Today, let me talk about enhancements to ASP.NET that you will see with Visual Studio 2008 and .NET FX 3.5.

 

Earlier this year, we introduced the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions which is available as an add-on for Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0. 

 

With the release of Visual Studio 2008, these AJAX extensions have become an integral part of the product.  While we have kept the runtime extremely compatible, we have also added customer requested features such as enabling many of the new controls to work inside an UpdatePanel (TreeView, Menu and WebParts) and enhanced support for client side Javascript localization.  On the tooling side, we have made some major investments in JavaScript Intellisense, type inferencing, and new control extenders design time that you can read here.

 

One of the most exciting new technologies in VS2008 is LINQ.  To complement this, ASP.NET ships a new control, LinqDataSource to support LINQ scenarios in web applications. Essentially, this LinqDataSource control allows a declarative way to use LINQ by using the data source control design pattern that was introduced in VS2005.   With the added designer support, it is very easy for developers to databind against LINQ expressions. 

 

Another interesting control is the ListView control.  This new data bound control is designed to provide great formatting flexibility with CSS to website designers. With improved support for CSS in VS2008, the control allows developers to write cleaner HTML by separating markup from styling.  This flexibility also allows displaying data in interesting ways. For example, ListView supports a ‘tiled’ layout where each cell of the grid contains a row from the table.  Support for such scenarios is valuable in a variety of scenarios, such as the online product catalogs.  From a data binding and events perspective, ListView should seem very familiar to ASP.NET developers.  A separate server control, the DataPager control, is the ideal companion to ListView and allows navigation through pagination.  Thus the ListView and DataPager go hand in hand in providing complete customization of the layout.

 

ASP.NET builds on the investments made in the Application Services - Membership, Roles and Profiles - in.NET Framework 2.0.  In VS 2008, we expose these APIs as web services with both JSON and SOAP endpoints.  The JSON endpoint caters to the AJAX scenarios, where as the SOAP endpoint caters to any SOAP 1.1 compliant clients such as WPF or WinForms applications, as well as applications written with any other framework.   The feature allows clients to leverage the ASP.NET Application services and share a common membership, utilize role management features, and manage user profiles across a number of presentation tiers.  It also enables developers to conveniently maintain roaming user states.

 

In summary, ASP.NET is shipping new features with VS 2008 and .NET FX 3.5 that will enable building rich web applications faster. 

 

Namaste!