If you do any .NET development, you absolutely have to see our officially released Product
Roadmap. There's a section on C# futures that should interest developers
and EricR did a keynote
at VS Live NY with Bix showing
off the new features for Windows Forms and ASP.NET.
Some of *my* favorite project improvements are:
SQL Server CLR Integration: Create functions, stored procedures,
triggers, types, and aggregates in any .NET language (C#, VB.NET, etc)
Windows Forms No Touch Deployment: "New capabilities will include
support for running applications offline, rolling back to previous versions of an
application, and listing an application in the Windows Start menu as well as the Remove
Programs catalog within the Control Panel. Additionally, No-Touch Deployment in Whidbey
will enable developers to distribute the .NET Framework with a Windows client application."
Winforms Improvements: Host Office Documents using the Active Document
Container, Office-style toolbars, a better web browser control (no more AX code!),
and the background worker for async tasks.
ASP.NET: The DataSource control makes working with relational, xml
and other data sources *much* easier. The GridView is a DataGrid with everything
you had to manually add (paging, sorting, editing, and deleting). The Details
View shows you details about a specific record, Master Pages lets you set the
UI for your web page once (header, background, etc) and have all other pages
inherit that UI. The ASP.NET team has also gone the extra mile and added themes
and skins for easy web site customization. You really need to see ASP.NET
2.0 in person to realize how much easier it will be to develop web UI.
ADO.NET: Gains better debugging, built in XQuery capabilities and
object persistence using ObjectSpaces.
Enterprise Tools: "Microsoft will deliver a set of visual designers
that help architects translate their requirements into Web services-based applications
and components. The designers will provide modeling support for describing these applications
and components, along with corresponding policy for security, protocols, and more.
The designers will also enable developers to map their logical application to their
physical production environment, making it easier to deploy complex Web services-based
SourceSafe Revamp: "In Whidbey, Microsoft will improve upon the
Visual SourceSafe tools and offer programmers working in small teams the technology
they need to manage source code as well as other files in their solution. Visual SourceSafe
will be extended to offer support for Web service and Unicode projects, helping programmers
more effectively meet the challenges of today's business. Further, programmers will
enjoy improved performance and tighter integration between Visual SourceSafe and the
Visual Studio IDE."
Some Press coverage: