Introducing ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update

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Today at Mix, Scott Guthrie announced an update to the ASP.NET MVC 3 we’re calling the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update. You can install it via Web PI or download the installer by going to the download details page. Check out the release notes as well for more details.

Notice the emphasis on calling it a Tools Update? The reason for that is simple. This only updates the tooling for ASP.NET MVC 3 and not the runtime. There are no changes to System.Web.Mvc.dll or any of its other assemblies that ship as part of the ASP.NET MVC 3 Framework. Instead, given that we just released ASP.NET MVC 3 this past January, we focused on improvements to the tools and project templates that we wanted to ship in time for Mix.

To drive this point home, here’s a screenshot of the Programs and Features dialog with ASP.NET MVC 3 RTM installed.



And here’s one with the Tools Update installed.



Did you see what changed? If not, I’ll help you. Smile


What’s new in this release?

We’ve added a lot of improvements to the tooling experience in this release. For more details, check out the release notes.

  • New Intranet Project Template that enables Windows Authentication and does not include the AccountController.
  • HTML 5 checkbox to enable HTML 5 versions of project templates.
  • Add Controller Dialog now supports full automatic scaffolding of Create, Read, Update, and Delete controller actions and corresponding views. By default, this scaffolds data access code using EF Code First.
  • Add Controller Dialog supports extensible scaffolds via NuGet packages such as MvcScaffolding. This allows plugging in custom scaffolds into the dialog which would allow you to create scaffolds for other data access technologies such as NHibernate or even JET with ODBCDirect if you’re so inclined!
  • JavaScript libraries within project templates are updatable via NuGet! (We included them as pre-installed NuGet packages.)
  • Includes Modernizr 1.7. This provides compatibility support for HTML 5 and CSS 3 in down-level browsers.
  • Includes EF Code First 4.1 as a pre-installed NuGet package.

We’ve also made several other small changes and fixed several bugs in the MVC tooling for Visual Studio:

  • We did some major cleanup to the AccountController in the Internet project template
  • We now have more “sticky” options that remember their settings even when you restart Visual Studio
  • We have much smarter model type filtering logic in the Add View and Add Controller dialogs

NuGet 1.2 Included

Around 12 days ago, we released NuGet 1.2. If you don’t already have NuGet 1.2 installed, ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update will install it for you. In fact, it requires it because of the pre-installed NuGet packages feature I mentioned earlier. When you create a new ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update project, the script libraries such as jQuery are installed as NuGet packages so that it’s easy to update them after the fact.

Give it a spin and let us know what you think!

Found a typo or error? Suggest an edit! If accepted, your contribution is listed automatically here.



65 responses

  1. Avatar for NickS
    NickS April 11th, 2011

    I'm intrigued by the full scaffolding of CRUD operations in the Add Controller dialog. Have you given any thought to supporting the repository pattern for this?
    I learned most of what I know about ASP.NET MVC by reading Steve Sanderson's excellent "Pro ASP.NET MVC 2 Framework", which makes use of the repository pattern in the supplied examples. In my project, I'm using Entity Framework v4 with the ADO.NET C# POCO Entity Generator rather than LINQ to SQL, but I've stuck with the repository pattern for data access.

  2. Avatar for Mike
    Mike April 11th, 2011

    I'm not too excited. I understand you want to be somewhat opinionated, but you can keep tweaking project templates as long as you want and not satisfy a lot of people. Seems like a job for the community to come up with cool project templates, be it HTML5 ready templates, or Silverlight optimized templates or whatever.

  3. Avatar for mike johnson
    mike johnson April 12th, 2011

    Nice. does this have a way to upgrade projects already underway in MVC2 or MVC3 ?

  4. Avatar for Hattan Shobokshi
    Hattan Shobokshi April 12th, 2011

    NickS - Steve Sanderson actually wrote MvcScaffolding which, I think, is the technology used to do the scaffolding.I know for a fact that you scaffold out everything in the command line and include a "-repository" switch that puts everything in a nice repository. Since the Add Controller dialog is extensible, I wouldn't be surprised to see a repository template soon.

  5. Avatar for Doug McClean
    Doug McClean April 12th, 2011

    Phil, this is pretty cool. It's nice to see you guys releasing smaller goodies like this between VS releases.
    As far as HTML5 support in VS, it would be really nice if you could do something about Connect bug 656626. It's minor but annoying.

  6. Avatar for Billy
    Billy April 12th, 2011

    I see a Paint Disaster here, it's the same image with white a rectangle on it. On a side note, if you want MVC have a look at some Java frameworks.

  7. Avatar for Frank Krueger
    Frank Krueger April 12th, 2011

    A little confusion. I held back on installing MVC3 but after @shanselman's demo I thought I'd try.
    Went to, then to MVC, and clicked that itty bitty link for those of us who already have VS installed. The link is labeled "MVC 3". That downloaded AspNetMVC3ToolsUpdateSetup.exe. Spent 45 minutes letting that install. When done I was shocked (shocked!) that VS was still only offering me MVC2. :-(
    How does one actually get this MVC3 goodness?

  8. Avatar for Ignat Andrei
    Ignat Andrei April 12th, 2011

    Could you support both Windows and Form authentication in MVC?

  9. Avatar for Tim VanFosson
    Tim VanFosson April 12th, 2011

    Any reason why this would have required me to reapply VS2010 SP1? which it did. :-(

  10. Avatar for James C
    James C April 12th, 2011

    Go tell that story to DHH and the boys over in Rails land. I'm sure you will get an earful of the latest Cee Lo hit...

  11. Avatar for Harry Pfleger
    Harry Pfleger April 12th, 2011

    to Frank:
    make sure you have selected ".NET Framework 4" in the "New Project" dialog..

  12. Avatar for Allan
    Allan April 12th, 2011

    I installed the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update from WPI. I reloaded the WPI and it shows ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update not installed. I uninstalled the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update. I then downloaded the AspNetMVC3ToolsUpdateSetup.exe file and ran it with logging. Everything installed successfully. I booted up WPI and again it still shows ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update not installed.
    On the same note, WPI shows that Visual Studio 2010 SP1 is not installed even though it is.
    What gives? I can send you all the logs you need.

  13. Avatar for hazzik
    hazzik April 12th, 2011

    I think it's awful. It is better to fix bugs in the framework, rather than engage this nonsense! Anyway, these tools are useless. Nobody use it.

  14. Avatar for Kristof Claes
    Kristof Claes April 12th, 2011

    I've just installed the update and now Visual Studio 2010 won't start anymore. It just gives "Unknown Error". Rebooting my machine didn't solve it.
    Even after uninstalling the MVC3 Tools Update, I keep getting the error and I can't start Visual Studio 2010 :-(

  15. Avatar for hilton smith
    hilton smith April 12th, 2011

    I've been waiting for a tooling update for a while now, unfortunately the problem I've been having with the add view dialog is still happening...
    It can't find any of my object types within my actual mvc project, only the types in my references. :(

  16. Avatar for Kristof Claes
    Kristof Claes April 12th, 2011

    Even completely uninstalling Visual Studio 2010 (and separate parts like SP1, MVC2, MVC3, ...) gives the same error after a clean install of Visual Studio 2010.

  17. Avatar for Kristof Claes
    Kristof Claes April 12th, 2011

    Doing a "Repair" didn't solve it either. Trying to start VS2010 in SafeMode doesn't help. Same error:
    Using the /Log switchs gives this:

  18. Avatar for Bats Ihor
    Bats Ihor April 12th, 2011

    Very nice update, I was dreamed about this implementation of scaffolding. ) Thanks!

  19. Avatar for Kristof Claes
    Kristof Claes April 12th, 2011

    Ok, I finally managed to get VS2010 working again. Here's what I did:
    - Uninstall VS2010
    - Uninstall everything that might have anything to do with VS2010 (MVC, SQL CE4.0, ...)
    - Remove all VS2010 directories (eg. C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0)
    - Remove all VS2010 items in the registry
    - Reboot
    - Install VS2010
    - Run VS2010
    - Install SP1
    - Run VS2010
    - Install everything that's needed using Web Platform installer
    I still get "The 'VSTS for Database Professionals Sql Server Data-tier Application' package did not load correctly", "The 'RadLangSvc.Package, RadLangSvc.VS, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91' package did not load correctly" and "The 'Language Package' package did not load correctlty" errors, but I don't know what they mean.

  20. Avatar for raphael
    raphael April 12th, 2011

    Very good!
    Now we need a scaffolding template for (controller) search.
    Very thanks.

  21. Avatar for Dan Martin
    Dan Martin April 12th, 2011

    I think this update just killed MVC projects on my machine. When I try to create/open mvc projects in vs2010 now I get the "The project type is not supported by this installation." message. Repair time I guess.

  22. Avatar for Gerry High
    Gerry High April 12th, 2011

    After installing this update and then working with my previously existing MVC 3 project with Razor view engine the designer is basically useless as now Visual Studio will lock up as soon as I start to type in a cshtml file. I then get the "Visual Studio is busy with an external operation...". Eventually it comes back until I type something else.

  23. Avatar for Alexander DiMauro
    Alexander DiMauro April 12th, 2011

    It seems that only the people with problems are posting here? The only issue I had was that it failed to download via WPI (too much traffic?). After 3 attempts, I finally downloaded the installer, and it worked without a problem.
    I've already been using MvcScaffolding, Modernizr, and CodeFirst on every new project, so having it all 'baked in' now is nice.

  24. Avatar for Yarx
    Yarx April 12th, 2011

    I was hoping this tools update would fix my issue, maybe you know the reason for this. Why do Model classes defined in a separate project referenced by the main MVC application not show up in the list of Model classes when trying to add a new View (in order to generate the view via scaffolding). I get classes in the list from pre-compiled 3rd party libraries like nHibernate, Castle, WebActivator, log4net and even other classes in my own namespace defined in the MVC3 application, but not any of the ones defined in my project reference library that has my Models.

  25. Avatar for Moorthi
    Moorthi April 13th, 2011

    Tried installing AspNetMVC3ToolsUpdateSetup.exe. It hung for ever.
    I have VS2010 on win 7 enterprise edition.

  26. Avatar for Adrian Grigore
    Adrian Grigore April 13th, 2011

    Many thanks for this update - It worked like a treat for me. It also offered a quick way of taking my first steps with EF Code First. I couldn't believe how smooth it works after creating my first project. Awesome job!

  27. Avatar for Betty
    Betty April 13th, 2011

    Restarting VS fixed my "The project type is not supported by this installation." error.

  28. Avatar for Philip
    Philip April 13th, 2011

    What is going on with this installation ? takes forever....I finally had to cancel the installation...

  29. Avatar for Billy
    Billy April 13th, 2011

    Since you are announcing it, when will you address all those horrible errors people are getting? That poor dude had to scrape his computer in the kitchen sink and it still isn't working.
    Good thing I read this post, I can't afford to ruin my development environment.
    So, what's up?

  30. Avatar for Justin
    Justin April 13th, 2011

    You guys suck, give the guy a break! The update worked just fine for me.
    Thanks very much, Phil, for your, and your team's, hard work. I'm a huge fan of ASP.NET MVC, and it just keeps getting better!

  31. Avatar for Ronald
    Ronald April 14th, 2011

    Thanks for the update with some cool new features.
    I have installed the update on serveral VS2010 Premium environments. However on one machine the syntax highlighting and intellisense do not work anymore after the update. Repairing SP1, uninstalling MVC3 and installing it again did not work.
    Any ideas what to do to fix it?

  32. Avatar for Lonnie
    Lonnie April 14th, 2011

    Anyone else having this problem?
    Since I installed the MVC 3 Tools update, I now get this error as soon as I hit F5:
    Microsoft JScript runtime error: Not implemented.
    VS opens the modernizr-1.7.min.js file and highlights this section in yellow:
    c.ogg=a.canPlayType('video/ogg; codecs="theora"')
    I rebooted my PC and error persists. Any ideas?

  33. Avatar for Lonnie
    Lonnie April 14th, 2011

    okay, the problem is bigger than I thought. It appears the the modernizr-1.7.js file is breaking across several of the audio codecs, not just theora.
    I am running VS on a VM with no installed audio device (the host server does not have one to assign).
    Could this be the issue, and if so, how can I fix it?
    Even removing the modernizr files from the script folder, deleting them from the project and rebuilding doesn't work, as VS dynamically replaces them on debug.
    I'm new and trying to learn this, but the environment keeps killing my efforts. Any help would be appreciated.

  34. Avatar for Anthony
    Anthony April 14th, 2011

    Install seems to have gone okay, but there is no ASP.NET MVC 3 Empty Web Application option when creating a new project - is this by design?

  35. Avatar for jim
    jim April 15th, 2011

    I think a lot of peoples' issues with installation have to do with an conflict when the installer tries to execute vs10-kb2483190-x86.exe. I get the same hanging and eventual error described by a lot of commenters, and when I go to the temp directory that the installer uses and install all of the MSIs individually it works fine. This is the second tools update with this issue.

  36. Avatar for Lonnie
    Lonnie April 15th, 2011

    In case anyone else has the problem I described in my earlier posts, I resolved it by uninstalling all Web Dev and MVC3 programs and reinstalling from the WebPI again.
    Just select Visual Web Developer Express 2010 SP1 alone. It still fails to load SP1, but everything else installed and the issue no longer exists.

  37. Avatar for haacked
    haacked April 15th, 2011

    Hi all. Sorry for the installation problems. The installer attempts to patch VS 2010 to add Razor support, which is why it is very slow on some machines. If you have VS 2010 SP 1 installed, it shouldn't need to apply the patch. If you have VS 2010 SP 1 Beta, it may still attempt to apply the patch. I need to double check.
    If you have the old Async CTP installed, you'll need to unistall that first.
    If you have VS install logs, email me at

  38. Avatar for Carson
    Carson April 16th, 2011

    Kristof, might be worth taikng a look at - it describes those package loading errors and has a suggested workaround. The workaround didn't work for me - said I already had a new version installed of the packages it recommended manually installing - but for the time being the problem seems to have disappeared anyway, fingers crossed.

  39. Avatar for Zote
    Zote April 18th, 2011

    Phil, creating a new ASP.NET MVC 3 Web Application usign template = Internet Application and Razor and Use HTML5 semantic markup, I'm getting error above.
    Error adding packages to project
    Could not add all required packages to the project. Please reinstall the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update release. The following packages failed to install from C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft ASP.NET\ASP.NET MVC 3\Packages:



    I tried to reinstall and error persists. I'm using stand alone install.

  40. Avatar for Zote
    Zote April 18th, 2011


  41. Avatar for true
    true April 19th, 2011

    Classic Microsoft software, with all the hundreds employees end user feedback reveals issues such as installing fails when certain criteria is missing (like Service pack). Developer tools and updates used to be an exception to the Office, Exchange, Windows and other product groups but apparently bad example is contagious.

  42. Avatar for n0mad
    n0mad April 19th, 2011

    Hey Phil - Good work on this, we have some of it in production now. I was at your presentations at MIX, I'm happy to see scaffolding and other productivity stuff.
    You made a point to show the new Project templates (and Hanselman talks about the white space in the tooling dialogs for adding new Views, Controller, Model types). Is there any comprehensive docs on how to do that?
    I want a custom MVC project template, with tooling integration - I think MvcScaffolding will get me some of that. I want to put this in a NuGet package.

  43. Avatar for Amir
    Amir April 20th, 2011

    Excellent, It works fine for me as well. Thanks a lot.

  44. Avatar for Gabriel Rodriguez
    Gabriel Rodriguez April 22nd, 2011

    friggin' AWESOME. MVC3 just overflows with coolness.

  45. Avatar for Dan Martin
    Dan Martin April 25th, 2011

    FYI, uninstalling vs2010 (and sp1) and reinstalling fixed my "The project type is not supported by this installation." error on my laptop. Everything installed fine on my other machine the first time though. Working great now, thanks.

  46. Avatar for tshah
    tshah May 1st, 2011

    It fails for me:
    OS Version = 6.0.6002, Platform 2, Service Pack 2
    OS Description = Vista - x86 Enterprise Edition Service Pack 2
    CommandLine = c:\temp\ext27692\setup.exe
    TimeZone = Eastern Daylight Time
    Initial LCID = 1033

    Using Simultaneous Download and Install mechanism
    Operation: Installing
    Package Name = Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update
    Package Version = 3.0.20406.0
    User Experience Data Collection Policy: Disabled
    Number of applicable items: 2
    MSI (c:\temp\ext27692\AspNetMVC3VS2010Tools.msi) Installation succeeded. Msi Log: Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update_20110502_093907253-MSI_AspNetMVC3VS2010Tools.msi.txt

    MSI (c:\temp\ext27692\NuGet.msi) Installation failed. Msi Log: Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update_20110502_093907253-MSI_NuGet.msi.txt

    MSI (c:\temp\ext27692\AspNetMVC3VS2010Tools.msi) Uninstall succeeded. Msi Log: Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update_20110502_093907253-MSI_AspNetMVC3VS2010Tools.msi.txt
    Final Result: Installation failed with error code: (0x80070643), "Fatal error during installation. " (Elapsed time: 0 00:26:53).

  47. Avatar for Shane Whittet
    Shane Whittet May 1st, 2011

    Looks like the jQueryUI Combined package has base theme and many variations of NuGet Package.
    How would you work with this if your theme is not the base?
    Alternately, could a package have a configuration that defines how it updates? For example, I delete the base theme and replace it with a custom Redmond. This configuration is stored as a url in the .css file. How great would it be if the jqueryui builder config could be stored and the NuGet updater access this project information to update to the latest version. This could avoid having 8 versions of jqueryui available for download on NuGet...
    Regards, from snowy MN:)
    I saw flakes again today, I miss spring break!

  48. Avatar for Michael Kennedy
    Michael Kennedy May 3rd, 2011

    Thanks Phil. MVC 3 is really looking good now.

  49. Avatar for Richard Arran Photography
    Richard Arran Photography May 8th, 2011

    Absolutley love the MVC framework. It's as it should be, webforms are awful!

  50. Avatar for daniel glenn
    daniel glenn May 18th, 2011

    Thanks ? but CDN for Modernizr on is not available?
    why? special reason ?
    if (Modernizr != "")
    } else
    thx man, for your nice work...mvc 3 is sweet.

  51. Avatar for Vincent
    Vincent May 22nd, 2011

    Thanks again microsoft, your stupid installation package broke my VS IDE... I'll will reboot into ubuntu, I've had enough Microsoft for this year. Crappy install programs just doesn't cut it anymore when you are used to proper distribution method like debians deb packages. See you next year if you figure out how to make an installation package properly.
    Why does WEB-PI try to reinstall VS2010 SP1 when it's already installed ? And also it's never ending...over 2 hours and still going...
    1)'VSTS for Database Professionals Sql Server Data-tier Application' package did not load correctly.
    2)'RadLangSvc.Package, RadLangSvc.VS, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91' package did not load correctly.
    3: Razor highlighting doesn't work anymore.

  52. Avatar for Gaurav Vishwa
    Gaurav Vishwa August 21st, 2011

    I have Visual stdio 2008 ,
    but I am installing MVC 3.0 it's not supported.
    Can u suggest me which version of MVC is compatible ?

  53. Avatar for Farhan
    Farhan September 4th, 2011

    you need to upgrade Visual Studio and use 2010 so that you can enjoy with latest technology of mvc 3. othewise you can use mvc 2 for vs2008.

  54. Avatar for Chanel Ledertasche
    Chanel Ledertasche September 21st, 2011

    Thanks for sharing your article; it’s very nice, thanks. I hope can read more good articles

  55. Avatar for saqwer
    saqwer October 22nd, 2011

    I got next error:
    MSI (e:\temp\ext27692\AspNetWebPages.msi) Installation failed. Msi Log: Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update_20111023_133807407-MSI_AspNetWebPages.msi.txt
    Final Result: Installation failed with error code: (0x80070643), "Fatal error during installation. " (Elapsed time: 0 00:00:08).
    What will recomend to me?

  56. Avatar for saqwer
    saqwer October 22nd, 2011

    Also I've got next details for this error:
    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name:VSSetup
    Problem Signature 01:Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update
    Problem Signature 02:3.0.20406.0
    Problem Signature 03:10.0.30304.1
    Problem Signature 04:1
    Problem Signature 05:AspNetWebPages.msi
    Problem Signature 06:Install_I_Interactive_Error
    Problem Signature 07:1603
    Problem Signature 08:1722
    Problem Signature 09:WebConfigCA_Remove
    OS Version:6.1.7601.
    Locale ID:1058
    If you can help, please, tell

  57. Avatar for Steve
    Steve November 15th, 2011

    Installed it. It took ages with no indication of progress. Now I get the 'VSTS for Database Professionals Sql Server Data-tier Application package did not load correctly' Error. Grrr.

  58. Avatar for TJ
    TJ November 29th, 2011

    Tried to install the Tools update recently as I have forgotten to do so after getting a new machine. Having NuGet 1.5 installed, the tools update failed and I ran into the errors mentioned above.
    Uninstalling NuGet 1.5, then installing MVC 3 Tools Update worked for me.

  59. Avatar for Trevor de Koekkoek
    Trevor de Koekkoek December 22nd, 2011

    Praise the Lord for the last post! Finally have MVC 3 running again after uninstalling MVC4 (don't recommend this), reinstalling VS2010, uninstalling NuGet 1.5 and then finally MVC3 (stand-alone ToolsUpdate). The MVC with VS 2010 SP1 and tools just hangs.

  60. Avatar for yo
    yo January 17th, 2012

    Scaffolding is an anti-pattern

  61. Avatar for Lelala
    Lelala June 13th, 2012

    this update includes MVC basics as well as tools update. Its enough to install only that package.

  62. Avatar for L. Willy
    L. Willy June 13th, 2012

    You never got to this part.
    "If your IIS 6 machine is on a different machine, you can skip
    this step. We can deploy the site to the machine later."
    Please help me, this is my senerio: I have a Windows XP Machine (the Source Machine with my ASP.NET MVC 3 App. built on VS 2010 with Razor View engine ready to deploy). I have a Test Server (the Destination Server)within our organization to which I have full Admin rights. Also my ASP.NET MVC 3 App. is an internet App. as opposed to intranet App.
    The Destination Server is running IIS 6 on Entity Framework 4.x. So, how to I deploy my App?
    Thanks in advance.
    Leonard Williams
    Now how do I go from point A

  63. Avatar for Ben
    Ben August 30th, 2012

    I know this is old, but I just got assigned an older project at work that uses MVC3 and I couldn't get MVC3 to install. Mvc2 and 4 would, but not 3. Uninstalling NuGet and then running the install of MVC3 did the trick.

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