Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 CTP

This community technology preview (CTP) focuses on stability, performance, and responding to the feedback we’ve received on RTM and Update 1.

Some of the many things we’ve worked on since the RTM and Update 1 of Visual Studio include improving its performance and responsiveness.

You can install the new Visual Studio release from the following link.

Download:   Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 CTP

Important Note This CTP is an unsupported prerelease version of Visual Studio. We do not advise that you use it in a production environment. However, we welcome your feedback! For problems, let us know via the Send Feedback option in Visual Studio. For suggestions, let us know through UserVoice.

To learn more about the most recent update of TFS, see the Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 RC 1 release notes.

What’s New

Visual Studio:

Other changes:

Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

This release includes Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova Update 5, which brings numerous bug fixes, as well as command-line integration for build and project creation, and support for the iPhone 6s simulator.

To learn more, see the Update 5 – Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova release notes.

Visual C++

C++ Compiler

In this release, we’ve updated the C++ compiler and standard library with enhanced support for C++11 and C++14 features, as well as preliminary support for certain features expected to be in the C++17 standard. The most notable compiler changes are support for Variable Templates and constexpr improvements. With the standard library, we’ve implemented every C++ Standard Library feature that’s been voted into C++11, C++14, and C++17 so far.

Additionally, we’ve fixed more than 300 compiler bugs, including many submitted by customers through Microsoft Connect — thank you! (Some of these bug fixes address code generation issues in the compiler, and fixing them required source-breaking changes. For more information, review the Breaking Changes in Visual C++ 2015 Update 2 list on MSDN.)


In Update 1, we introduced a faster database engine for C and C++ that speeds up operations like Go To Definition and Find All References. With Update 2, new Visual Studio installations use this new engine by default; if you’re upgrading from Update 1 to Update 2, note that you’ll continue to use whatever engine you already had selected. In any case, you can select the engine via Tools > Options > Text Editor > C/C++ > Experimental.

Example of the Enable New Database option

C# and Visual Basic

While our focus for Update 2 was responding to customer feedback and fixing bugs (including an issue where Visual Studio would stop responding when you edited C# or Visual Basic files while debugging), we also made improvements to the following features:

  • We seeded the C# Interactive Window with a project context, and added Send To Interactive commands.
  • We improved the Add Using command to support “fuzzy” matching for misspelled types and to search the entire solution and metadata for the correct type, adding both a using and reference if necessary.
  • We improved the C# and Visual Basic Analyzer API to achieve better performance, and provide control over whether analyzers run in generated code.


Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 includes the 1.8.1 release of TypeScript. This release of TypeScript addresses bug fixes for publishing web applications and improved compiler performance.

For more information, visit the TypeScript blog on MSDN.

Application Insights

This release includes Application Insights Tools for Visual Studio 5.0, which comes with several new features and improvements:

  • The ability to jump from an exception to the method in source code where the exception is happening.
  • More ways to search Application Insights in Solution Explorer.
  • A Toast popup when publishing is complete so you can view your data in production.Example of new functionality in Application Insights

Team Explorer

With Update 2, opening Team Explorer and browsing work item queries in Visual Studio is faster.  Now, when you browse the query tree, Visual Studio progressively pulls the next level of query folders and items in the query hierarchy from the TFS server, so deeper tree levels are downloaded to the client when they are needed (in other words, when the hierarchy tree is expanded).

Git Improvements in Visual Studio

  • New Git commands. In this update, we added support for reset (–hard and –mixed), cherry-pick, and staging.
  • Git LFS. Visual Studio is now compatible with Git repos that are configured to use Git LFS (Large File Storage). Learn more about Git LFS.
  • The Changes page now supports staging, with simple actions—such as double-click—to stage all and view diffs for changed files.Example of the Changes page
  • The History view supports filtering to find commits from a specific author or with keywords found in the commit comments. Selecting a commit will highlight the path to the head of the branch and the parent lineage.Example of the History view
  • The Branches page now makes it easier to fetch, pull, and push changes.

Gated Checkin for Team Foundation Version Control

TFVC projects can now set branch policies to require a successful build before any code can be submitted into a branch.

SQL Server Data Tools

Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 includes the latest updates of SQL Server Data Tools, which enable support for the latest features in Azure SQL Database and SQL Server 2016.

This update brings together the ease of developing, testing, and deploying a database on all supported versions of SQL Server and database platforms, both on-premises and cloud, by using Visual Studio. The update also includes database programmability surface area enhancements, and it improves the SQL connection experience in SQL Server Data Tools, which now automatically discovers SQL Server and Azure SQL Databases that you can connect to with a simple click.

Additionally, Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 addresses new Azure SQL Database authentication types, as well as Azure Active Directory Integrated and Password authentications.


Parallel Test Execution

The focus for Update 2 has been on fixing bugs and responding to user feedback. Based on such feedback, we have updated the Parallel Test Execution feature. The semantics remain the same as in Update 1 (when the feature was introduced). In Update 2, we have made it easier to control the feature in the following ways:

  • The Visual Studio IDE Test Explorer sports a new toggle button that you can use to ON/OFF parallel execution. The setting is then persisted with the solution.
  • From the command line, vstest.console.exe provides a new /Parallel switch.

Other Changes

Performance & Reliability

We’ve made the following Visual Studio performance improvements:

  • Increased the speed of opening Team Explorer and browsing work item queries in Visual Studio.
  • Significantly reduced log file generation into the %temp% directory to save disk space and prevent application failures.
  • Improved the reliability of downloading and installing VS Update and additional features.
  • Reduced the time for Visual Studio to start when extensions are installed.
  • Stopped Setup failures when downloading certain packages and selecting certain features.
  • Added support for SQLite in our browsing database engine for C++, thereby significantly speeding up the original parsing of the user code and of all IntelliSense operations that require lookup.

We’ve also fixed Visual Studio responsiveness in the following scenarios:

  • Using the Help Viewer on Windows 10 when Edge is the default browser.
  • Running setup when using read-only or disconnected drives.
  • Working in Visual Studio while experiencing intermittent network connection issues.
  • Editing C# or Visual Basic files while debugging, as described this MSDN article: Update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 (KB3110221).
  • Using the editor with custom snippets that are missing the <Description> or <Title> elements.
  • Updating error list entries for Managed projects during editing.
  • Keeping Managed projects open for long sessions.
  • Opening memory profiler snapshots.
  • Creating C++ Store applications.
  • Using Visual Studio when a source controlled project path is too long.

Bug Fixes & Known Issues

For a complete description of technology improvements, bug fixes, and known issues in this release, see the following MSDN article.

Learn More: Description of Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 CTP