Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2013 Update 2
ASP.NET vNEXT, Apache Cordova tooling also announced.
Microsoft has released the finished version of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, which updates the flagship integrated development environment (IDE) with fixes and new features, including a preview of tooling support for Apache Cordova and the introduction of universal Windows apps.
The announcement came this morning at TechEd North America 2014 in Houston. The last iteration of Update 2 was community technology preview (CTP) 2, released last February. Update 1 hit general availability in January, in line with Microsoft's vision of frequent smaller rollouts, instead of huge service pack-type updates.
Cordova is similar to Xamarin in that it targets multiple platforms; but Xamarin uses C#/XAML as the language and framework.
Web developers using ASP.NET weren't forgotten with Update 2. Microsoft introduced "ASP.NET vNext," which Somasegar called an "evolution" of the existing framework. The new version will make it easier to create cloud-optimized apps.
ASP.NET vNext is built on a composable framework from a collection of packages. Each application describes its dependencies: some examples from Somasegar's blog include Microsoft.AspNet.Abstractions; Microsoft.AspNet.Server.WebListener; and Microsoft.AspNet.Hosting. As part of the improvements, developers can make changes to a Web app and view them with a simple browser refresh, instead of going through a recompile step.
Somasegar was careful to point out that no current ASP.NET apps will be affected in any way by the new version: "Everything you know today about ASP.NET will apply to ASP.NET vNext. You can use the existing libraries or the new versions for those libraries in .NET vNext and get immediate benefits," he said.
Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 can be downloaded here.
TechEd North America kicked off today, and runs through Thursday in Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.