Visual Studio 2013

A Round Up of Visual Studio 2013 New Features

Visual Studio 2013 is now available for download, and brings a raft of new features and upgrades that help simplify common tasks for developers. Let’s take a look at some of the significant features.



With so many different devices now being used to view websites it is important to ensure that a site displays correctly across a range of screen sizes. Newly created project templates in Visual Studio 2013 use Bootstrap 3, allowing developers to more easily create responsive designs that dynamically adapt to different browser sizes.


Social Authenticators

It’s becoming more common for sites to allow users to sign in with their Facebook, Google, or Twitter login. This practice can help increase user registrations by enabling the use of already existing social media accounts. Visual Studio 2013 provides templates that make it far easier to create MVC applications that use OAuth2 and OpenID for user authentication, making it easier for users to create accounts and providing them more options on which of their social media logins they would like to use.


Browser Link

Cross browser testing can be extremely time consuming, as sites need to be tested across a range of popular browsers, in addition to various mobile devices if that support is required. Visual Studio 2013 assists developers with this task with a browser link feature which allows them to link multiple browsers to the development environment so that they can all be refreshed at once when changes are made. While this would be extremely useful by itself, it is also possible to write extensions for browser link which should allow the creation of further efficiency enhancing features.


Debugger Improvements

There are many improvements to the Visual Studio 2013 debugger that will allow developers to debug their code more efficiently. These include the ability to edit 64-bit applications and continue debugging without needing to stop and re-connect the debugger, the ability to view the return values of methods in the Autos window, Code map debugging that enables you to create visual representations of the call stack, and improvements in dump file analysis which can assist with identifying memory leaks. Details of all these features can be found here.


Peek Definitions

Peek definitions in Visual Studio 2013 allow a developer to easily view referenced methods without needing to go and open the file that method is contained within. The code you need to see is simply brought up in a peek definition window – definitely a time saver. An overview of the peek definition feature can be found here.


Templates for Facebook Apps

While it was already possible to create .NET apps for Facebook, Visual Studio 2013 assists with the process by providing templates that simplify the tasks of connecting to Facebook and retrieving properties such as email addresses or photos.


These and many other new and updated features make Visual Studio 2013 a significant upgrade that promises to increase the efficiency with which developers can create and maintain software.

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