Microsoft has released an update for ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012. The update adds features to ASP.NET and Visual Studio. The update will be included as part of Visual Studio 2012 Update 2, and is also available for download.
The update adds syntax highlighting within the HTML editor, so you get syntax highlighting for client side template languages including CoffeeScript, Mustache, JsRender and Handlebars.
The HTML editor also adds Intellisense for Knockout.js bindings. If you’re editing LESS files, you’ll also get syntax highlighting, Intellisense, and validation. The other editor improvement is the ability to paste JSON as a .NET class, and have Visual Studio automatically generate .NET classes inferred from the JSON.
The mobile emulator has also been improved with the addition of extensibility hooks so that third-party emulators and unusual browsers can be installed as a VSIX. This means that if you’ve installed an emulator, you’ll be able to preview websites you’ve developed on the emulated devices.
Templates have been updated in the new release. All the ASP.NET templates have updated versions of jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Validation, Modernizr and Knockout, though existing projects will obviously use the older versions unless you update them.
The improvements to ASP.NET start with OData support in the ASP.NET Web API. You can make use of OData endpoints in both ATOM and JSON-light formats. OData gives you support for rich query semantics, paging, $metadata, CRUD operations, and custom actions over any data source. You can read more about ASP.NET Web API OData support here.
Web Forms have been improved with support for Friendly URLs, so you no longer need to have the .aspx extension. Web Forms also now has support for device specific pages, so when you create a .aspx page such as mypage.aspx, it can also have mypage.mobile.aspx. You can also write your own code to map a user-agent string to a specific device name.
Other improvements include an updated Single Page Application template, MVC Facebook Application Template, and the ability to work on web sites using the same publishing tools as Web Projects. This includes the ability to publish to Windows Azure Web Sites. For a good roundup of the improvements see the release announcement on Scott Guthrie’s blog.