March CTP (“CTP4”) of Visual Studio Update 2 now available

Anisha Pindoria

Visual Studio Updates are a mechanism we are using to provide ongoing value throughout the year to our Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server customers. These updates will provide features to support the latest software trends in the market, and also offer an easy way to deploy bug fixes.  In Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 we are focusing on Modern Application Lifecycle and Modern App Development. 



The March CTP or CTP4 will likely be the last CTP before formally releasing Visual Studio Updat2 and can be downloaded here:

Of course the purpose of CTPs is to get feedback and identify any problems before they are released,  so if you find any issues please let us know!

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New Features in CTP4 for Visual Studio Update 2

HTML Client and SharePoint support for LightSwitch

The big new feature for this CTP is a new HTML client and SharePoint Support for LightSwitch; To bring folks up to speed on building HTML clients with LightSwitch we have done an entire blog post on this topic; for more information please see the post by John Stallo at:

(note: Robert MacLean, one of the ALM MVPs, just pointed out to that there are some steps needed before getting started if you had Preview 2 on your computer – please see: Upgrading from Preview 2 to CTP)



Inline editing of text of test steps and results in the test execution of the browser based test management 


Enabling testers to test in environments with out needing to install any software is one our top priorities.  In this CTP we continue to enhance light weight browser based test case management by enable editing both results and test case steps [-while in the process of executing the test case.   In the screen shot above you can see I created a test case with very terse high level steps –but during the execution I able to add additional information for later test runs.


SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint User Profile diagnostics support with IntelliTrace



One of the benefits of the Visual Studio updates is the ability to add capabilities for platforms that do not align with the Visual Studio ship cycle.  To this end SharePoint has been a focus area and this continues with SharePoint 2013 and the ability to use Intellitrace to diagnose User Profile issues.




Customize columns in the Team Foundation Kanban Board


If your team is using or looking to get started with the kanban method the new Team Foundation Server kanban board is a great tool to help you get started.   With Visual Studio Update 2 the kanban board has been improved with the ability to customize the columns to better align with your development. For more information check out Gregg Boers post: Kanban customizable columns, “under the hood” or Tarun Arora’s TFS Kanban board Swim lane customization walk through


Servicing in High Availability SQL Environments 

Team Foundation Servers databases involved in SQL AlwaysOn or database mirroring can now perform upgraded. For an in-depth post on the ALM Blog with a walk through of this in the next couple of days.


Team Foundation Visual Studio Update 2 CTP4 is “go-live’ 

While not a feature per se, Team Foundation Server 2012 with Update 2 CTP 4 is “go-live”. This means that you can use this build in production environments. This is still a pre-release, so there may be issues that will be fixed/changed for the final release.  Upgrade from Update 2 CTP 4 to Update 2 RTM is supported. In order to upgrade to future releases, you will be required to first upgrade from Update 2 CTP 4 to the released (RTM) version of Update 2.


ALM Features included in the previous Visual Studio Update 2 CTPs:

  1. Web based Test Case Management
  2. Code Map Debugger Integration and Responsiveness Improvements
  3. TDD for Windows Phone Unit Tests
  4. Test Explorer group tests by Class
  5. Web based version control Explore and Compare
  6. Send work items in email
  7. Email work items from backlogs
  8. Web version control Improvements
  9. New Team Explorer Connection dialog display multiple servers, TPCs and projects
  10. Advanced SharePoint 2010 Load Testing
  11. Team Foundation Server Work Item Tagging
  12. Extended cross browser support in Coded UI Testing
  13. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 support in Coded UI Testing
  14. Test Explorer test details improvements for Coded UI Tests
  15. Improvements in Windows Store Applications Unit Testing
  16. Test Explorer test playlists
  17. Symbol Loading improvements for IntelliTrace and Profiler
  18. While not technically part of Update 2: Git as version control on Team Foundation Service
  19. Fakes now available in Visual Studio Premium
  20. Coded user interface testing support for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7
  21. Visual Studio HTML and JavaScript profiler
  22. Enable adding attachments to test outcomes in web based test case management
  23. Enable pausing and resuming test execution in web based test case management
  24. The ability to clone test cases in Microsoft Test Manager



Note: If you see the following error (TF400534) when attempting to install a localized version of Team Foundation Server (RUS, ITA, or JPN) with the web installer; the operating system needs to be updated.  Running Windows Update will resolve the problem and enable you to install Team Foundation Server Update 2.


For other known issues and the bugs this update resolves please see:


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