been enhanced in Visual Studio 2013, according to Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry. "That was a huge customer ask and I've heard a lot of feedback since then that customers rely on it," Harry wrote on his blog. Specifically, Harry said that Visual Studio 2013 will support round-tripping with Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 as well.
Not all projects are eligible, he said. "There will likely be some exceptions of project types that require one-way migration or some such but the majority of project types will round-trip seamlessly." He added that round-tripping will be available in the preview version of Visual Studio 2013, which will be released at this month's Build conference.
The importance of round-tripping to some developers was pointed out in comments following the blog, as someone identifying as "Phil Barila" stated: "If it wasn't for the round-trip in Visual Studio 2012, I wouldn't be using it. If it won't round-trip with 2010, I won't be using Visual Studio 2013."
Also in the comments, Harry mentioned that Visual Studio 2013 can be installed on a development machine side-by-side with Visual Studio 2012.
The most recent version of Visual Studio is Visual Studio 2012.3, which is at Release Candidate (RC2) stage. Updates to Visual Studio have been coming out on a monthly basis in 2013.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.