Microsoft recently announced the release of the first update to its Visual Studio 2013, the company's software design and development program. First announced on Dec. 9, 2013, it is the first of two scheduled revisions to the Visual Studio 2013, which was released in October of last year. As many developers use Visual Studio as a report designer for WinForms, WPF and ASP.NET business intelligence tools, there are several pertinent additions and changes included in the update they should be aware of. 

As Microsoft had previously announced, one of the main priorities in the first update was achieving better compatibility for Visual Studio 2013 in versions of Internet Explorer preceding Internet Explorer 10. While there was no update for Team Foundation Server 2013, a collaborative platform for software development and application lifecycle management, Microsoft's Brian Harry wrote in a blog post that a new version of TFS will come with Update 2, which is currently in the pipeline. The community technology preview is due to be released in the next week or two and will represent a more far-reaching update than 2013. 1, featuring revised versions of Agile Project Management, work tracking, and Git tooling.

Visual Studio 2013.1: What's new?

There are, however, several bug fixes and new features in Update 1 worth noting. Visual Studio Magazine editor-in-chief Keith Ward recently highlighted some of the tools that may be of interest to ASP.NET and Web developers, including:

  • Version 5.0.11213.0 of Microsoft ASP.NET Web Frameworks and Tools, which provides editing support for ASP.NET MVC 5.1 compatible with the existing functionality from the Web Framework and Tools 5.0 release.
  • The 2.7.2 version of Nuget, which fixed an annoying bug that caused packages running package restore, uninstall or update to fail.
  • The 2.0.1 version of SignalR, which adds new item templates to Web development.
  • Internet Explorer 9 compatibility for IntelliTrace Viewer.

The SD Times also ran down the new features and fixes included in Update 1 and highlighted several other noteworthy ones, including:

  • A "Debug Managed Memory" feature, which fixes screen reader compatibility and adds MMA user interface to the screen reader.
  • For Visual C++, a new fix ensures that Visual Studio will no longer crash at random intervals when multiple resources are being edited in the Resource Editor. 
  • Several updates to XAML designer stability with better XAML tools, as well as solving an issues in Windows Store application packaging.

The benefits of Visual Studio

Whether a developer is eagerly anticipating the new version or using an older iteration of Microsoft Visual Studio, there are a variety of advantages that the platform offers for software development. Visual Studio 2010 started a trend of tools squarely focused on the developer and the types of functions he or she needs to create sophisticated, intuitive report designer tools. Prototyping, visual design and modeling tools are leveraged from an integrated development environment, which provides support for WinForms, WPF, ASP.NET and Silverlight development. 



Overall, Visual Studio, coupled with a robust set of application controls and components, can help developers decrease time-to-deployment by writing less code and focusing more on the upfront end user experience. For today's report designers, productivity is everything, and Visual Studio helps programmers create powerful applications that can be easily integrated into any device or system environment. With versions of Studio 2010 and later, developers can also more easily create applications to be used on mobile devices, relying on enhanced performance and jQuery integration to develop applications geared toward the expectations and usage practices of today's end user.

Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 can be found at the Microsoft download center.