Things are moving quite fast nowadays and while it's hard to keep up with every new piece of technology that's being introduced, some warrant more time than others. To that end, the .NET Framework 4.5.1 Preview released a few months ago includes a set of improvements that build on top of the .NET Framework 4 and 4.5 releases and are definitely worth exploring. Due to the shorter ship schedule for the .NET Framework 4.5.1 Preview the delivery was focused on the following key areas:

  • Developer productivity
    • X64 edit and continue
    • Support for Async-aware debugging showing the entire path of the asynchronous operation
    • Managed return value inspection: displaying return values where a ‘return’ statement invokes a method evaluates expressions
    • ADO.NET idle connection resiliency: a capability to re-build broken idle connections against SQL databases transparently
    • Windows Store app development
  • Application performance
    • ASP.NET app suspension taking advantage of IIS Idle Worker Process Page-out in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview
    • On-demand large object heap compaction
    • Multi-core JIT improvements
    • Consistent performance before and after servicing the .NET Framework
  • NuGet
    • Better discoverability and support for NuGet in Visual Studio
    • Supporting large-scale deployment of .NET NuGet Packages

Additional information regarding the .NET Framework Preview can be found on their Blog and head on over to Windows Azure to start using Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 Preview via a Virtual Machine (VM).