Visual Studio is an invaluable tool to developers and designers. It’s important that users receive important updates when they are issued. To that end, the Visual Studio is changing the way updates are delivered.
Over on the Visual Studio blog, the VS team says that bringing updates to users was an important feature that many people requested. The team looked at how other products update across the entire line of Windows and Microsoft software tools and found a good way to update users on changes to VS.
The update to, well, updating is called Visual Studio Update and is now available to users of the Visual Studio 11 beta. It notifies a user through the same notification method in which Windows Update uses. For those lucky enough to not be familiar with Windows Update, VSUpdate will bring up a little dialog box on the bottom right hand corner of the screen telling you that updates are available.
The actual process of updating is pretty simple though. You just click on the notification and it will bring up the Extension Manager. From there, head to updates, and then to the product updates section. There will be an update button here to click that will install the selected updates to Visual Studio 11. If the update notification becomes like Windows Update and pops up every ten seconds, you can control that too. Head to Tools and click Updates under Extension Manager. From here, select “Disable automatic detection of available updates.”
And wouldn’t you know it, the VS team is already using this new update method to roll out some fixes for the Visual Studio 11 beta. The fixes include performance improvements for large C# projects and addressing the “most frequently reported crashing issues.”
The most interesting part about the update process is how the team is going to keep it to the simple two-step process listed above. To keep it simple, they have to include all the VSUpdate packages that came before the current package. This means that they can’t release updates as soon as they’re ready or else it would get too big.
The VS team thinks this is a good first-step to improving the update process for Visual Studio. As long as it doesn’t spam the user constantly like Windows Update does, I can only see it as a good thing.
Is the new update method for Visual Studio Beta 11 a good thing to you? Or do you think the old update method was just fine? Let us know in the comments.