Announcing new web features in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC

Xinyang Qiu

Today, the Visual Studio team announced the release of RC version of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 .  Our team added a few useful features and did some bug fixing in this update to improve the web development experience.  This blog will contain all of the features introduced in CTP2 and a few updates. We will have future blogs to talk about some of the features in detail.  The release notes contain more details.

What’s new since CTP2?

We added the following new features in the RC release, which can be seen in details in the corresponding sections.

New Sass project item and editor

We added LESS in VS2013 RTM, and we now have a Sass project item and editor.  Sass editor features are comparable to the LESS editor, include colorization, variable and Mixins IntelliSense, comment/uncomment, quick info, formatting, syntax validation, outlining, goto definition, color picker, tools option setting etc.



New JSON project item and editor

We have added a JSON project item and editor to Visual Studio.  Current JSON editor features include colorization, syntax validation, brace completion, outlining, tools option setting and more.


IntelliSense now supports JSON Schema v3 and v4. There is a schema combo box to choose existing schemas, edit the local schema path, or simply drag drop a project JSON file to it to get the relative path.



Create remote Azure resources option when creating a new Web project

We added a Azure “Create remote resources” checkbox on the new web application dialog.  By choosing it, you will be able to integrate the experience of creating a new web application, setting up the Windows Azure publishing site for testing, and creating publishing profile in a few simple steps.



We added a new template: Azure Mobile Service, with its support in publish dialog as well. We added VM Support in One ASP.NET dialog and publish dialog.

We also added Power shell scripts support during Project Creation.

We also support remote debugging for Azure Web Sites and remote view of Azure website content files in the server explorer.

A new dialog to trust IIS express SSL certificate

To eliminate the security warning when browsing and debugging HTTPS on localhost, we added a dialog to allow Internet Explorer and Chrome to trust the self-signed IIS express SSL certificate.

For example, a web project property can be set to use SSL. Click F4 to bring up the properties dialog. Change SSL Enabled to true. Copy the SSL URL.


Set the web project property page web tab to use the HTTPS based URL (The SSL URL will be https://localhost:44300/ unless you’ve previously created SSL Web Sites.)


Press CTRL+F5 to run the application. Follow the instructions to trust the self-signed certificate that IIS Express has generated.


Read the Security Warning dialog and then click Yes if you want to install the certificate representing localhost.


The site will be shown in IE or Chrome without the certificate warning in the browser.


Firefox uses its own certificate store, so it will display a warning.

ASP.NET Scaffolding

  • The MVC Scaffolder will generate dropdowns for Enums. This uses the Enum helpers in MVC.
  • We updated the EditorFor templates in MVC Scaffolding so they use the Bootstrap classes.
  • MVC and Web API Scaffolders will add 5.1 packages for MVC and Web API.

Here’s some screen shots when scaffolding models with Enum.

Model code:


Compile, and then click add New Scaffolded Item…


Choose MVC5 Controller with views, using Entity Framework:


Add Controller using the model:


Check the generated code, for example Views/WeekdayModels/Edit.cshtml contains @Html.EnumDropDownListFor


Run the page to see the enum combobox generated, notice that if a value can be null, an empty string can be chosen for the combobox. For example, the create page shows the following:


One ASP.NET Template changes

We updated ASP.NET templates to support Account Confirmation and Password Reset.

We updated the ASP.NET Web API template to support authentication using On Premises Organizational Accounts.

The ASP.NET SPA template now contains authentication that is based on MVC and server side views. The template has a WebAPI controller which can only be accessed by authenticated users.

LESS editor improvements

We added features including nested media queries, named parameter support, support for selector interpolation, support for semicolons as parameter separators, goto definition for @import, goto definition of variables and mixins.

New URL Picker in HTML, Razor, CSS, LESS and Sass documents

VS 2013 shipped with no URL picker outside of Web Forms pages.  The new URL picker for HTML, Razor, CSS, LESS and Sass editors is a dialog-free, fluent typing picker that understands ‘..’ and filters file lists appropriately for img’s and links.




Browser Link New Features

Browser Link added updates for:

· HTTPS connections and will list that in the Dashboard with other connections as long as the certificate is trusted by browser.

· Static HTML source mapping

· SPA support for mapping data

· Auto-update mapping data

ASP.NET Web Forms

The Web Forms templates now show how to do Account Confirmation and Password Reset for ASP.NET Identity.

The Entity DataSource control and the Dynamic Data Provider were updated for Entity Framework 6. For more details please see Announcing the release of Dynamic Data provider and EntityDataSource control for Entity Framework 6.

ASP.NET MVC 5.1.2, ASP.NET Web API 2.1.2 and ASP.NET Web Pages 3.1.2 are included

We announced ASP.NET MVC 5.1, ASP.NET Web API 2.1 and ASP.NET Web Pages 3.1 in January.  We integrated that release with some minor 5.1.1 bug fixes into VS 2013 Update 2 RC. 5.1.2 contains the same binaries plus localization for IntelliSense usage.

ASP.NET Identity

We integrated Microsoft.AspNet.Identity 2.0.0 RTM into the new project templates, which includes two-factor authentication, account lockout, account confirmation, password reset, security stamp, user account delete, extensibility of primary key for users and roles etc.

Entity Framework

We integrated Entity Framework 6.1.0 RTM into the new project template. 

Microsoft OWIN Components

We integrated the latest stable version (2.1.0) of OWIN components into the new project templates.  OWIN 2.1.0 supports Google OAuth2 authentication and static file server.


NuGet 2.8 RTM is included in this release.  You can always get the latest NuGet extension for Visual Studio through the menu “Tools->Extensions and Updates…”.


We included the 2.0.2 NuGet package for SignalR.  Please look at the release notes for more detailed information

Known Problems

Knockout IntelliSense is disabled in this release. We hope to have it restored for the RTM release.


We hope you can evaluate these new features and let us know about any bugs and suggestions.  For VS features, please use Connect to submit bugs, ASP.NET UserVoice to submit and vote for suggestions, and the ASP.NET Forums for Q&A.  You can also visit the following open source site to leave suggestions and open issues directly:


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