Visual Studio 2015 Approaching Single Sign-On Nirvana

It's not quite there yet, but Visual Studio 2015 has improved the authentication process so that developers aren't forced to sign into it more than twice a day.

Visual Studio 2015 has seen lots of productivity and efficiency improvements over the last few months, and authentication is one of the areas that the team has been tackling lately -- with favorable results. As Microsoft's John Montgomery explains in a blog post, as a result of some recent work based on a popular user request, developers will see fewer productivity-stifling prompts upon start up, particularly when developing against an Azure account.

"We're excited to share that we completed the deployment of some improvements that allow users to safely stay signed in and eliminate the forced sign-in every 12 hours," noted Montgomery, in the blog. He said that the forced sign-in every 12 hours, which is common for those using one of Microsoft's,, and accounts while connecting VS projects to Azure, was one of the more notorious issues on the UserVoice feedback site.

"The next time you're prompted to sign-in, Visual Studio will follow the new authentication flow that lets you stay signed into the IDE without reentering your credentials every 12 hours," he explained. "This server-side fix is compatible with all Visual Studio versions that support Azure development back to VS 2012 though the improvements and bug fixes described above will give you the best results on the latest version."

The streamlined sign-on builds upon earlier work with a much improved keychain that was introduced with the latest VS release. "The keychain we released with Visual Studio 2015 made it possible to manage multiple identities in VS and gave you single sign-on across the IDE," wrote Montgomery. "In the last few updates, we've made changes to core services like licensing and roaming, which allow you to refresh your license or roam your settings for up to a year or more without a prompt for credentials."

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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