Chapter 45

Upgrading with Visual Studio 2012


  • Taking advantage of the IDE when working on older projects
  • Updating projects to use the latest run time and libraries

Each time a new version of Visual Studio is released, there is always a delay before developers start to use it. There have been a number of reasons for this in the past. A frequent reason, the need to upgrade existing applications to a new version of the .NET Framework at the same time, is no longer relevant due to multitargeting. However, the incompatibility of solution and project files have continued to cause problems. That changes as of Visual Studio 2012.

In this chapter, you see how easy it is to migrate existing .NET applications into Visual Studio 2012. This is done in two parts: upgrading to Visual Studio 2012 and then upgrading the .NET Framework version the application makes use of to 4.5.


One of the design goals with Visual Studio 2012 was to avoid what had become a constant with previous versions: the need to upgrade your project files. And with a few exceptions, Microsoft has succeeded.

When a project from Visual Studio 2010 is opened in Visual Studio 2012, it is placed into one of three categories:

  • Changes required—Some modifications of the project and assets are required to open the project in Visual Studio 2012. After the changes have been made, the project can still be opened in Visual Studio 2010.
  • Update required—Some modifications of the ...

Get Professional Visual Studio 2012 now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.