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Visual Studio 2013 Compatibility

When you are considering whether you should move to Visual Studio 2013, you can use this document to find out which solutions, projects, files, and other assets that you created in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 SP1 will run without modification in Visual Studio 2013.

Many widely used assets behave the same in Visual Studio 2013 and the two earlier versions. For example, in Visual Studio 2013, you can open a project that was created in Visual Studio 2012, change it, and then reopen it in Visual Studio 2013; your changes persist and the project behaves the same as it does in Visual Studio 2012. The same is true for many assets that were created in Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

If you use Visual Studio 2013 together with Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 SP1, you can create and modify projects and files in any of the three versions. You can transfer projects and files among the versions as long as you don't add features that are not supported by one of the versions.

The following list describes support in Visual Studio 2013 for projects that were created in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 SP1. You can use this list to help determine whether you can open a project as-is in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, or Visual Studio 2010 SP1, or whether you have to modify it to ensure compatibility.

Type of Project

Compatibility

Windows Store apps

Windows Store app development is supported only on Windows 8.1. Existing Windows 8 projects can continue to be serviced, but new Windows 8 projects cannot be created. Windows 8.1 projects can depend only on certain types of references. For more information, see Managing Project References.

Note Note

Windows 8.1 projects that you create by using Visual Studio 2013 cannot be opened in Visual Studio 2012. That is because Windows 8.1 projects created by using Visual Studio 2013 target Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2012 supports only Windows 8 projects that target Windows 8.

.NET Framework 4.5.1

You can create and use these projects in Visual Studio 2013 after you install the appropriate multi-targeting pack. These projects are not supported in Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

.NET Framework 4.5

You can create and open these projects in Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2012, but not in Visual Studio 2010 SP1. For more information, see Migration Guide to the .NET Framework 4.5

BizTalk

BizTalk server projects are not compatible with Visual Studio 2013.

C#/Visual Basic Silverlight 4 Application or Class Library

If you allow Visual Studio to update the project automatically, you can open it in either Visual Studio 2013 or Visual Studio 2012.

C#/Visual Basic Webform or Windows Form

You can open the project in Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2012.

Visual Basic 6 and Visual C++ 6

Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 do not support debugging applications built with Visual Basic 6 or Visual C++ 6; to debug these applications, use earlier versions of Visual Studio.

Coded UI test

If you allow Visual Studio to update the project automatically, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

F#

If you allow Visual Studio to upgrade a project that was created in Visual Studio 2010 SP1, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2012. However, you can’t upgrade a Silverlight project that was created in an older version of Visual Studio to Visual Studio 2013. Instead, you must create a Silverlight project in Visual Studio 2013 and then copy your code into it. Silverlight projects that you create in Visual Studio 2013 target Silverlight 5.

LightSwitch

If you allow Visual Studio to upgrade the project automatically, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013 only.

Local Database Cache

The Local Database Cache template and the Configure Data Synchronization dialog box are not included in Visual Studio 2013. You can use Visual Studio 2013 to open and run projects that were created in Visual Studio 2010 if Microsoft Synchronization Services v1.0 is installed, but if you want to update them in Visual Studio 2013, you must make all changes manually in code. As an alternative, you can continue to use Visual Studio 2010 to maintain and update these projects. For new development, target the new synchronization model that's provided by the Microsoft Sync Framework. For information, see Microsoft Sync Framework Developer Center

Model-View-Controller framework

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 supports only MVC 2 and MVC 3, Visual Studio 2012 supports only MVC 3 and MVC 4, and Visual Studio 2013 supports only MVC 4. For information about how to automatically upgrade from MVC 2 to MCV 3, see ASP.NET MVC 3 Application Upgrader. For information about how to manually upgrade from MVC 2 to MVC 3, see Upgrading an ASP.NET MVC 2 Project to ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update. For information about how to manually upgrade from MVC3 to MVC 4, see Upgrading an ASP.NET MVC 3 Project to ASP.NET MVC 4. If your project targets the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, you must retarget it to use the .NET Framework 4.

Modeling

If you allow Visual Studio to update the project automatically, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, or Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

When Team Foundation builds a modeling project, it tries to validate the layers in the project. In Visual Studio 2013, Team Foundation Build can't validate the layers for a modeling project that was created in Visual Studio 2010 SP1. However, in Visual Studio 2010 SP1, Team Foundation Build can validate the layers in a modeling project that was created in Visual Studio 2013.

MPI/Cluster Debugging

If the same version of the runtime or tools is installed on the computers that are running Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, or Visual Studio 2010 SP1, you can open this project in all three versions.

MSI setup (.vdproj)

This project can't be opened in Visual Studio 2013 because it doesn't support that project type. We recommend that you use InstallShield Limited Edition for Visual Studio (ISLE), a free deployment solution that directly supports most Windows platforms and application runtimes. You can also use ISLE to import data and settings from Visual Studio Installer projects. .

Office 2007 VSTO

If you upgrade the project to target Office 2013 and the .NET Framework 4, you can open this project in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, or Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Office 2010 VSTO

If the project targets the .NET Framework 4, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. All other projects require a one-way upgrade.

Rich Internet Applications

If you upgrade the project, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

SharePoint 2007

This project can't be opened in Visual Studio 2013. However, if you manually upgrade the project to SharePoint 2010, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. For more information about how to upgrade SharePoint 2007, see Migrating from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 for the IT Pro, Migrating a 2007 Workflow to Visual Studio & SharePoint 2010, and SharePoint Enterprise Search Migration Tool for SharePoint Server 2010.

SharePoint 2010

You can open the project in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

SketchFlow

If you allow Visual Studio to upgrade the project to WPF 4.5/Silverlight 5, you can open it in Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013.

SQL Server 2008 Express database

You can open the project in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. If you have a database file (.mdf) that was created in an earlier version of SQL Server, you must upgrade it to SQL Server 2012 before you can use it with SQL Server Express LocalDB, but the database is no longer compatible with earlier versions of SQL Server. If you don’t upgrade, you can continue to work with the database in Visual Studio 2013 by installing and using SQL Server 2008 Express on the same computer. For more information, see How to: Upgrade to LocalDB or Continue with SQL Server Express.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express

If SQL Server 2008 R2 Express is installed on the computers that are running Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1, you can open the project in all three versions.

SQL Server Report Project

You can open the project in Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2012. For local mode only (that is, when not connected to SQL Server), you won’t get the design-time experience for controls that are associated with the viewer in Visual Studio 2010, but the project will function correctly at runtime.

Caution note Caution

If you add a feature that’s specific to Visual Studio 2013, the report schema is upgraded automatically and you can no longer open the project in Visual Studio 2012.

Unit tests

You can use Microsoft Test Manager in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to open tests that were created in any of these versions.

Visual C++

You can use Visual Studio 2013 to open a C++ project that was created in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 SP1. If you want to use the Visual Studio 2013 build environment to build a project that was created in Visual Studio 2012, you must have both versions of Visual Studio installed on the same computer. For more information, see How to: Upgrade Visual C++ Projects to Visual Studio 2013.

Visual Studio 2010 web

If you allow Visual Studio to upgrade the project automatically, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Visual Studio 2010 Database (.dbproj)

If you convert the project to a SQL Server Data Tools Database project, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013. However, Visual Studio 2013 doesn’t support these artifacts:

  • unit tests

  • data-generation plans

  • data-comparison files

  • custom rule extensions for static code analysis

  • server.sqlsettings

  • .sqlcmd files

  • custom deployment extensions

  • partial projects (.files)

If you install SQL Server Data Tools, you can open the project in Visual Studio 2010 SP1 after the conversion. For more information, see Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools.

Visual Studio 2010 Visual Database Tools

You can open this project in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Visual Studio Lab Management

You can use Microsoft Test Manager, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to open environments that were created in any of these versions. However, the version of Microsoft Test Manager must match the version of Team Foundation Server before you can create environments.

Visual Studio Macro

This project can't be opened in Visual Studio 2013 because it doesn't support the project type.

Visual Studio SDK/VSIX

After you upgrade a Visual Studio SDK project to Visual Studio 2013, it can't be opened in Visual Studio 2012. For more information, see How to: Migrate VSPackages to Visual Studio 2013.

Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio

If you’re using Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio version 2.1, you can open the project in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. For projects that target earlier versions, if you allow Visual Studio to upgrade the project to version 2.1, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation

You can open this project in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Windows Mobile

This project can't be opened in Visual Studio 2013 because it doesn't support the project type.

Windows Phone 7.1

If you allow Visual Studio to upgrade the project to Windows Phone 8.0, you can open it in Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013.

Other

You can open most other types of projects in Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

FrontPage Web Sites

This project can't be opened in Visual Studio 2013 because it doesn't support the project type.

Portable Class Library

If you allow Visual Studio to update the project automatically, you can open it in Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2012, or Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

  • Projects that targeted Silverlight 4 will target Silverlight 5.

  • Projects that targeted Windows Phone 7.0 or Windows Phone 7.5 will target Windows Phone 8.

  • Projects that targeted Xbox 360 will no longer target Xbox 360.

Here are some things you can do when a project won't open in Visual Studio 2013:

  • If you try to open a project that isn't supported in Visual Studio 2013 and for which the associated version of Visual Studio isn't installed, a message that the project type isn't supported might appear and the project type might be listed in the Review Project and Solution Changes dialog box under Unsupported projects. To resolve this issue, open the programs and features page in the Windows Control Panel, select Visual Studio, and then choose Change, Repair. Then you can install the missing version.

  • If you try to open a project for a desktop app in Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows, an error occurs and one of these messages is displayed: "This edition of Visual Studio only supports Windows 8.1 apps" or "This project is incompatible with the current edition of Visual Studio." Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows is restricted to the development, testing, and deployment of Windows Store apps designed for Windows 8.1. To open a desktop app project, you must use an edition of Visual Studio that supports that project type.

    For more information about the Visual Studio editions, see Microsoft Visual Studio Products

  • If you try to open a Windows Store App project in Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop, an error occurs. Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop cannot be used to build Windows Store apps. If you want to build Windows Store apps, you can also install Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows. Or, to develop apps for all Microsoft platforms and the web, try Visual Studio Professional 2013.

  • If a project requires features that are specific to Visual Studio 2013, it can't be opened in an earlier version.

  • If you're using Visual Studio 2012 and you want to open a project that was created in Visual Studio 2013, you might be able to customize the project system to incorporate features of Visual Studio 2013. For information about how to do this, see How to: Modify a Project System So That Projects Load in Multiple Versions of Visual Studio.

For additional troubleshooting information, see the Visual Studio 2013 Compatibility KB article.

The following list identifies whether Visual Studio 2013 supports each type of file, whether you can open the file in Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2010 SP1, and whether you have to modify it to ensure compatibility.

Type of File

Compatibility

AppManifest, Inbrowsersettings, OutOfBrowserSettings (.xml files)

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

BizTalk flat file schemas

You can add these schemas to a BizTalk 2013 project in Visual Studio 2013. To use Visual Studio 2013 with BizTalk 2010 projects that have flat file schemas, install BizTalk 2013 on the computer that has Visual Studio 2013. The first time you open the BizTalk 2010 project, it is automatically upgraded to the BizTalk 2013 or Visual Studio 2013 project system.

Client Report Definition (.rdlc) files

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2013, and the schema is automatically upgraded if you add Visual Studio 2013 features and controls.

Code analysis rule sets

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Data-tier application package files

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2013 if they’re version 2.0 or version 2.5.

Debugger dump files

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Directed Graph Markup Language (DGML) diagram files

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 without changing the file.

Entity Data Model (EDMX) files

In Visual Studio 2013, you can open an EDMX file that targets the .NET Framework 4.5 or the .NET Framework 4 without changing the file.

Profiler report files

You can open Profiler report files (.vsp .vsps, .psess, and .vspf) in Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013. A .vspx file can't be opened in Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

Solution (.suo) file

You can use Visual Studio 2013 to open a solution file that was created in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 SP1

SQL Server Compact Edition

Visual Studio 2013 doesn't support SQL Server Compact Edition.

SQLX files

To open these files in Visual Studio 2013, you must perform a one-way upgrade, deploy the .sqlx file on the target version of Visual Studio, and then rebuild the file in the .dacpac format.

IntelliTrace log files from Visual Studio 2010

You can open these files in Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, and Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

JavaScript Memory Analyzer (.diagsession) files

Files created by older versions of Visual Studio can be viewed in Visual Studio 2013. However, depending on the information gathered, files created in Visual Studio 2013 may not open in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

You might encounter compatibility issues if you use clients and servers from different versions of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

Kind of Integration

Compatibility

Code Review and My Work

The Code Review and My Work features won't work if you connect a client of Team Foundation to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010.

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8

A 64-bit environment such as MSBuild or Team Foundation Build can't be used to build Windows Store apps that are created in Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows.

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