Visual Studio/TFS 2012 Release Candidate Available Today

Brian Harry

Today we released the Release Candidate for VS, TFS and .NET (and, of course, Windows also released their RC).  You can learn more about it and download using the following links:

Here are a few notes on the changes in TFS since the Beta.  Of course, we’ve done a ton of testing and fixed a lot of bugs.  So it should be even more stable than the Beta.  Here’s some of the feature enhancements:

Feature Enablement – This is a new capability in Web Access that allow you to enable new features (like Code Review, feedback, the Taskboard, etc) in your process template without having to break out your favorite text editor and start hand editing your process template XML.

Query launcher in Pending Changes – We heard the feedback that people wanted an easier way to associate work items on checkin.  We added a Queries drop down to pending changes allowing you to launch a query and then drag & drop a work item into the associated work items list.

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Changes to Version Control context menus – We’ve received plenty of feedback that some of our context menus – particularly Solution Explorer and Source Control Explorer, are just too long?  Remember the horrible scrolling menus?  We made some changes to move some of the less frequently used version control menu items into a tear off menu.  Of course if you want them back on the main menu, you can use VS menu customization to move them back.  We think, though, this will provide a better default experience for people.

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Color, theming, and icons – We made some additional improvements to our colors and theming – a particularly good example is Source Control Explorer in dark theme.  It looked horrible in the Beta and it looks pretty good in the RC.  Some of our tool windows still don’t look good in dark but we’ve tried to get the most common ones for now and will get the remaining ones as soon as we can.  There are still a few improvements to come for RTM but we’re getting close.

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Keyboard accessibility for drag/drop in backlog – use Alt + Up arrow or Alt + Down arrow to move items around in the backlog.

Improved upgrade guidance – It’s still work in progress but we’re working hard on untangling the mess of possible upgrade combinations and making it easier for people to choose a path and have clear concise guidance for it.  Check the current draft out here:

Improved TFS database restore – Knowing that a lot of people will choose to take the opportunity to move their TFS server to new hardware as they upgrade to TFS 11, we’ve build some new tooling to make restoring your database easier.  You no longer have to figure out how to use SQL Management Studio to restore one database at a time.  Our new wizard can easily restore all of your TFS databases at once.  You’ll find it on the welcome page of the upgrade wizard.

Improved Task Board for touch – We’ve made a bunch of improvements to make our task board more touch friendly.

Filter for areas/iterations in Web Access – For teams that have lots of areas and iterations in a Team Project, the admin screen can be hard to wade through and find what you are looking for.  We added a simple filtering ability to filter the list of areas to just the ones that apply to your team.


Team Explorer Everywhere improvements

Bring more of the new Team Explorer experience –

  • Moved Pending Changes view into Team Explorer, aligned with VS11 experience including candidate detection,
  • Implemented Favorites in Team Explorer.  Storage of favorites is now in your TFS Server so that are synced between VS, Eclipse and the Web
  • Provide a quick way to switch workspaces and detect local changed in the new Team Explorer

Easily convert between Server and Local workspaces – This is now available in both TE and TEE.

Shared .tfIgnore capability between VS and TEE – enabling you to fully share workspaces between VS and TEE

Improved build report

Hosting of web work item form – Ability to use an embedded version of the work item editor from web access (handy if you have custom work item controls that you don’t want to have to write for both web and Java)

TFSPreview support on latest Mac OS X – Work-around for a WebKit bug in the latest Mac OS X update ( which was preventing authentication against

Support for the latest Eclipse Juno RC1 build on Windows, Mac and Linux – Juno will RTM in a few weeks and we support it starting now.

As I mentioned above, there will be a handful of additional things coming between RC and RTM but it has settled down pretty well and at this point we’re just polishing of testing and bug fixing and getting ready to ship it.  I’m excited to be so close the the end of another really good release.  I’ve got a set of posts coming over then next couple of weeks on related announcements (Power Tools, etc).  Stay tuned as we tie a bow on this wave of products.



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