Today we released a Beta of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1.  

 

Traditionally our service packs address a range of issues found both through customer and partner feedback as well as our own internal testing.  While this service pack holds true to that theme and delivers updates for these types of issues, it also builds on the tremendous value that Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 deliver today and enables an improved developer experience by adding a number of additional components that cover a range of highly requested customer features. For example, the service pack is the first release for Visual Studio 2008 that delivers full support for SQL Server 2008 and the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

 

Visual Studio : You will find improved functionality and performance in the WPF designers, additional components and tools for Visual Basic & Visual C++ including an MFC-based Office 2007 Ribbon and various stability fixes, richer JavaScript features, improved Web development and site deployment, and performance improvements for the IDE.  For more information on the performance improvements in the service pack, see the Performance Team’s blog.

 

Visual Studio Team System : There are improvements to Visual Studio Team System such as updated “Add to Source Control” dialogs, Drag and Drop support from Windows Explorer to the Source Control Explorer, and version control of unbound files.  For work item tracking we have added Ribbon support for Office 2007 so you now have a clean and easy way to access relevant TFS operations from Office applications as seen below.  For more information on the new features available in Team System, check out Brian Harry’s blog.

 

.NET Framework 3.5 : From a .NET Framework perspective, SP1 introduces more controls, streamlined setup, improved start-up performance, and powerful new graphics features for client development and rich data scaffolding, and improved AJAX support.

 

I’m very excited about the introduction of the .NET Framework Client Profile, a smaller .NET Framework Redist optimized for client scenarios.  Some of the benefits of this profile are immediate responsiveness with a 200K bootstrapper to enable the fastest response to the application setup URL, an integrated custom UI allowing packaging of your application and the framework for a seamless install experience, and lastly incredible install speed at 26.5 mb (this translates to about 6 minutes on a typical connection).

Like I mentioned above, SP1 for the .NET Framework introduces the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services which simplifies data access code in applications by providing an extensible, conceptual model for data from any data source and enabling this model to closely reflect business requirements.

 

Dynamic Data is a new feature in ASP.NET that dynamically builds a fully functional website from a LINQ to SQL or Entity Framework data model. In order to generate a similar screen to below, all a developer has to do is create a data model, register the data model with Dynamic Data (1 line of code), and then run the project. This is part of the new RAD data features that get developers started very quickly and then they can refine the application with traditional ASP.NET programming.

The bits for the VS2008 SP1 Beta and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Beta are available for download here. 

The readme files list known compatability issues for Visual Studio Professional and for Visual Studio Team System.

 

Namaste!