Announcing release of ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 Update

I’m excited to announce the final release of the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update.  This update is a free download for Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5, and adds some great additional features to both ASP.NET and Visual Studio.

Today’s update makes no changes to the existing ASP.NET runtime, and so it is fully compatible with your existing projects and development environment. Whether you use Web Forms, MVC, Web API, or any other ASP.NET technology, there is something in this update for you. 

Click here to download and install it today! This ASP.NET and Web Tools update will also be included with the upcoming Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 (aka VS2012.2).

Visual Studio Web Tooling Enhancements

With today’s release, all of the ASP.NET templates have updated versions of jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Validation, Modernizr, Knockout, and other open source NuGet packages. Note: your existing projects will continue to use the older packages unless you update them.

Web site projects now have the same publish experience as web application projects, including new support for publishing to Windows Azure Web Sites. You can selectively publish files, update local to remote files or vice versa, and see the differences between local and remote files.

Visual Studio 2012 Page Inspector enhancements include JavaScript selection mapping and CSS live updates as you type. The JavaScript selection mapping enables Page Inspector to map items that were dynamically added to the page back to the corresponding JavaScript code. For more information, read CSS Auto-Sync and JavaScript Selection Mapping in Page Inspector.

The Visual Studio 2012 editor has several improvements. With today’s update VS now supports syntax highlighting for:

  • CoffeeScript
  • Mustache
  • Handlebars
  • JsRender

The HTML editor provides Intellisense for Knockout bindings. There is even first-class support for editing LESS files, complete with syntax highlighting, Intellisense, and validation. The editor also supports pasting JSON as a .NET class. Copy any JSON data into the clipboard, use a Paste Special command to paste it into a C# or VB.NET code file, and Visual Studio will automatically generate .NET classes inferred from the JSON.

Mobile Emulator support adds extensibility hooks so that third-party emulators can be installed as a VSIX. The installed emulators will show up in the F5 dropdown, so that developers can preview their websites on a variety of mobile devices. Read more about this feature in Scott Hanselman’s blog entry on the new BrowserStack integration with Visual Studio.

ASP.NET Web API Enhancements

With today’s release, ASP.NET Web API now provides support for OData endpoints that support both ATOM and JSON-light formats. With OData you get support for rich query semantics, paging, $metadata, CRUD operations, and custom actions over any data source. Read more about ASP.NET Web API OData support at

New built-in tracing functionality now lets you easily diagnose problems with Web API whether you’re running in Visual Studio or on Windows Azure. Tracing output from Web API is automatically written to the Visual Studio output window, IntelliTrace, and any other trace listener that you would like, including Windows Azure Diagnostics. The output shows the full Web API pipeline for all requests, including any exceptions or errors that occur, what controller and action were selected, model binding, the format that was negotiated, and the response.

Updated Web API projects now contain a link to an automatically generated help page that shows how to call your web API. The help page shows all of your API endpoints, the HTTP verbs they support, parameters, and sample request and response messages. You can customize the help page as you like, including adding documentation and test client functionality.  This makes it really easy to create documentation pages for developers calling your services.



ASP.NET SignalR is a new library for ASP.NET developers that simplifies the process of adding real-time web functionality to your applications. Real-time web functionality is the ability to have server-side code push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available.

You may have heard of the HTML5 WebSocket API that enables efficient bidirectional communication between the browser and server. SignalR uses Websockets when it is supported by the browser and the server, and gracefully falls back to other techniques and technologies when it is not (best of all your application code can stay the same regardless of which is being used).

SignalR provides a simple API for creating server-to-client remote procedure calls (RPC) that call JavaScript functions in client browsers from server-side .NET code. SignalR also includes API for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), grouping connections, and authorization.

Included in today’s release is Visual Studio 2012 template support for creating SignalR projects as well as adding SignalR support to existing Web Forms and MVC applications:


Read more about SignalR at

ASP.NET Web Forms Enhancements

ASP.NET Friendly URLs enable you to remove the .aspx extension from your Web Forms pages, making your sites’ URLs look cleaner. You can also pass parameters to pages as segments of the URL. For example, instead of ProductDetails.aspx?id=5 you can have ProductsDetails/5. With Friendly URLs you can also easily support mobile devices by creating mobile versions of pages:

  • YourPage.aspx – This is the page that will be rendered by default on a browser.
  • YourPage.Mobile.aspx – This is the version of the page that will be rendered by default on a mobile browser.
  • YourPage.Device.aspx – You can write your own code to map a user-agent string to a specific device name. For example, you could have pages for Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android devices.

ASP.NET MVC Enhancements

A new Facebook Application template makes writing Facebook Canvas applications using ASP.NET MVC really easy. In a few simple steps, you can create a Facebook application that gets data from a logged in user and integrates with their friends. The template includes a new library to take care of all the plumbing involved in building a Facebook app, including authentication, permissions, accessing Facebook data and more. This lets you focus on building the business logic in your app. The Facebook apps you can build with this new template are hosted on the web and displayed inside the Facebook chrome via an iframe.


Single Page Applications

A new Single Page Application template for ASP.NET MVC is also now included and allows developers to build interactive client-side web apps using HTML 5, CSS 3, and the popular Knockout and jQuery JavaScript libraries – all on on top of ASP.NET Web API.

The default template creates a “todo” list application that demonstrates common practices for building a JavaScript HTML5 application that uses a RESTful server API. You can read more at

If you don’t want to use the new Knockout template there are 4 new community-created templates. These templates were built using the improved Custom MVC Template support:

  • BreezeJS template that uses BreezeJS and Knockout for data binding and templating
  • Ember template uses the latest version of Ember and Handlebars
  • DurandalJS template is built using the new MVVM library DurandalJS as well as Knockout
  • Hot Towel uses BreezeJS, DurandalJS, Knockout, require.js and Bootstrap

You’ll see even more templates in the months ahead.

Windows Azure Authentication Enhancements

A new pre-release of Windows Azure Authentication is also now available for MVC, Web Pages, and Web Forms. This feature enables your application to authenticate Office 365 users from your organization, corporate accounts synced from your on-premise Active Directory, or users created in your own custom Windows Azure Active Directory domain. For more information, see the Windows Azure Authentication tutorial.


Today’s ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update has a lot of useful features for all developers using ASP.NET.  Read the release notes to learn even more, and install it today!

Important Installation Note: If you have installed an earlier version of Mads Kristensen’s excellent (and free) Web Essentials 2012 extension, you’ll want to update it to the latest version before installing today’s ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update.  The latest version of the Web Essentials 2012 extension works well with today’s release – if you have an older version you will get a runtime error when you launch Visual Studio.  Updating to the latest version of the extension prior to installing the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update will fix this.

Hope this helps,


P.S. In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at:


  • Never before did I see a release of ASP.NET that seems as if made specifically to meet all of my needs :-)

  • I must say, some of these updates (like less support) sounds really really awesome. Thanks for this update.

  • Awesome updates all around. I personally use AngularJS for my client side application needs but the fact that MS is embracing client side frameworks/libraries can only mean good things going forward. Been wanting to dabble into SignalR, and don't know much about oData but because Web Api supports it I want to look into it.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Nothing about webmatrix? Web Pages? Is this dying?

  • hope to see an AngularJS template next.

  • Time to update the website to reflect these changes, or a quick remove of the work "Preview" will do.

  • Just to throw this out there... I'd like to see Compass and SASS support baked in :)

  • All great, but missing typescript related enhancements. SPA apps using typescript also old have been there though typescript is still in preview..

  • Is the update of Web Essentials because of the built in LESS and CoffeeScript support? I was sad to see that feature removed from Web Essentials this morning, but hopefully will be glad to see support returned from the update :)

  • Hello,
    Any idea how to get the editor bits without the Azure bits?

    The scenario is I have a big specific project using .LESS files inside a VM, which is used in not-very-high spec laptops. So, anything we add to these VMs counts, would like to save them the Azure bits which they are not going to use anyway. Things were going great when these bits were just part of the Web Essentials Visual Studio extension.

    Is that at all possible?

  • This is awesome news. Cant wait to try it out!

  • Update hasn't worked. Install completed successfully and if I run it again it's listed as installed in Platform Installer, but when opening VS, the About page still says Version 11.0.51106.01 Update 1 and the new project templates aren't listed. Any suggestions?

  • cool! offline or standalone installer link? If not please make it available...

  • Great! How can we get an offline copy? any special parameters to the installer?

  • I experienced problems with IntelliSense and RequireJS in WebTools 2012.1. With the addition of a framework like Durandal that heavily relies on AMD vir RequireJS, I hope to see this issue solved.
    Are there any improvements on this issue in 2012.2?

  • Great !

    I am exciting to explore new features.


  • After installing the web tools update when I run sql2012 Management Studio I get the message "Only some of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 products on this computer have been upgraded to Service Pack 1. Which is odd because I have VS2012 installed.

  • Hello, I installed this and now my VS2012 premium is really slow and when using intellisense it hangs visual stuio, tried to repair and re-install it but in vain :[

    Any ideas?

  • Great news, i can't wait to install the update..

  • Great NEWS! Scott. Where do we get info from on HOW to put these features to use?

    I have installed the latest release and created a new project to see the functionality.
    What do I have to do to put the "Web API Enhancements" and the "Web Forms Enhancements" to use.

  • After successfully installing the update, when I load an existing project I get "An Exception has been encountered. This may be caused by an extension." But when I look into ActivityLog.xml it does not show any errors.

    Also, when I got to Help->About Microsoft Visual Studio I still see Version 11.0.60204.01 Update 2 CTP.

  • Great News. I am excited to use these new features in my Project asap.

  • Does this need to be installed on the dev/qa/production servers as well?

  • Well I'd really like to try the update but I get an error when the web installer runs : Error occurred while parsing EntityName....
    Googled it but didn't mention anything :\

  • knockout, Ember , mustash why no AngularJs the best one ??

  • This is GREAT! Thanks Scott (and team)!

  • Hmmm I'm running into install issues. When I check the ActivityLog.xml I get:

    2013/02/19 20:06:26.347
    NuGet Package Manager
    Pipeline not run because a pipeline is already running. Pipelines cannot be run concurrently. at System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.PipelineBase.DoConcurrentCheck(Boolean syncCall, Object syncObject, Boolean isInLock)000D000A at System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.RunspaceBase.DoConcurrentCheckAndAddToRunningPipelines(PipelineBase pipeline, Boolean syncCall)000D000A at System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.PipelineBase.CoreInvoke(IEnumerable input, Boolean syncCall)000D000A at System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.PipelineBase.Invoke(IEnumerable input)000D000A at NuGetConsole.Host.PowerShell.Implementation.RunspaceDispatcher.<>c__DisplayClass6.<InvokeCore>b__5()000D000A at NuGetConsole.Host.PowerShell.Implementation.RunspaceDispatcher.WithLock(Action act)000D000A at NuGetConsole.Host.PowerShell.Implementation.RunspaceDispatcher.InvokeCore(Pipeline pipeline, IEnumerable`1 inputs)000D000A at NuGetConsole.Host.PowerShell.Implementation.RunspaceDispatcher.Invoke(String command, Object[] inputs, Boolean outputResults)000D000A at NuGetConsole.Host.PowerShell.Implementation.PowerShellHost.EvaluatePrompt()

    And then I get a bunch of :

    2013/02/19 20:06:38.032
    Editor or Editor Extension
    System.ComponentModel.Composition.ImportCardinalityMismatchException: Duplicate EditorFormatDefinition exports with identical name attributes exist. Duplicate name is COFFEESCRIPTRAWJAVASCRIPTFORMATDEFINITION


    How do I fix this?

  • Cool Stuff .. thanks Scott ..

  • Do I need to install this on my web server as well? or just my dev machine?

  • Thanks Scott!

    That's great news..

  • Updated and had a problem publishing a web site project. I published a website, and since "precompile during publishing" wasn't initially set, it copied over the App_Code folder. I received "The directory '/App_Code/' is not allowed because the application is precompiled." and had to manually delete this off the server before the site would run. I wish this setting could have been auto-populated or determined from my old publish settings.

  • Thanks for the updates. There's something awkward about a 2012.2 update in 2 of 2013, but ... that's OK. :)
    I'm always looking forward to improved IntelliSense for JavaScript - nirvana would be adding a script tag to any page and getting instant namespace/class member recognition. Without this, JS development is simply painful, and with more JS development every day, it's just more painful every day.
    The update for LESS is welcome. I've taken to SASS and would like to see support there as well.

  • GrantAdkins:

    The update will show up in about dialog as Web Tools 1.2. The new templates are in the MVC 4 dialog.

  • If you are getting duplicate editor format definition exception you probably have Web Essentials installed along with WTE update. Try uninstalling Web Essentials.

  • why its saying i have version 11.0.60204.01 Update 2 CTP??

  • cool

  • Directions for downloading the release manually can now be found here:

  • Just wonder whether I need to uninstall the one installed last Dec before installing the newly release?

  • ScottGu,

    Kellerman Software has an Oracle LINQ provider

  • Dear co-developers,

    Is there any framework (out of the box) thats support customer CSS-Themes and resource text files?

    We have multiple customers and some of them would like to pay for their inhouse design, others need support multiple cultures...
    How can we do this with SPA? Is it mature enough? Are there third party frameworks? Or any other thoughs...
    Will there be a template to get an example application to demonstrate this?

    Greatings from the Netherlands!

    Rolf de Vries

  • Wholesale NHL Jerseys

  • Why is I Accept button disabled when I installed it? At start, it asks me to enable Web Development Features in VS 2012. I was able to install the preview of the tools last Dec.

  • While I uninstalled the preview version of ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2, it completely uninstalled all Web Development Features in my VS 2012. Is it an expected behavior? It may explain why it asks me to enable Web Development Features while trying to install the new release. Please verify!

  • Can we please get a direct link ?


  • Scott can you please answer these questions?

    Why there wasn't a single session on C# or VB.NET in the entire Build event?

    Why No one is willing to talk about WCF?

    How is supposed to grow without developing the rest of .Net framework? Especially C# and VB.NET?

    Why is there no clear answer from MS regarding the future of .Net?

  • I've installed Web Essentials for Visual Studio 2010 which I want to continue using it. In the mean time, I've just installed Visual Studio 2012 Express for WEB, but I can't install Web Tools 2012.2 for it? I want to use VS2010 and VS2012 EXPRESS WEB Side-by-Side in the same computer,so should I update Web Essentials for VS2010, then install Web Tools 2012.2 for VS2012 EXPRESS WEB?

    Another question the Web Essentails are different between for VS2010 and VS2012?

    Thanks in advance!

  • How can I generate css from less files, and js from coffe files ? Web Essentials allowed for this, but i cannot find how to do this with ASP.NET WT 2012 update

  • if you are looking for a next generation bpm product with a good price point, come check out

  • Thanks for this informative post and good update. :)

  • Its very very nice stuff , I want use these new features in my Project.

    -Levina Gill

  • Finally they listened to developer feedback! Couldn't have been more pleased with the current release and will be putting much of it to good use in our company's upcoming experimental projects.

  • Its very nice stuff , I want use these new features in my Project.

  • Thanks for the announcement. Detailed features are listed in below post

  • Good new features, I would like to include into my projects.

  • Love the new Help page which comes bundled with this release! If anyone is interested in a more REST style customization of the display please take a look at my blog.

  • When I run this tools(it is the first time) I got this message :
    "Failed to install Web Platform Installer."
    What do I do?

  • I can't install WebToolsExtensionsVS.msi
    at the middle of installing this package this error occurred :
    indicate a problem with this package.the error code is 2902.

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