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Enterprise Library for .NET Framework 3.0 - what would you like to see?

Enterprise Library for .NET Framework 3.0 - what would you like to see?

We're getting ready to start the planning process for the next release of Enterprise Library which will target .NET Framework 3.0. In case you missed it, .NET Framework 3.0 is the new name for what used to be known as .NET Framework 2.0 combined with the new WinFX class libraries for WCF, WPF and WF. For more information on the name and version, check out Soma's post.

While we expect that the new WinFX libraries in .NET 3.0 will require us to make certain updates or changes to existing blocks (for example, to allow the Logging Application Block to work within a WCF pipeline), the platform change isn't going to be anywhere near as significant as the move from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0. This is hopefully good news for you, as it means we can focus more of our energy on improving the library in other ways.

So where should we focus our efforts? While we have a few ideas up our sleeves, the best ideas are likely to come from people who are using Enterprise Library on real applications (and if you're still reading, that probably includes you!). So don't be shy - tell us what you want!

Instead of just providing a feature list, imagine you have $100 (Australian dollars, of course) to invest in the our new release. If there's only one feature you care about, you can invest all $100 in that feature. If you want 5 new features or changes, you could invest $20 in each of those, or you could split it up differently depending on how important each request is to you (eg $60/$20/$10/$5/$5).

Please use your imagation and come up with whatever crazy suggestions you want for this new release. But to help get you started, here are a few feature areas you may want to consider:

  • New blocks (please specify what these blocks should do)
  • New providers for existing blocks (please specify which blocks and what the providers should do)
  • Integration with new WinFX features (which ones?)
  • Changes to the internal architecture (what and why?)
  • Better support for deployment or operations processes
  • Performance improvements
  • Improvements to the configuration tool (such as?)
  • Improvements to the documentation (such as?)
  • New or improved samples or training materials
  • Software factories or guidance packages to help you build blocks or providers
  • VB version of the block source
  • ...anything else?

Please limit your suggestions and your virtual investment to things that belong in Enterprise Library. The p&p team is continuing to work on a bunch of other projects such as our new Software Factories for scenarios such as web services, smart client and web development - but these are all different projects to Enterprise Library (even though many of these will leverage EntLib blocks). Enterprise Library is - and will remain - a library of general purpose application blocks for common development scenarios.

  • Jason - for now posting comments is the preferred approach - not very scientific I know, but we're just looking for random ideas at this stage. At a later stage when we have a more refined list, we may put together surveys to help with the detailed prioritization.

    If for whatever reason you don't want to share your ideas with the world, you can click the Email link to send a private mail.

  • Re XML Manipulation -- see XLinq (now LINQ over XML) at

    Re LINQ in .NET 3.0:  .NET 3.0 is the WPF/WCF/etc release.  LINQ is in Orcas, which is a later release.

    Re .NET on Rails:  take a look at the BLinq project at
  • Tom Hollander sent out a note this morning soliciting input for the next version of Enterprise Library. ...
  • I would like to have a code-generator for Data Access Application Block. for example : call a StoredProcedure easyly and quickly.
  • $40 UIP for ASP.NET
    We evaluated using the existing UIP app block, but found that maintainability was going to be too difficult. Updating the UIP block for .NET 2.0/3.0 would be helpful, but having a configuration interface would be a real boon.

    $30 Environmental Overrides
    Include Olaf's environmental override extensions into the core libraries, but extend them to allow overrides of appSettings as well. They do a great job presently, but if you need multiple connection strings, you are probably going to have other settins that are environment sensitive also.

    $20 WebEventProvider for Health Monitoring

    $10 WinFX
    I guess the WCF improvements are a given, but I have not yet explored far enough into WF and WPF to find out how EntLib might help.

  • I use the library (specifically the ObjectBuilder and Configuration blocks) to create custom software factories. It has worked out great. However, last week I realized that there was no way to construct a factory that would return an instance of a class that requires type parameters (generic class, that is). The problem can be traced to the CreateObject method in ICustomFactory interface which does not have the type to instantiate as one of its parameters. If it did, then the type would include the generic type parameters needed and all would be well. Thanks,
    Amit Goswami (amitDOTgoswamiATideaDotcom)
  • I'd like to see the addition of asymetric encryption to the crypto application block. In particular, cms/pkcs7 support for encrypt+sign and validate+decrypt of message.
  • As stated in a few other to generate the skeleton for an complete app - business entities, business components, data access components, and maybe even some skeletal UI.  Basically something that generates the architecture recommended on patterns and practices.  This would be especially useful for apps focused on editing business data, which seems to be a reasonable percentage of apps out there.  

    This is not necessarily an EntLib 3.0 recommendation; EL is not a code generator.  But I wanted to take advantage of Tom's publicity <gr> (apologies, Tom).  Seriously, what is MS' answer to solving these problems?  Architecture guidance on P&P is well presented, but not prescriptive enough for specific implementation problems that many seem to face.

    Perhaps a community project should be initiated, rather than look for such support in EL?
  • XML Application Block. That is the most wanted element with Next Release.
  • LenC - we are currently working on exactly what you are describing. Check out the Web Service Software Factory ( and Smart Client Software Factory ( projects that are currently under development.

  • I think I would like to see an Object Pooling applciation something, that can contain a pool of instantiated objects and give them to an application on a as needed basis.  Also possibly simplification or better documentaiton / examples on Object Builder.
  • To those of you who have requested an XML Application Block, could you elaborate on what capabilities such a block would provide?

  • As it was already mentioned: redesigning log filters to make them non-global. Currently filters like severity filter are applied on per-app basis. This makes them more or less unusable - in a typical situation you want to suppress errors for certain categories or listeners, but not for all messages.
  • I'd like to benefit a simple, comprehensive, easy to use and efficient rules engine.
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