Visual Studio 2012 RC introduced a number of enhancements to deployment functionality:
- Visual Studio now stores publish profiles in XML files, making it easier to share and customize profiles.
- The publish profile specifies the build configuration to be deployed.
- The publish profile specifies database deployment settings
- The publish profile stores credentials for publishing separately from other profile information, so you can share profiles without sharing credentials.
- A new Publish Web wizard UI facilitates updating the publish profile.
- The Publish Web wizard enables you to import publish settings from a file that you download from a hosting provider.
- The Publish Web wizard enables you to preview file and database changes before they are made on the destination server.
- You can create Web.config transformation files that are linked to publish profiles, not just to build configurations.
- If you have a database that is managed by Entity Framework Code First, Visual Studio can automatically configure Code First Migrations to automate incremental database deployment. For an overview of how this works, see this blog post.
- A new dialog box enables you to specify precompile and merge options that will be applied during the deployment process.
For details on these features and how to use them, see these newly updated and newly published resources:
- Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Hosting Provider using Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer. A 12-part tutorial that shows how to publish an ASP.NET web application project that uses two SQL Server Compact databases. The tutorials show how to deploy to IIS on the development computer as a test environment, how to deploy to a hosting company as the production environment, and how to migrate from SQL Server Compact to SQL Server.
- Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Windows Azure Web Site and SQL Database.
- Web Application Project Deployment Overview for Visual Studio and ASP.NET. An overview of the publish process that includes notes about common deployment tasks.
- How to: Deploy a Web Application Project Using One-Click Publish in Visual Studio. Guidance for filling out the fields in the new Publish Web wizard for some common deployment scenarios.
- How to: Create a Web Deployment Package in Visual Studio. How to use the new Publish Web wizard to create a deployment package instead of publishing directly to a destination server.
- How to: Edit Deployment Settings in Publish Profile (.pubxml) Files and the .wpp.targets File in Visual Studio Web Projects. How to customize the web deployment process by changing MSBuild settings in the publish profile file.
- Advanced Precompile Settings Dialog Box. Guidance for filling out the fields in the new dialog box that specifies precompile and merge settings.
Feedback is welcome, and you can post your comments either here or in the tutorials and MSDN pages.
— Tom Dykstra
ASP.NET and Web Tools Developer Content