Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012; VS/TFS 2012 CTP 4 Update 2 and More

Available today: Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012; VS/TFS 2012 CTP 4 Update 2 with LightSwitch HTML Client Preview; New OpsMgr MP for Cluster, NLB, WDS; Exchange 2013 Deployment Assistant and more.

Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 provide broad and deep support, ranging from new templates to new designers to a whole host of integrated lifecycle tools now available as on March 4, 2013.

"The tools enable developers to create, edit, test, debug, package, and deploy apps for Office and SharePoint, across all current Office and SharePoint hosting models and app types," informs Microsoft.

In addition, beyond supporting a new application model based on web technologies, these tools also provide full support both for VSTO Add-ins and SharePoint Solutions.

Microsoft has also released CTP4 of Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server Update 2, which now includes the LightSwitch HTML Client Preview!

"The new Preview of HTML5 and JavaScript-based LightSwitch HTML client addresses the increasing need to build touch-oriented business applications that run well on modern mobile devices," the company explains.

The preview also supports publishing these apps to SharePoint 2013 & Office 365, so you can also build SharePoint 2013 apps with LightSwitch.

Additionally, you will find following few TFS specific things:

  • "Back up & restore Power Tool intergrated into the product
  • Preserve TFS configuration when you upgrade--make applying update 2 easier
  • Servicing in High Availability SQL Environments (SQL AlwaysOn) configurations without undo manual intervention
  • Customizable kanban columns support
  • Visual Studio Git extension VSIX to work with this Update," informs Microsoft.

System Center Management Pack for Windows Server Cluster is designed to improve the availability, performance, and security of your Windows Server cluster deployment.

"The MP monitors the health of the Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 clusters and provides both proactive and reactive monitoring of your failover cluster deployments," the company explains.

Some of the conditions monitored by this pack include:

  • Configuration or hardware issues that interfere with starting the Cluster service
  • Connectivity problems that affect communication between cluster nodes or between a node and a domain controller
  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) settings that affect the cluster; for example, permissions needed by the computer account that is used by the cluster
  • Configuration issues with the network infrastructure needed by the cluster; for example, issues with Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Issues with the availability of a cluster resource, such as a clustered file share
  • Issues with the cluster storage

Windows Server Network Load Balancing Management Pack available today "monitors the health of the Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 NLB clusters and improves the availability, performance, and security of your Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 NLB deployment."

Windows Deployment Services Management Pack includes monitors, rules, views, tasks and knowledge for the monitoring of your Windows Deployment Services infrastructure for Windows Server 2012.

Exchange Server 2013 Deployment Assistant, a web-based tool that helps you deploy Exchange 2013 in your on-premises organization, configure a hybrid deployment between your on-premises organization and Office 365, or migrate to Office 365 -- is also available.

"It asks you a small set of simple questions and then, based on your answers, creates a customized checklist with instructions to deploy or configure Exchange 2013. Instead of trying to find what you need in the Exchange library, the Deployment Assistant gives you exactly the right information you need to complete your task," Exhange team explains.

You can access the Deployment Assistant for Exchange Server 2010 here.

Microsoft's Open Tech has released an update to HTML5Labs HTTP/2.0 Prototype now delivering Internet Security in the OpenSSL open source encryption library for ALPN (Application Layer Protocol Negotiation).

Finally, Apache Qpid Proton AMQP libraries has been updated to support Windows. Proton C also includes bindings for several interpreted languages including PHP, Python, Ruby and Perl, all of which can now be used on Windows.

"Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) 1.0 enables interoperability using wire-level messaging between compliant clients and brokers. Applications can achieve full-fidelity message exchange between components built in multiple languages and frameworks and running on different operating systems."

For more information, check out the official OASIS site.

Download links:

Microsoft Visio 2013 Professional website

In other Microsoft news, the company has launched an official website dedicated to Visio 2013, which offers a showcase of its features and comparisons to previous editions.

Microsoft has recently revealed that its 2D-object drawing application Visio will come in three flavors: Microsoft Visio Standard 2013, Microsoft Visio Professional 2013 and Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365.

Check out the site here.

At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) annual conference in New Orleans this week--Microsoft is demonstrating how Windows 8 is helping health organizations, communities, and partners around the world to overcome healthcare's toughest challenges.

Springboard Series Windows alum Jeremy Chapman and Yoni Kirsh launched a new weekly video series, packed with demos, diagrams, software engineer interviews and XStream installations in the air to explain the new Office 2013.

Episode 1 of the Garage Series for IT Pros just went live:

Update: Microsoft Research is working on a project dubbed "ViralSearch," that allows the company to search and navigate how content is spread across social media networks.

In a video posted on YouTube, Jake Hofman, a researcher at Microsoft, explain how ViralSearch works with Hofman looking at how a story on the Forbes.com website, centered on NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin.

The Forbes.com Twitter page has over one million followers and a link to the story was posted to that Twitter account.

Git extension for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012.2 CTP4 now available.

SQL Server Data Tools - Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012 (SSDT BI) templates lets you develop and deploy SQL Server Business intelligence projects.

Projects created in Visual Studio 2010 can be opened in Visual Studio 2012 and the other way around without upgrading or downgrading - it just works.

The setup for these tools is now available from the web and can be downloaded in multiple languages here.

Updated version of Cloud Services Process Management Pack now available work with System Center 2012 SP1 Service Manager.

"There are no new features and if you already have the Cloud Services MP installed there is no need to install this updated version," Microsoft statd.

You can download the new version here.

Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant (ExDeploy) now includes updates for supporting hybrid deployments with Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) organizations and the latest release of Office 365.

Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant

Update 03/12: Microsoft has published a number of video as part of its new Garage Series. Check out the video embedded below:

Episode 1 covers the differences in the two main Office commercial versions, the new IT Pro capabilities and the premise of the new Office, including a demo of user-based multi-device support.

Episode 2 has the first Xstream install of the series as stunt skydiver, Fully Sik, attempts to install Office in 90 seconds of free fall, without internet connectivity, using the new Click-to-Run install technology.

Update 03/14: In this week, questions such as: "Do I get more control if I use the traditional Office installation with Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus?" and "How do you control Office 365 ProPlus automatic updates?" are addressed.

The video walk through how to redirect auto-updates and catch up with the people behind the new Office such as Skji Conklin, who discusses the types of controls available, and Chris Yu, who demonstrates the new Telemetry capabilities that keep Office running at peak levels.

Update 03/21: In this episode, foremost security expert and Zero Day author Mark Russinovich examine the best usage scenarios between the two commercial versions of Office--Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus--while demonstrating identity, activation and data access with a user-based Office.