ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions - plus MVC How-To Screencast
Darn that ScottGu, he's scooped me again. Just kidding. Around dinner time this evening we released the preview of the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions at http://asp.net/downloads/3.5-extensions/.
Why release extensions when we JUST released Visual Studio 2008? There's kind of a sine wave thing going on. We stagger the BIG releases of things like .NET or Visual Studio with smaller releases of things like MVC or the Ajax Framework. So, release Visual Studio 2005, then release Ajax, release Visual Studio 2008, release MVC, dynamic data, new controls, etc. It's sometimes confusing (and believe me, I'm working them) but it gets you fresh stuff sooner.
Should You Fear This Release?
No, it's pretty harmless. If you look in the Object Browser in Visual Studio you'll see that one assembly you already have has had some additions and its version rev'ed. You can see System.Web.Mvc there at the right.
I wouldn't go slapping it on a production machine unless you're living on the razor's edge, but it should be fine on a development machine if you know how to pay attention to what versions your projects reference.
What do I get for My Free's Worth?
Well, you get a number of things. You get (from the Gu) with my edits:
- ASP.NET AJAX Improvements: Better browser history support (back/forward button integration, and server-side history management support), improved AJAX content linking support with permalinks
- ASP.NET MVC: This model view controller (MVC) framework for ASP.NET provides a structured model that enables a clear separation of concerns within web applications, and makes it easier to unit test your code and support a TDD workflow.
- ASP.NET Dynamic Data Support: New features that enable faster creation of data driven web sites. It provides a rich scaffolding framework, and will enable rapid data driven site development using both ASP.NET WebForms and ASP.NET MVC. (This is hot...more on this soon...I demo'ed part of this at DevConnections)
- ASP.NET Silverlight Support: Included will be new controls that make it easy to integrate Silverlight video/media and interactive content within your sites.
- ADO.NET Data Services: In parallel with the ASP.NET Extensions release we will also be releasing the ADO.NET Entity Framework. This provides a modeling framework that enables developers to define a conceptual model of a database schema that closely aligns to a real world view of the information. We will also be shipping a new set of data services (codename "Astoria") that make it easy to expose REST based API endpoints from within your ASP.NET applications.
MVC How-To Video Screencast
I also (as the last bit of work before paternity leave) put together a 40 minute How-To Screencast on the MVC Framework as part of a series that myself and the team will be releasing. There will be a number of screencasts released this week on the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions, but here's a special preview for you, Dear Reader, because you're reading this blog. You can get a WMV of my screencast here day
s ahead of the general public. ;) There will be a number of additional formats available in a few days up on the site, including iPod and other portable devices. I'm continuing to tweak my screencast style and I did my best to make sure this one looked good on smaller screens. Let me know.
IMPORTANT CODE UPDATE: After I recorded this video, Rob Conery updated some things in his Toolkit codebase. You'll want to change the code for the HTML Helpers to either:
Where do I get more info?
Everywhere. Be sure to visit http://asp.net/downloads/3.5-extensions/ several times next week as there will be videos coming out every few days this week covering the whole release - not just MVC. There's a forum setup to discuss them, and Phil, ScottGu, myself and others will be blogging things, both good and bad, as we discover them.
Also, do check out Phil's blog as he's digging into some meaty topics while I'm changing diapers. He's got posts already on:
- Writing Unit Tests for Controller Actions
- Extending ASP.NET MVC to add Conventions
- Dependency Injection and TDD with ASP.NET MVC