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Microsoft released Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 (Visual Studio 2012.2) on April 4, 2013. This update introduces new technology improvements in agile planning, quality enablement, Windows and Web developments, line-of-business development and development experience. Additionally, this update also fixed various issues.

How to obtain Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

Visual Studio 2012 updates are cumulative releases that include the new features and fixes that were delivered in previous Visual Studio 2012 Updates. The following download link always points you to the latest Update:

Download the latest Visual Studio 2012 update package now

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How to install Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

For installation guidance, see How to install Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 offline.

Please note: This update applies to Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS). Visual Studio and TFS installation mechanics are different. The Visual Studio update is an update that installs on top of whatever is already installed on the computer. The TFS update is a full layout that replaces whatever is installed on the computer. Before you try to apply the TFS update, make sure that you have a full backup of your current databases. If the TFS update installation fails, you will be unable to restart the update or roll back to the earlier version of TFS without performing a restore.

New technology improvements and fixed issues in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

Technology improvements

The following technology improvements have been made in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.

These features help provide easy and flexible agile planning for any team.

  • Team Foundation Server

    • New work item tags are added to provide lightweight metadata for work items.

    • A Connect dialog box is added to Team Explorer to locate different team project connections and projects.

    • You can now send a work item as an email message in TFS Web Access.

    • The TFS Configuration Wizard and persistent customer settings in upgrades are improved.

    • Servicing is now available in High Availability SQL environments.

    • You can now more quickly and easily customize columns directly through the backlog Kanban board.

These features help provide lightweight browser-based test management and execution to reduce the time that is required to continuously enable quality in software projects.

  • Unit testing

    • Windows Store app unit testing now supports interaction with the UI thread.

    • Windows Store app unit testing now supports the use of an async lambda inside Assert.ThrowsException.

    • New unit test playlists enable the control and execution of a subset of unit tests.

    • Support is now provided for group unit tests by class.

  • UI testing

    • Support is now provided for extended cross-browser use.

    • Support is now provided for UI testing for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7.

  • Microsoft Test Manager

    • You can now customize resolution states and failure states for test analysis.

  • Test Case Manager (Web Access)

    • You can now view and edit test cases in a test plan from TFS Web Access.

    • You can now run manual test cases, and file bugs from TFS Web Access.

These following Windows development features are provided:

  • An HTML Visual Profiler to diagnose UI responsiveness issues and latency in visual updates

  • The latest version of the Windows App Certification Kit

This release also includes ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2. You can find the full details on what is included in the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 release notes. The following includes a few examples:

  • Tooling update that extends the existing Microsoft ASP.NET runtime

  • Improvements to Web Publishing

  • New Web API functionality

  • New templates for Facebook Applications and Sign Page Application

  • Real-time communication through ASP.NET SignalR

  • Extensionless Web Forms through ASP.NET Friendly URLs

These features help provide additional capabilities to modernize existing line-of-business (LOB) applications and to create new business applications across connected devices that are powered by continuous services.

  • LightSwitch

    • You can now build cross-browser, HTML-based mobile web apps that can run on any modern device.

    • You can now publish business apps to a SharePoint 2013 app catalog in addition to Microsoft Azure and Internet Information Services (IIS).

    • Note To learn more about new features and about how to upgrade projects from Preview 2, see this Visual Studio LightSwitch Team Blog article.

  • SharePoint

    • Support is now provided for web and load testing for SharePoint applications.

    • Support is now provided for record and playback through Coded UI to perform UI validations on SharePoint 2013 applications.

    • IntelliTrace support is the same as that provided in SharePoint 2010.

  • Phone tools

    • The program enables unit testing for Windows Phone.

    • The program lets you build and deploy workflows of Windows Phone projects from the command line.

These features provide improvements in the IDE to help create a better and more productive developer experience.

  • Blend for Visual Studio 2012

    • Support for Sketchflow, WPF, and Silverlight

  • IDE

    • A blue theme in the Visual Studio 2012 IDE

  • Code map

    • Improvements in code map debugger integration and responsiveness

  • Workflow Designer

    • Debugging experience improvements that are related to how various data types are displayed in the Locals and Watch windows

  • IntelliTrace

    • Improved symbol loading in IntelliTrace and profiler

    • View of nested parameter values in an IntelliTrace log that is collected from System Center

  • Performance and reliability

    • Performance improvements in XAML designer load for the following scenarios:

      • Large Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications

      • Working with third-party custom controls

Fixed issues

Note Unless otherwise indicated, linked items will take you to Microsoft Connect webpages.

  • 759433: Non-ASCII character is displayed in the title of the threaded wait dialog box.

  • 773717: The arguments $(ItemPath), $(ItemDir), etc. resolve incorrect values when you run an external tool in Visual Studio 2012 if the selected item is outside the solution.

  • Threaded wait dialog title bar does not display the correct color when you use the blue theme in a custom Visual Studio 2010 color theme.

  • When you debug a Windows Store application by using HTML that uses a sandboxed iframe in Visual Studio 2012, the application exits unexpectedly.

  • Fixed a memory leak that may occur when a Visual C++ solution is loaded.

  • Stability of Visual Studio 2012 is improved when it is loading solutions.

  • Visual Studio 2012 may crash with the System.ArgumentException exception when you switch between windows (this includes document windows, auto-hidden windows, tabbed tool windows, and so on).

  • Visual Studio 2012 may crash during shutdown if a Visual Studio Add-in package is installed.

  • You encounter performance issues the first time that you copy text from the editor if the toolbox is invisible in Visual Studio 2012.

  • You cannot access local help content after you install Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 if you change the location of the local help content.

  • Build error when you build a Portable Class Library project if you select the .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Phone 8 as the target frameworks.

  • Code review response is created in root area path instead of the selected area path.

  • Fix is made keep the prompting dialog for missing web components from appearing when you open a web project.

  • Includes the content of KB2781514: an improvement in product stability, and a fix for a compatibility issue that occurs when the Microsoft .NET Framework is updated.

  • A System.NullReferenceException exception may occur in some scenarios after a modal dialog box is opened from a shortcut menu in Visual Studio 2012. This causes the dialog to be closed or Visual Studio 2012 crashes. For example, if you have installed Microsoft Azure Tools, you may experience this issue when you edit tables or queries under Microsoft Azure Storage in Server Explorer.

  • Visual Studio 2012 may crash when you try to close a LightSwitch project.

  • Visual Studio 2012 may crash when you switch from one preview tab to another.

  • Slow performance when you use the "openfile" or the "of" command in the Command Window.

  • 770242: Build error when you build a Visual C# Portable Class Library project that references another Visual C# Portable Class Library.

    Note Both projects target the .NET Framework 4.5, Windows Phone 8, and .NET for Windows Store apps.

  • "The referenced component could not be found" build warning when you perform a parallel build on a Microsoft .NET Framework 4-based solution in Visual Studio 2012.

  • Build error when you build a Visual Basic Portable Class Library project that targets the .NET Framework 4.5, Windows Phone 8, and .NET for Windows Store apps.

  • Build error when you build the code that is generated by Add Service Reference in a Portable Class Library project that targets Windows Phone 8 and either the .NET Framework 4.5 or .NET for Windows Store apps.

  • Blend may crash when you build a Silverlight web app that is under source control.

  • The linker help switch "/?" does not list Windows CE as a valid subsystem.

  • The multiple-scale image support feature that was included in Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 incorrectly requires a scale 140 badge logo image of size 34 x 34 pixels. The size should be 33 x 33 pixels.

  • The progra includes the latest version of Windows Library for JavaScript.

  • 752266: Visual C++ application that is compiled by using the cl /O2 /arch:AVX /EHsc command in the Visual Studio 2012 x86 Native Tools Command Prompt intermittently exits.

  • Assume that you configure the platform target to x64 for a Visual C++ application. You compile the application by using the /O2 or /Ox optimization option. In this situation, incorrect code is generated when the compiler converts int64 type to int32 type inside a loop. For example, you may compile the following code:

    int A[8];for (__int64 i=0; i<8; i++) { A[i] = i + 1;}

  • When you compile a Microsoft Visual C++ application that contains the following code together with the /analyze option on an ARM platform, an internal compiler error occurs:

    class Base {};

    template <typename T>
    class Derived : public Base {};

    template <typename P3>
    Derived<P3> Make( P3 p3 );

    void foo()
    Base& b = Make(sizeof(long));

  • IntelliSense becomes unresponsive when you type some code into the editor, specifically when you add overload functions to partial classes. For example, you use code that resembles the following:

    Namespace N { partial ref struct S { }; ref struct S { void test(); void test(int); void test(int, int); }; }

  • IntelliSense does not work in a source file that contains lambda expressions that have more than one return value. For example:

    [] () { bool b; std::wstring k; if(b) return k; else return k; };

  • When you use Intel's new TSX (Transactional Synchronization Extensions) through intrinsics provided by Visual Studio 2012 on Intel's Haswell hardware, the C++ compiler generates incorrect code. This causes the transaction operation to be non-exclusive.

  • C++ compiler generates incorrect function hints in the fixup record in PDB files.

  • When you create an empty Visual C++ project, the SDL checks option is cleared even though the SDL checks check box is selected in the Application wizard.

  • X64-based Visual C++ tool set does not contain all cumulative fixes for the x86-based Visual C++ tool set in Visual Studio 2012 updates.

  • Fixed a compiler crash when certain nested loop code is compiled.

  • An internal compiler error occurs when you buiuld an LLVM-based project by using an x64-based compiler.

  • Incorrect machine code is generated for a Visual C++ application. A loop may be skipped unconditionally.

  • Application intermittently crashes on Windows Phone when you create an asynchronous operation with Parallel Patterns Library (PPL).

  • An internal compiler error may occur when you use x64 native C++ compiler to compile a C source code that contains the following pattern of code inside a loop:

    A = (B < C ? B : C);

  • When you installed a RTM version of language package on Visual Studio 2012 that has Visual Studio 2012 updates installed. After you configure the Visual Studio 2012 to use the newly-installed language, you experience the following symptoms:

    • You cannot create new Win32 or MFC application in wizard.

    • You cannot upgrade projects from earlier versions.

    • Displayed language is not the user-configured language.

  • Assume that you have a MFC project and you are using Messages tab in Class Wizard to implement a message handler for WM_CREATE message. After you click Add Handler, you cannot build the project because the code that is generated is incorrect.

  • When you build binaries for x64 or ARM platforms in debug mode and with incremental linking option enabled, the pdata corrupts sometimes. This causes the following issues:

    • Exception handling code does not work.

    • Windows API RtlLookupFunctionEntry() does not work.

  • Assume that you have a C++ Windows Store project or a C++ Windows Store Unit Test project that references a Windows Store exe project, there is no IntelliSense showed for the Windows Store exe project in your project.

  • Illegal instruction is generated as "mov eax,bh".

  • Assume that you have a Windows Phone or a Windows Store project that references a separate project that contains assets that are created by using Visual Studio Graphics tools. When you try to build the main project, the assets are not deployed together with the main project. This causes build errors in the Windows Store application or run time errors in the Windows Phone application.

  • Several stability and performance improvements for Graphics Diagnostics.

  • When you try to install a Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 package that does not contain Entity Framework tools, you receive the following error message:

    Entity Framework Designer for Visual Studio 2012 - enu package failed

  • When you install Visual Studio 2012 updates, Entity Framework tools will be installed in English regardless of the locale of Visual Studio 2012 that you have installed.

Microsoft Test Manager

  • Assume that you run a test that has no expected results, and you file a bug during the test. In this situation, the test is auto-computed to pass.

  • A shared test step may be deleted unexpectedly when you delete a selected test step.

  • The following error occurs when you try to create a new environment in MTM Lab Center:

    Error in querying the running virtual machines.
    Specified argument was out of the range of valid values.

Unit testing

  • Test methods with TestInitialize attributes may be called in an incorrect sequence.

Load Testing

  • Unable to run an x86-targeted test DLL from MTM against a Test Controller that is running on an x64 operating system.

Test and Lab Manager

  • Assume that you have applied Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 on a computer that has TFS 2012 and Visual Studio 2012 installed. You try to run a build that contains tests on the computer. In this situation, the build fails together with a MethodNotFoundException exception.

  • Merged code coverage files display incorrect coverage data.

  • C++ compiler fixes in Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 are not applied to windows phone developer tools.

  • Visual F# Portable Library Project issues

    • Queries that work as usual in F# Interactive and on the desktop framework will fail at run time with System.NotSupportedException when they are used in an F# portable library for a Silverlight or Windows Store app.

    • A System.ArgumentNullException will be thrown at run time if the methods Async.AwaitEve nt or Async.CreateDelegate are called in an F# portable library.

  • Entity Framework tools updates can be installed through Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.

  • Intermittent crash when you publish a LightSwitch HTML Client project

  • This update fixes several issues for Team Foundation Server.

  • Translations for a couple of agile terms are updated.

More Information

How to download Microsoft support files

Updates for other products in the Visual Studio family can be found on the Microsoft download site for Visual Studio.

For installation guidance for Visual Studio products, see:

How to install Visual Studio

How to install Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio ALM

Note This section applies only to the Visual Studio client. TFS has different system requirements (check the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 with Update 2 and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012 with Update 2 download pages for more information), and may require up to two restarts, depending on the state of the computer when you install the update.

Restart requirementYou do not have to restart your computer after you install this package.

Supported languages Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 provides updates for the following versions:

  • Chinese (Simplified)

  • Chinese (Traditional)

  • Czech

  • English

  • French

  • German

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Korean

  • Russian

  • Polish

  • Portuguese (Brazil)

  • Spanish

  • Turkish

Supported operating systemsFor more information about supported operating systems, go to the following Microsoft website:

Platform compatibility and system requirements for Visual Studio 2012

Supported architectures

  • 32-bit (x86)

  • 64-bit (x64) (WOW)

Hardware requirements

  • 1.6 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM (1.5 GB if you are running in a virtual machine)

  • 1 GB of available hard disk space

  • 5,400 RPM hard disk drive

  • DirectX 9-capable video card that is running at 1024 × 768 or higher resolution

Software requirementsYou must have one of the supported Visual Studio 2012 programs that are listed in the "Applies to" section installed to apply this update.

Support for Visual Studio 2012 Update 2Informal community support for Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 is available through the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) forums.

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