Thursday, 22 March 2012

Visual Studio 2010 & VS11 Side by Side on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

As part of my talks on VS11, I wanted to show some of the new templates that are shipped out of the box in Dev11 (VS11). As I detailed in my previous post, the new templates are only available when you are running on Windows 8.

This posed a bit of a dilemma because I was also doing a session on building a hybrid Windows Azure application. The Azure tooling story for VS11 is that it will be included at a later date but it didn’t ship with the beta. For the moment, Azure development is done in VS2010.

So I decided to bite the bullet and install a new copy of Windows 8 Consumer preview and see what happens when I install VS2010 and VS11 side by side. It was a lot less painful then I thought. Your mileage may vary depending on your installation.

The order of installation was

  1. Visual Studio 2010
  2. Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1
  3. Visual Studio 11 Beta
  4. Some Windows configuration voodoo
  5. Windows Azure SDK 1.6

I installed Visual Studio 2010 first and then updated to SP1. This also allows me to demo round tripping quite easily. After that, it was over to VS11 Beta and install that. VS11 Beta did its install thing quickly and I was good to go from a basic install standpoint. Both IDEs started as expected and no issues. Didn’t get any errors or collisions so I was happy at this point.


Now we get to the tricky side of the install. If you are used to working with the Azure SDK, you normally fire up the Web Platform Installer to install it. But Windows 8 doesn’t ship with .NET 3.5 activated. The install will fail even if you select to install .NET 3.5 for Windows 8. Of course, the error was a bit cryptic as they usually are so I tried configuring some stuff and manually enabling .NET 3.5 etc. Finally after some swearing and muttering I decided to read the manual! This limitation is detailed on the install notes.


So I followed the details on installing the Azure tooling on the Windows Azure development site.


I configured the features as detailed in the install notes and added some of the additional ones that I use such as IIS6 compatibility. I also installed SQL Server 2008 R2 Express edition without the tools as I already have SQL Server 2012 running on the default instance with full tooling support.

Once I had configured it, I installed the Azure tooling in the following order

  1. WindowsAzureEmulator-x64.exe
  2. WindowsAzureSDK-x64.exe
  3. WindowsAzureLibsForNet-x64.msi
  4. WindowsAzureTools.VS100.exe

WorksOnMyMachineAzureProjectThe installation went smoothly and I opened up VS2010 and viola there was the Azure tooling and I could work away. The experience was ok, once I read the manual (honestly who reads the manual!).

As with all beta software there are a full caveats and not everything will be compatible with your installation such as installing the async CTP for VS2010. This has caused a few issues for people so be careful.

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