Visual Studio Update 1: The New Update Model



If you happen to be a developer or working in the development field, you probably know the pain of keeping the development environment up to date, and the headache caused by patches which sometimes requires another update rollup, but the real pain arise when wanting to prepare a fresh Development environment machine, and facing the necessity to download  and install a lot of updates.

Like other vendors, Microsoft has it’s own mechanism of releasing updates for their software’s and products, for example: in SharePoint and Office world, usually they release a cumulative updates (CU) every two months which is a downloadable package contains the hot-fixes for either a certain product or family of products, and on annual basis, they release service packs; which usually contains the whole set of previous hot-fixes in addition to some core engineering enhancements, rarely they provide additional features, such as the latest SharePoint Service Pack which introduced some additional features to the product.

As for the new Visual Studio update mechanism, VS team is committed to continuously provide the product with additional capabilities and added-values, in addition to the hot-fixes and security updates.

SharePoint Developer Capabilities:

The most exciting capabilities for me within this update pack for Visual Studio 2012 is the new SharePoint capabilities (As you may know my major specialization is SharePoint Technology), which includes the following:

1- Supporting the testing and QA aspects in the SP development in the application lifecycle by allowing the SP developers to do unit tests, coded UI tests, and incorporating Microsoft Fakes Framework to simulate the SharePoint complicated DLL dependencies, which means testing SP development artifacts is not a headache anymore 🙂

2- Load/Stress testing is fully supported, these kind of testing’s usually require different set of tools in order to get an accurate results.

3- Intellitrace logging support for SharePoint, Intellitrace is a very interesting debugging feature, it requires a dedicated blog post to explain the benefits of it, you can read more here if you are interested to know more about it.

I will be blogging more in the next days about these features and how to utilize them in SharePoint development.

Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 Offline Installer:

One more thing to add here; is the offline availability of the VS2012 Update 1, by default VS2012 U1 is delivered through web installer which requires a decent internet connection, in order to download it offline and distribute it internally within the development team, you can do the following steps:

1- Download the Web Installer from here.

2- Use the command prompt to launch the web installer with a parameter which indicates that you want to download the update 1 package to a certain folder instead of installing it to the windows programs temporary folder as the following:

vsupdate_KB2707250.exe /Layout

after downloading the package you can create an ISO file and distribute it internally within your development team.


Fore more information about the Visual Studio 2012 Update 1:

Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 Download Page

Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 Capabilities