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What's New in Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013 with MSDN

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What's New in Visual Studio 2013?

There has been a fundamental shift to device and services experiences altering how the industry approaches software development. Consumers, customers, and employees now demand a new breed of applications. They demand applications that provide the best experience across multiple screens and devices, always-connected services for data they need, security, and continuous evolution.

Visual Studio 2013 builds on the advances delivered in Visual Studio 2012 and subsequent Visual Studio Updates to provide the solution needed for development teams to embrace this transformation and to develop and deliver new modern applications that leverage the next wave in Windows platform innovation (Windows 8.1), while supporting devices and services across all Microsoft platforms.

Below are just some of the highlights in this release, including: innovative features for greater developer productivity, support for Windows 8.1 app development, web development advances, debugging and optimisation improvements for native and managed code, and expanded ALM capabilities.

Visual C++

  • Improved support for ISO C/C++ Standards:
    • Core language
    • Standard Template Library
    • C99 Libraries
  • Visual C++ library enhancements:
    • C++ REST SDK (Casablanca)
    • C++ AMP texture support
    • PPL task debugging
  • Improved C++ application performance
  • Enhancements for Windows Store app development


New features in the JavaScript editor include:

  • Deprecation notes in IntelliSense. If a Windows API element has been deprecated in Windows 8.1, IntelliSense tooltips identify it as "[deprecated]".
  • Go To Definition for namespaces. You can open the shortcut menu for a namespace you use in your code (such as WinJS.UI) and then choose Go To Definition to be taken to the line where that namespace is defined.
  • Identifier highlighting. Select an identifier (for example, a variable, parameter, or function name) in your source and any uses of that identifier will be highlighted in your source code.


  • Named fields in discriminated unions make code clearer.
  • Work more easily with vector and matrix code with new array slicing features for multidimensional arrays.
  • Write more powerful generic algorithms with expanded F# support for generic extension members.
  • Get better debugging support when using F# quotations, with the new –quotations-debug compiler and interpreter option.
  • Simplify your code by omitting type annotations in many lambda expressions that are especially common when using LINQ extension methods like Where and Select.
  • Use the .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Store portable libraries.
  • Work on your projects by using both current and previous versions of Visual Studio.
  • View tooltips and use the Go to Definition feature for F# operators.
  • Enjoy up to 40x speed improvements with the new, faster implementation of printf in F#.
  • During F# interactive sessions, add references by using the new Send to Interactive command on any reference node in Solution Explorer.

.NET Framework 4.5.1

The enhancements in version 4.5.1 include automatic binding redirection for assemblies. When you compile an app that targets the .NET Framework 4.5.1, you can add binding redirects to the app configuration file if your app or its components reference multiple versions of the same assembly.

Windows Store apps

  • Create a hub-style app. Create a Windows Store app that displays content in a horizontally panning view and visually engages users by providing a variety of ways to access content. Use the Hub App project template to get started.
  • Validate apps against remote devices. Validate your app against remote devices before you submit it for certification and listing in the Windows Store. Run a program on each device that you want to use for validation. Then, connect to that device from within the Create App Packages wizard to validate the app.
  • Generate app bundles. Generate an app bundle to reduce the size of the app that users download. Your app takes up less room on their devices, and users can download it faster because they download only the assets that they need.


MSBuild 12.0 is included in Visual Studio instead of the .NET Framework. MSBuild 12.0 operates side-by-side with versions that were deployed with previous versions of the .NET Framework and is also available via a standalone installer for build server scenarios.


  • New start experience
  • New code editor features
  • XAML editor

Team Foundation and Application Lifecycle Management

For information about improvements to Application Lifecycle Management and Team Foundation, see What's new for Application Lifecycle Management in Visual Studio 2013.

ASP.NET 4.5.1

For information about new features, see What’s New for ASP.NET 4.5.1 and Web Development in Visual Studio 2013.

For information about web templates, see Creating an ASP.NET Web Project in Visual Studio 2013.

Windows Azure Mobile Services

  • Help connect client apps to both Windows Store and Windows Azure Mobile Services.
  • Use Windows Azure Mobile Services and Windows Push Notification services to add push notifications to your app.
  • Create and view Windows Azure Mobile Services and tables.
  • Update table scripts for Windows Azure Mobile Services.
  • Troubleshoot server-side scripts by viewing mobile service logs from Server Explorer.

Blend - HTML design tools for Windows Store apps

  • CSS Animation. Create and preview CSS3 animations by using the Animation timeline.
  • JavaScript Behaviors. Add interactivity without writing code by dropping JavaScript behaviors onto any element. Choose from a list of built-in behaviors or create custom behaviours.
  • Embed Custom Fonts. Easily embed custom fonts and include them in your app.
  • Data Binding. Bind to design-time data to preview your data display and design your data templates.
  • Rulers and Guides. Drag visual guides from rulers to more precisely place elements and create custom layouts.
  • Border Radius. Use easy-to-manipulate handles on elements to create rounded corners and ellipses.
  • Search and Set CSS Properties. Quickly set CSS property values directly in the Search or Set box in the CSS Properties panel.
  • Find Elements using CSS Syntax. Search the Live DOM by using CSS syntax.

Blend - XAML design tools

  • Rulers and guides. Drag visual guides from rulers to more precisely place elements and create custom layouts.
  • Better style editing support. In-place style and template editing supports the creation and modification of templates directly in the context of the app display.
  • Sample data support. Bind to sample data, including sample data in JSON format.
  • View-state authoring. Modify view-state properties such as Edge and minimum widths for edge-aligned views directly in the Device panel.
  • Behaviors. Add behaviors to your markup interactively by dropping them onto any element. Choose from a list of built-in behaviors or create custom behaviours.


  • Improved support for team development with new segmented project model.
  • JQuery Mobile table control for HTML clients displays tabular data.
  • The Created By and Modified By fields for intrinsic tables provide a built-in auditing experience.
  • Person semantic data type connects to Active Directory.
  • DateTimeOffset semantic data type stores dates and times in UTC format.


Debugging and diagnostics

  • Debugger
    • Just My Code for C++ and JavaScript.
    • Asynchronous call stacks are extended to show you the method chain that called the async code.
    • 64 bit Edit and Continue for .NET Framework code.
    • You can now examine the return values of nested method calls.
  • Graphics
    • Graphics Diagnostics are now available for Windows Store apps in Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows (in addition to Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio Premium, and Visual Studio Ultimate).
    • You can use Graphics Diagnostics to debug DirectCompute compute shader code.
    • Graphics Diagnostics can capture graphics information from an app that's running on a remote machine or device.
    • You can now use a remote machine or device to play back graphics information that was previously captured on the same machine or on a different machine.
  • Diagnostic tools
    • NET Framework memory analysis.
    • Enhanced categorisation and filtering when you run unit tests.
    • Enhanced categorisation and filtering for C++ code analysis rules.
  • Debugging and diagnostics for Windows Store apps
    • DOM Explorer. The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) editor supports improved editing, IntelliSense, inline style support, shorthand, specificity, and notification of invalid properties. The Computed, Styles, and Layout panes show computed values, provide better mapping to source code, and provide colour coding to match selected elements. The DOM Explorer supports search, editing as HTML, IntelliSense, and undo stacks.
    • JavaScript Console. The console supports object preview and visualisation, new APIs, multiline function support, IntelliSense, evaluation of elements as objects or HTML, and legacy document modes.
    • JavaScript Memory Profiler. The Dominators view shows the memory allocation retained by each object. The profiler notifies you of potential memory leaks caused by detached or disconnected DOM nodes. Color-coded operation values show how objects have changed from previous snapshots.
    • The XAML UI Responsiveness profiler helps you improve the performance of your app’s display.
    • The Energy Consumption tool helps you analyse the power and energy consumption of Windows Store apps that run on lower-powered Windows RT 8.1 (ARM) tablets.
SharePoint and Office
  • MVC support. You can use the new MVC (model-view-controller) pattern in Office and SharePoint 2013 to create apps. In apps for SharePoint, you can choose the ASP.NET MVC Web Application as the web app for your project. You can also publish apps to Windows Azure websites.
  • Cloud Business App project template. Create line of business applications hosted on SharePoint for Office 365 that are based on Visual Studio LightSwitch technologies.
  • App Packaging and Publishing. The packaging and publishing process for apps for SharePoint and apps for Office has been streamlined and improved. An updated publishing dialog box enables you to provide all the information needed to publish your app to a target location. It also connects you to the Seller Dashboard, which enables you to submit your app to the Office Store.
  • Add search capabilities to your apps for SharePoint. You can deploy custom search configurations to a search-enabled site.
  • Debug remote event receivers and remote workflows. Remote event receivers and workflows contained in apps for SharePoint now support full debugging.

For further information on Visual Studio 2013 & MSDN please call MicroWay on 1300 553 313 or email.

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