Visual Studio 2012 – Great new features for Web and CRM 2011 development

by Shawn Tabor

The recent release of Visual Studio 2012 offers a number of great enhancements that will improve standard web development as well as CRM development.

Features of note for the CRM developer include:

Note: In order to install the current CRM Developer Toolkit with Visual Studio 2012, the MSI has to be edited to modify the registry key which points to Visual Studio 2010. A great step by step article was written on this very topic and can be found by clicking here.

In this blog post, a number of new features are discussed and where possible, links are provided to MSDN articles or resources that provide additional details and information.

Intellisense Improvements

Intellisense makes it easier for the CRM developer to find classes and members during development. Visual Studio 2012 adds Intellisense capability for CSS and now recognizes new HTML5 tags. ASP.NET developers now have support when entering binding expressions. The best improvement, in my opinion, for the CRM developer is with the improved support for JavaScript in VS2012. VS 2012 now automatically incorporates JavaScript comments into IntelliSense support for JavaScript functions and variables. New options are also available for generating IntelliSense support for overloaded functions when using XML commenting within your JavaScript.

Javascript Improvements

New features for JavaScript in Visual Studio 2012 include the following:

  • Strict Mode : Strict mode is a way to introduce additional run-time constraints and error-checking into your code.
  • Typed Arrays : You can use typed arrays to handle binary data from sources such as network protocols, binary file formats, and raw graphics buffers.
  • The Internet Explorer Web Workers API provides a way to add background workers that run in parallel with the main page. For more information, see About Web workers.
  • The async attribute of the script element. When this attribute is set to true, the script is executed while the page is being parsed. For more information, see async attribute.

Code Clone Analysis

Visual Studio 2012 now provides the ability to analyze code fragments that are very similar or even the same. This analysis improves the ability to refactor duplicated code to improve maintainability and support of Visual C# projects within a solution.

You can either find the clones of a specific fragment, or find all clones in your solution. In addition to discovering direct copies, the clone analysis tool can find fragments which differ in the names of variables and parameters, and in which some statements have been rearranged.

MSDN provides more information and details on how to execute Code Clone Analysis, in the article here.

New Features for ALM Testing

Visual Studio 2012 provides enhanced support for test-driven development (TDD). New features in VS2012 which support TDD include the following:

In summary, Visual Studio 2012 provides a significant number of enhancements to improve the CRM and Web developer experience. These enhancements help achieve better code quality, streamlined testing functionality, improved integration with Team Foundation Server (TFS) and more. Enterprise CRM implementations with iterative development cycles will benefit from the improved features and functionality within Visual Studio 2012.


Author: crmhobbit

The CRMhobbit (Shawn Tabor) is a Microsoft Business Solutions MVP and a Sr. Solutions Architect. He has experience implementing Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement across various vertical industries including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Public Sector and Sports & Entertainment. Shawn specializes in the Dynamics 365 for Field Service, Project Service Automation and LinkedIn Sales Navigator solutions. The purpose of his blog is to share his knowledge, experience and thoughts regarding CRM in the hopes of benefiting those in the CRM community. If anything on this blog has helped you, please comment or rate the posts. Thank you!

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