My favorite Visual Studio 2012 features Part #1


See also the other parts

  1. Project Round-Tripping
  2. How Search improves your productivity
  3. How the new Solution Explorer makes your life easier
  4. Unit Testing Improvements
  5. The New Team Explorer

A year ago Microsoft released the first preview of Visual Studio 11. Now we have the full RTM release available with a bunch of new features!

As we all know, Visual Studio is an enormous product. As developers we spend a lot of time using it and knowing your tools will really help you to speed up development. In this series of blogs I want to highlight some of the new features that I particularly like and that helped me speed up my development.

Lets start with....

Visual Studio 2010-2012 Project round-tripping

As Anders Abel stated you're a top developer! This also means that you probably want to work with the latest software and try out all the cool new things. But you can't. You have to stay compatible with your co-workers...

That's over now with Visual Studio 2012! You can open a project in Visual Studio 2012, save it and then open it in Visual Studio 2010 without any problems. Your colleagues won't even notice that you are suddenly running Visual Studio 2012 (but they will notice that you are getting more work done!)

Let's do it!

  1. Create a new project (a console app for example) in Visual Studio 2010.
  2. Save and close the solution.
  3. Launch Visual Studio 2012 and open the solution.
  4. Make some changes to the code, save and close the solution.
  5. Open the project in Visual Studio 2010.
  6. Enjoy!

Some rules...

First of all, to make round-tripping work you need to have Service Pack 1 installed for Visual Studio 2010. This shouldn't pose a big problem, especially since Service Pack 1 is distributed trough Windows Update.

There are also some project types which don't support round-tripping. The only one I encountered was the Visual Studio Database Project. VS2012 wants to convert this project and after conversion it can't be opened in VS2010.

If you use any special project types checkout MSDN for the official list of project types that need conversion: Visual Studio 2012 Compatibility. If you need more detailed info check the Visual Studio blog: Round-tripping with Visual Studio 11.

This means you can start using Visual Studio 2012 right now! You don't have to wait for your coworkers and nobody will notice that you are enjoying all the new features ;-)

What are your favorite Visual Studio 2012 features? Or is there a feature you want to know more about? Please leave a comment!