customize VS using Powershell (until u get 2013 with sign in and pref. sync option)

The first command creates the WindowsPowershell directory if it doesn’t already exist. The second command attempts to open the profile file in Notepad. If it doesn’t already exist, it prompts you to create the file. Within the profile file, you can change PowerShell settings or add new commands you might find useful.
Here is a simple example of adding a command that allows you to set the font.
function Set-FontSize {
[ValidateRange(6, 128)]
[Parameter(position=0, mandatory=$true)]
.Properties("FontsAndColors", "TextEditor").Item("FontSize").Value = $Size}
Save the profile file and then restart Visual Studio. The next time you open the Package Manager Console, you will be able to make use of the Set-Font command.
PM> Set-Font 24
That makes for much more readable code!

open .net documentation from visual studio directly in browser

Place Cursor on the type and press F1

Visual Studio 2012 ships with the MSDN Library, which is the place where you can find documentation for Visual Basic 2012 and the .NET Framework 4.5. There are basically two ways to access the MSDN Library: offline and online. To access the MSDN Library offline, you have the following alternatives:
  • Click the View Help command from the Help menu in Visual Studio.
  • Press F1 from wherever you are.
  • Open the Microsoft Help Viewer shortcut in Windows’s Start, All Programs, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 menu; this launches the local help viewer.
If you are writing code or performing a particular task on a tool within the IDE, pressing F1 is the best choice because you will be redirected to the help page related to that instruction, code statement, or tool. If you are instead searching for information about a particular technology or framework, such as WPF or the Visual Studio Tools for Office, you could consider one of the other choices. To access the MSDN Library online, you just need an Internet connection. Then you can specify to always use the online help by selecting Help, Set Help Preference and then clicking Launch in Browser or Launch Help Viewer, or you can manually open one of the following websites, which are the main points of interest for a Visual Basic developer:
You can also quickly find information on particular objects using built-in tools, such as the Object Browser.

Visual Studio 2012 Include files added/changed in Project’s Disk Location in the Project Automatically

For this u need to do the following:

1. in Options-> Text Editor settings Enable : Track Changes
2. In solution explorer check -> Show all files
3. Then when a new file is added in the project VS will show it in  solution explorer and u can rt clk and say “Include in Proj”

Understanding VS 2012 Extensions

1. codemaid

Has its own tab in the Menu Bar so easy to use

2. Entity Framework (EF) Power Tools

3. Inline Navigate To

Is a default feature of VS 2013, but can be used using this in VS 2012

4. Javascript VSDoc Stub Generator 2012

Looks awesome

This is a simple extension that auto-generates vsdoc comments for JavaScript when completing a triple-slash, similar to other languages in Visual Studio 2012.

5. JSense
Used a lot. 
6. Nodejs debugging support
7.  Nuget PM
8. Productivity Power tools 2012
goto Tools Options for features list

9. Visual Assist X

Trial like resharper
Checking it out

10. Web Essentials 2012

Entity Framework 5 and ADO.Net




ADO.NET is a set of classes that expose data access services to the .NET programmer. ADO.NET provides functionality to developers writing managed code similar to the functionality provided to native COM developers by ADO. ADO.NET provides consistent access to data sources such as Microsoft® SQL Server™, as well as data sources exposed through OLE DB and XML. Data-sharing consumer applications can use ADO.NET to connect to these data sources and retrieve, manipulate, and update data.
ADO.NET provides a rich set of components for creating distributed, data-sharing applications. It is an integral part of the .NET Framework, providing access to relational data, XML, and application data. ADO.NET supports a variety of development needs, including the creation of front-end database clients and middle-tier business objects used by applications, tools, languages, or Internet browsers.

EF is used for Data Access (ADO.Net)

ADO.NET Entity Framework is an Object/Relational Mapping (ORM) framework that enables developers to work with relational data as domain-specific objects, eliminating the need for most of the data access plumbing code that developers usually need to write. Using the Entity Framework, developers issue queries using LINQ, then retrieve and manipulate data as strongly typed objects. The Entity Framework’s ORM implementation provides services like change tracking, identity resolution, lazy loading, and query translation so that developers can focus on their application-specific business logic rather than the data access fundamentals. 

Now the question is what is O/RM framework and why do we need it? 

ORM is a tool for storing data from domain objects to relational database like MS SQL Server in an automated way without much programming. O/RM includes three main parts: Domain class objects, Relational database objects and Mapping information on how domain objects maps to relational database objects (tables, views & storedprocedures). ORM helps us to keep our database design separate from our domain class design. This makes application maintainable and extendable. It also automates standard CRUD operation (Create, Read, Update & Delete) so developer doesn’t need to write it manually.

For more info visit:

There are many ORM frameworks for .net in the market like DataObjects.Net, NHibernate, OpenAccess, SubSonic etc. ADO.NET Entity Framework is from Microsoft.
“What is Entity Framework? What are the benefits of using it and is it an alternative to ADO.NET?”
Well, to answer the first question about what is Entity Framework, Entity Framework is an Object Relational Mapper (ORM). It basically generates business objects and entities according to the database tables and provides the mechanism for:
  1. Performing basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations.
  2. Easily managing “1 to 1”, “1 to many”, and “many to many” relationships.
  3. Ability to have inheritance relationships between entities.
and to answer the second question, the benefits are:
  1. We can have all data access logic written in higher level languages.
  2. The conceptual model can be represented in a better way by using relationships among entities.
  3. The underlying data store can be replaced without much overhead since all data access logic is present at a higher level.