Visual Studio 2012 has just launched and we’re happy to report it’s available for eligible nonprofits through our software donation program.

The Visual Studio 2012 products make it easier than ever to develop applications,. Whether you are developing for Windows 8, the web, Windows Phone, or Azure, Visual Studio 2012 has the tools you need to turn your idea into reality.

To provide an overview of Visual Studio 2012 we sat down with Alvin Ho, Senior Test Lead for Visual Studio Ultimate Tools and one of the authors of the Channel 9 series on Visual Studio 2012 Premium and Ultimate.

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Q: Alvin, what’s new in Visual Studio 2012?

Alvin: Our team has worked hard for this release of Visual Studio and there’s many new and exciting features. Just to name a few:

  • Full tooling support to build your new Windows 8 and Windows Phone App
  • Features to improve quality with Code Reviews, Manual Testing, Unit Testing and Fakes
  • Maintain architectural integrity by using the suite of Architecture Visualization Tools
  • Be effective in coordinating a team with Agile Project Management

Q. What’s of particular interest to nonprofits?

Alvin: Technology keeps moving forward and whether you are in a profit or nonprofit organization, I believe that equipping yourselves with the right and proper tooling will enable you to be effective in driving your organization’s mission. As we all know, Microsoft will be launching Windows 8 later this year, and Visual Studio 2012 provides the full support to build your new Windows 8 app. Moreover, as we build more and more software, code can and will turn into a maintenance nightmare if they are not well managed.

I haven’t worked at a nonprofit organization before, but I can guess they also have limited time and resources. With Visual Studio 2012, we are equipping developers, architects, testers, and project owners with the tools to build cutting edge software while doing so in a maintainable way.

Q. What’s your favorite new functionality or feature?

Alvin: My favorite functionality in Visual Studio 2012 has got to be the ability to visually see the impact of my code changes. With the new Solution Explorer, it lets you navigate down to the class and method level nodes, and drag-drop them onto a diagraming surface. This will automatically detect the dependencies between the methods you have on the diagram and enables you to see if you have introduced any new unintended dependencies (such as circular references) with the existing code. So as you write new code, you can literally see through a diagram of how your code interacts with the rest of the codebase!

Q. Where can nonprofits go for some documentation, help, and other information?

Alvin: We’ve created a series of videos that give an overview of the key features in Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate 2012: http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Visual-Studio-2012-Premium-and-Ultimate-Overview

If you’re looking for more details on each feature you can find out more on our MSDN site:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio

Here’s a link to a matrix of which features are included in which Edition of Visual Studio:

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/products/compare

 

 

 

Getting your hands on Visual Studio 2012 via the Microsoft nonprofit software donations program:

If you working in a nonprofit find out how you can order Visual Studio 2012 here.

Alternatively, please let your favorite nonprofit know how they can access software donations from Microsoft by sending them this link.