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JSON Debugger Added to Visual Studio 2013, Update 2

It allows devs to debug JSON without leaving Visual Studio.

Microsoft has so fully embraced JavaScript that it's even created a superset of the language, called TypeScript. Another indication of how intertwined it's becoming as a core .NET language, along with C# and Visual Basic, is that a JSON Visualizer has been added to the Visual Studio debugger in Update 2 for Visual Studio 2013.

Update 2 is the latest version of Visual Studio 2013; the Community Technology Preview (CTP) was just announced on Wednesday. No release date for the official version of Update 2 has been set yet, but all indications are that it's on a fast track.

JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a common tool for moving data between clients and servers. "The new debugger string visualizer displays JSON encoded strings in a treeview control and allows meaningful user interaction like search and highlight, copy key value pairs and copy path," according to a blog posting by Microsoft's Avneep Dhanju.

The JSON Visualizer is similar to other Visual Studio visualizers like the HTML Visualizer, XML Visualizer and Text Visualizer. It's accessible in various places, like DataTip, debugger variable windows like Autos, Locals or Watch, and in a QuickWatch dialog box.

The key advantage with the JSON Visualizer is to allow developers to inspect and debug it without ever leaving Visual Studio.

Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 is starting to look like it's a much more significant iteration than Update 1. Update 1 was more about minor tweaks and fixes, while Update 2 is adding many more features, including a number of upgrades to Team Foundation Server. Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry implied as much in a recent blog post: "...this is a pretty small update focused primarily on getting VS 2013 working better with versions of IE prior to IE 10," he wrote.

About the Author

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

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