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Microsoft released Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 (Visual Studio 2012.3) on June 26, 2013. This update introduces new technology improvements in TFS build. Additionally, this update also fixed various issues.

How to obtain Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Visual Studio 2012 updates are cumulative releases that include the new features and fixes that were delivered in previous releases. The following download link always points you to the latest update. For a list of all updates that have been released for Visual Studio 2012, click here.

Download Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 package now

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

Note Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS) installation mechanics are different. The Visual Studio update 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 procedure.

For installation guidance for Visual Studio products, see:

How to install Visual Studio

How to install Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio ALM

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New technology improvements and fixed issues in Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Technology improvements

The following technology improvements have been made in Visual Studio 2012.3.

  • Team Foundation Server

    • Build settings can be preserved when you upgrade a TFS 2012 instance.

    • Improvements are made in the New Build Definition UI for the Continuous Integration (CI) build in Git-based team projects.

Fixed issues

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

  • Profiler

    • When you use Visual Studio 2012 to profile an X64 application in CPU sampling mode on Windows 8.1 operating systems, you receive a "no data collected" message.

    • Concurrency Visualizer for 64-bit applications does not work on a 64-bit Windows 8.1 operating system.

  • Simulator

    • When you run Windows Simulator, you receive a User Account Control (UAC) prompt.

  • Graphics Diagnostics

    • Fixes broken visualizer links for graphics debugging on Windows 8.1 Preview.

  • Coded UI Test

    • Coded UI Testing support for Internet Explorer 11.

  • Phone Tools

    • Windows Phone Emulator (XDE) installation crashes on Windows 8.1 Preview.

  • Visual Studio IDE

    • Project conversation report is not properly formatted.

  • Remote Debugger

    • The Remote Debugger from Visual Studio 2012 Update2 is compatible with Visual Studio 2012 Update 3. However, this latest available Remote Debugger is incompatible with Windows 8.1 Preview ARM devices.

  • Blend for Visual Studio 2012

    • Blend crashes when you open a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application that was upgraded to a Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1-based version in Visual Studio 2013 Preview.

    • You cannot open a Silverlight 4.0 project in Blend after it was ungraded in Visual Studio 2013 Preview.

    • XAML designer cannot load when you use Portable Class Library in a WPF project.

    • 779344: A style cannot use a binding to an attached property in an XAML designer

  • Lab Management

    • You can now use Microsoft Test Manager 2012 together with Test Controller 2013 to create lab environments.

    • In an environment that has Microsoft Test Manager 2012 and Test Controller 2013 deployed, when you repair a lab environment that is in the "Not Ready" state, the test agent on the agent server is uninstalled unexpectedly.

  • F#

    • Error message when Visual Studio 2012 loads an F# project created by using Visual Studio 2012 Preview.

  • Team Foundation Server

    • Compatibility support for discussion threads between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview.

  • When you use ActiveX controls and Windows Forms applications in Visual Basic, Visual Studio Designer may be unable to load after the applications are rebuilt. This is a timing issue. The designer should reload only after the build is finished.

  • When you call the EndDialog function from inside the OnInitDialog function in an MFC application, the OnInitDialog function is invoked again.

  • Application crashes because the C++ compiler generates an incorrect instruction sequence that calculates memory size to access memory.

  • A "TypeLoadException" exception occurs at run-time that states that a managed interface class is not implemented. However, the class is actually implemented.

  • An internal compiler error occurs intermittently when you compile by using the "/analyze" option.

  • A fix that is described in the following KB article is included:

    2802711 FIX: Incorrect machine code is generated for a "switch" statement in the Visual C++ 2010 x64 compiler

  • 783276: A fix for ATL & MFC on Windows XP is included

    When you use ATL and/or MFC in an application on Windows XP, you may receive the following error message:

    Application Name - Entry Point Not Found

    The procedure entry point InitializeCriticalSectionEx could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll

  • An issue is resolved in which the profile-guided optimization (PGO) instrumentation may cause a crash or incorrect behavior.

  • Visual Studio 2012 is enabled to recognize (but not open) .vsglog files that are captured by Visual Studio 2013 Preview.

  • IntelliSense in a LightSwitch HTML client project does not work because time-out occurs in IntelliSense engine.

  • Web test

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 crashes when you create a Web test on a computer that has both Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 installed.

  • Coded UI test

    • You cannot run coded UI together with the cross browser testing feature by using Selenium components.

  • Load test

    • When you analyze a load test run, parts of the results are missing from the graph in the default view.

    • A fix that is described in the following KB article is included:

      2769120 FIX: IP address of a virtual user changes when you run a load test if IP switching is enabled in Visual Studio 2010

  • Unit test

    • 783438: Mstest.exe fails to execute unit because of missing assemblies

    • Assume that you use the ExpectedSqlException attribute in the unit test code in SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio 2012. When you run the unit test, the ExpectedSqlException attribute does not work correctly.

    • When you install Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 on a build computer that has the RTM version of build agent installed, tests cannot run, and the build operation fails with the following error message:

      'Method not found: 'Void Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestPlatform.Utilities.ClientUtilities.InitializeTestPlatform(Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestPlatform.ObjectModel.Client.ITestPlatform, System.String, System.Collections.Generic.List`1)'.'

  • Test Case Manager (Web Access)

  • Microsoft Test Manager

    • Memory leak occurs when you perform Exploratory Testing by using Microsoft Test Manager.

  • An internal compiler error occurs when you build F# code that contains two interfaces if each of the two interfaces defines a member of the same name.

  • When you use NuGet package manager to install a new version of a NuGet package, the "HintPath" property of the affected references are missing from your Visual F# project file.

  • Administration and Operations

    • The Application-Tier Only wizard does not preserve the Kerberos authentication type setting when you upgrade to a TFS 2012 instance that includes multiple application tiers.

    • The Reporting tab displays an incorrect reporting services instance name in the TFS 2012 upgrade wizard.

    • Incorrect Microsoft SharePoint URLs are displayed in the TFS 2012 upgrade wizard.

    • The TFS 2012 upgrade wizard displays an incorrect reporting services instance name and incorrect reporting URL information when you reconfigure an application-tier server if the reporting URL information was changed.

    • The TFS 2012 upgrade operation fails under the full recovery model when instances use the database mirroring feature.

    • Assume that you configure a TFS 2012 instance with an instance of SQL Server that enables the AlwaysOn feature. You schedule a differential backup or a transaction log backup, or both. In this situation, all backup jobs perform a full backup.

    • The event log does not include stack traces when the administrator console crashes.

    • When you install TFS 2012 by using a non-English language package in the web installer, you notice un-localized (English) strings in the administrator console and in the Team Project Collections dialog box.

    • An error message incorrectly displays the MSSQL Server account instead of the Job Agent account when you configure scheduled backups.

    • The review page displays the default port number instead of the configured port number when you configure Team Build without a saved settings file.

    • You cannot configure TFS proxy on a computer that belongs to a separate domain from a TFS 2012 server.

    • 780985: "Invalid Uri : The hostname could not be parsed" error message in upgrade wizard while installing TFS 2012 updates

    • Fix now displays an error message that states TFS does not currently support the "/layout" switch when you run TFS web installer together with the switch enabled.

    • TFS 2012 backup plan wizard does not report an error when you configure a backup plan by using the Local System account.

    • When you upgrade an earlier version of TFS collection, you receive the following error message:

      [Error] Cannot insert duplicate key row in object 'dbo.Constants' with unique index 'IX_Constants__String_RemovedDate'

    • When you upgrade an earlier version of TFS collection, you receive the following error message:

      Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'dbo.@updates'

    • When you upgrade an earlier version of TFS collection, you receive the following error message:

      No mapping between account names and security IDs was done

    • When you try to upgrade an earlier version of TFS collection, the upgrade is not successful, and you receive the following error message:

      Error: 2601 Cannot insert duplicate key row in object 'dbo.tbl_Identity' with unique index 'PK_tbl_Identity'.

    • You cannot use Web Access on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 SP2 after you install Visual Studio 2012 updates.

    • This update improves exception handling for the Scheduled Backups feature. After you apply this update, servers with misconfigured reporting instances are able to configure Scheduled Backups for TFS. This functionality was previously blocked because of an unhandled exception that prevented the configuration wizard from running.

  • Work Item Tracking

    • When you create a new area path, and then you move an existing area path under the newly-created one, the "Work Item Tracking Integration Synchronization" job may fail with a "System.NullReferenceException" exception.

    • A user who does not have read permission on an area path can receive email notifications of changes to work items under the area path.

    • A SQL Server time-out issue may occur during warehouse rebuilds if the TFS databases are very large.

    • When you try to access work items in a TFS server together with metadata filtering turned on, you receive one of the following messages on the client side:

      "TF26006: Team Foundation could not find 0."

      "TF26193: The team project ProjectName does not exist. Check the team project name and try again."

    • Assume that you have a project collection with a root level reporting path (the default reporting path is "\") in TFS 2012. When you view reports, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

      The path of the item '<Item>' is not valid. The full path must be less than 260 characters long; other restrictions apply.

    • Assume that you have many work items, and many links created among these work items. When you try to save a new Predecessor-Successor link to certain work items, you may experience a performance issue.

    • The PartialOpen method automatically pages the System.Tags field data for partially opened work items. This behavior causes a performance issue.

    • In an environment that uses TFS 2012 and TFS Build Controller 2010, you check in a TFS 2010 build process template. When you queue a build that has associated work item and the work item has an associated changeset, the build fails with the following error message:

      Specified argument was out of the range of valid values. Parameter name: column

    • You cannot create a new work item from an iteration backlog when there are multiple work item types in the task category.

    • Assume that you create a team project by using a custom process template that includes two states that are mapped to the same state type. You create a user story for each state, and then you view the Kanban board in Product Backlog. In this situation, an error occurs. After you install the update, a validation message is displayed, and it indicates that the configuration is not valid.

  • Services Framework

    • Assume that you configure an alert to receive email notification when a work item is changed. You use the "Changes" operator to receive notification only when a field of the work item is changed. In this situation, you receive the notification unexpectedly when a work item is changed without changing field.

  • Build Automation

    • Assume that you use a user account to queue a build. The user account does not have a unique display name. In this situation, the user cannot be automatically assigned a work item if the build fails.

    • A deadlock may occur in SQL Server when you destroy builds that have lots of build information.

    • Assume that a build is being queued on a build computer. However, the computer is disconnected for some reason (such as because of a network failure). In this situation, the build is not resumed correctly after the computer is reconnected.

  • Web Access

    • Slow performance when you open a work item that has many customized fields in TFS Web Access.

  • Version Control

    • 778627: There is a limit of 256 changesets reported in Continuous Integration build reports

    • Performance regression when you query labels in Team Foundation Version Control.

    • Performance regression when you create the "Add" pending changes in Team Foundation Version Control.

    • Fix adds upload retries for Version Control files that are being checked in or shelved to reduce the number of deceptive errors.

    • When you merge an XSL file in the Visual Studio merge tool, you receive the following error message:

      "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process"

  • Visual Studio 2012 may crash when you develop a web project.

  • Performance regression when you send work items to Microsoft Outlook from Visual Studio 2012 after Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 is installed.

  • When you use a single quotation mark in any field that is used for the Available Work Items query under the My Work page, you cannot run the query.

  • Fix skips packaging of unnecessary XML documentation for Windows Store apps.

  • Visual Studio 2012 may create corrupted .appxsym and .appxupload files during an incremental packaging.

  • You cannot use the "HttpClient" class in a Portable Library project after you install Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.

  • After you install Visual Studio Update 2, the generated code for the .RESX resource files cannot be built when a project targets the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5, Windows Phone 8, and the .NET for Windows Store apps (or any combination of the three).

  • When you stop profiling a Web application, profiling data at the end of the trace can be lost. This update makes sure that all data is added to the report.

  • The Local Help Viewer 2.0 has enabled tabbing into the progress bar for screen readers to read the status for book download and installation.

Known issues for Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Microsoft Knowledge Base article



You can’t attach project collections that are detached from TFS 2010 or TFS 2012

More Information

How to download Microsoft support files

Note This section applies only to the Visual Studio client. TFS has different system requirements (check the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 Update 3 and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012 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 3 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 a screen resolution of 1024 × 768 or higher

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 3Informal community support for Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 is available through the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) forums.

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