ASNA Visual RPG 12.0 is now available for download. This version is essentially a lateral release and its most notable feature is support for Visual Studio 2013 and the .NET Framework 4.5.
The AVR 12.0 upgrade is free for AVR 9.0 and up customers, who are on active maintenance, through December 31, 2014.
Please carefully consider these issues before installing AVR 12.0:
- AVR 12.0 does require Visual Studio 2013 or the free VS 2013 shell. See more about this note below.
- The AVR 12.0 deployment/WebPak does not coexist with AVR 11.x deployment/WebPak. This imposes AVR 12.0/AVR 11.2 concurrency implications and considerations. Read more about this below.
- Install Visual Studio 2013 before you install AVR 12.0. If you elect to install Visual Studio’s help files, you must ensure they have fully downloaded and installed before installing AVR 12.0 and its help files. Visual Studio’s help files are quite extensive and can take several hours to download and install—even with an excellent Internet connection and a fast Windows box. Attempting to install Visual RPG Help files while this process is ongoing will cause the install to fail.
- After installing Visual Studio 2013 and AVR 12.0, do not uninstall Visual Studio first. To uninstall both, first uninstall AVR and then uninstall Visual Studio. Major pain and agony will otherwise ensue!
- Ensure Visual Studio is not running at the time of the AVR 12.0 installation.
- Installing Microsoft’s latest service packs, high priority and optional software updates for Windows, and the .NET Framework is highly recommended.
- AVR may be installed on a machine with .NET Framework 4.0 or 4.5 and projects may be generated in either version of the Framework.
- Support for parallel development in AVR 12.0 and AVR 11.2 is limited to Windows 7 and newer environments.
- AVR examples are an separate install and are installed in C:\Users\Public\Documents.
- AVR now supports silent installations. See the Installation section of the AVR 11.2 Readme file for more detail.
AVR 11.x and AVR 12.0 considerations
Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 do coexist on the same PC, and technically, at least, AVR 11.2 and AVR 12.0 can also coexist on the same PC. However, after installing AVR 12.0 on a PC on which AVR 11.2 is installed, the 11.2 installation is upgraded to use the AVR 12.0 deployment/runtime components (ie, DataGate Client, Monarch Controls, AVR Runtime, etc). The impact of this is that after having made changes to an AVR 11.2 project with AVR 11.2, deploying it mandates the installation of the AVR 12.0 deployment or WebPak on that target box.
AVR 12.0 will install over AVR 11.2, but any version of AVR earlier than that needs to be removed before installing AVR 12.0.
If you to need to use AVR 12.0 (for a new project or even just playing around) and maintain existing 11.2 projects and don’t want to upgrade your AVR 11.2 deployment targets with the AVR 12.0 deployment/WebPack, we recommend you install AVR 12.0 on a separate PC or a virtual machine (Windows 8’s built Hypervisor Virtual Machine is a good solution for this).
Visual Studio 2013
AVR 12.0 requires any of the commercial versions of Visual Studio 2013–but it’s most frequently used with the Professional version (which varies from about $300 to upgrade from a previous version of Visual Studio and $600 for a new copy). Using a commercial version of Visual Studio gives you access to all that VB.NET and C# have to offer as well.
In addition to the commercial version of Visual Studio, AVR for .NET also works with the freely downloadable Visual Studio Isolated Shell. Don’t confuse this with Visual Studio Express—that is a different product and AVR doesn’t work with Visual Studio Express. The Visual Studio Isolated Shell is essentially Visual Studio with all traces of VB.NET and C# removed from it. The Visual Studio Integrated Shell is one of the ways that Microsoft encourages ISVs to target Visual Studio with their products. The Integrated Shell provides a very good user experience ofr AVR for .NET. If you don’t need VB.NET or C#, the Integrated Shell is a great way to stretch your developer budget. The Visual Studio Integated Shell is free and can be downloaded here.
Easter egg alert!
While AVR 12.0 is essentially a lateral release (that is, it is essentially derived from AVR 11.0 with support added for Visual Studio 2013) it does include a handful of interesting language features. These aren’t major features, but they will help streamline your code in several areas. These language features will be announced at ASNApalooza in October.