Visual Studio 2015 Feature Series : #1 Account Management

Visusl Studio 2015 Download Link : 


Account Management is related to the Sign-in feature that was first time introduced with Visual Studio 2013. This feature has been helpful by various means, but Visual Studio 2015 even extends this experience with some enhancements.


Account Management turned out to be a very helpful feature, here are some points:
  1. Associate a profile (for example web development, C# or general) and synchronize your settings with the development environment once you are logged into another workstation.

  2. Ability to select graphic themes (Light, Dark, Blue) for the appearance of the IDE, code and code editor windows.

  3. Get direct benefits of the MSDN subscription associated with the ID used to sign into Visual Studio. For example unlocking Visual Studio or manage licenses associated with Visual Studio.

  4. Automatic login to a TFS Service account if subscribed to one. TFS Service is a Microsoft cloud based version of TFS.

Synchronized Settings

Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 allows the users to choose which settings to synchronize. Let's first understand which Visual Studio settings are a candidate for Synchronization.

  • Appearance, in other words Themes, Colors and Fonts.
  • Environment Aliases
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Startup
  • Text Editor

Visual Studio 2013 Synchronized Settings will be as shown in Figure 1.

Visual Studio 2013 Synchronized Settings
                                    Figure 1: Visual Studio 2013 Synchronized Settings

Visual Studio 2015 Synchronized Settings will be as shown in Figure 2.

Synchronized Settings
                                                      Figure 2: Synchronized Settings

Account Management

In Visual Studio 2013 and 2015 Account Management takes affect as soon as you click on the “Sign In” command in the top-right of your Visual Studio IDE as shown in Figure 3.

Go to Sign In
                                                               Figure 3: Go to Sign In

Or Account Management settings can also be accessed via File -> Account Settings.

Account Settings
                  Figure 4: Account Settings

Improved Account Management with Visual Studio 2015

Microsoft has improvised the Account Management experience for developers and made it better. The core change made in Visual Studio 2015 Account Management is the capability to store multiple accounts and have those listed and stored on that Account Setting page.

The immediate benefit for developers is the ability to login into Visual Studio with various associated accounts and work with a different set of settings and projects.

Now the question is, what's new in this? Developers were able to do this even with earlier versions when it was introduced in Visual Studio 2013. Let's see by diving deep into Account Settings.

Account Settings Recap with Visual Studio 2013

When you sign-in with Visual Studio 2013, your Account Settings page will open asking to sign in.

with Visual Studio 2013
                                               Figure 5: Sign-in with Visual Studio 2013

After successful sign-in the Account Settings page will appear as follows.

Account Settings page
                                                      Figure 6: Account Settings page of Visual Studio 2013

The very obvious issue here is related to developer productivity and a developer who switches between accounts that must provide many different sets of credentials repeatedly.

Enhancement to Account Settings in Visual Studio 2015

Visual Studio 2015 comes with an enhanced Account Management feature to enable developers to store multiple sign-in credentials under Account Settings. Ideally, it would be productive to have multiple accounts registered and then switch easily from one account to another without re-entering all the credentials repeatedly.

Account Settings in Visual Studio 2015
                                       Figure 7: Account Settings in Visual Studio 2015

Adding New Account

Clicking on “Add an account” will take you to the Sign in dialog as shown below.

Add an account
                                       Figure 8: Add an account

After successful credential validation the Account Settings page will display the newly registered account under All Accounts.

Newly registered account under All Accounts
                              Figure 9: Newly registered account under All Accounts

This feature enables developers to have a centralized place to manage accounts and Synchronize settings across every registered Microsoft account.