In case you hadn’t heard. We have just released the March CTP for “Orcas” and the .NET Framework 3.5. Check out the VPC with the installed bits from here. As with all CTP’s it is important to provide any feedback. The .NET Framework 3.5 brings no breaking changes. New technology is being added including LINQ, AJAX, WF, WCF and WPF Developer Tools and BCL enhancements.

With the excitement around the .NET Framework 3.5 just beginning. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some of the new features..

.NET Framework 3.5 New Features

Faster .NET Framework execution

Base Class Library – New Class Additions

Language Integrated Query (LINQ)

1. Faster garbage collection

2. Smarter, faster NGen requiring smaller working set RAM

3. 64 bit client improvements

4. ThreadPool performance improvements

5. Security check caching during NGen

6. BigInteger, HashSet and DateTime2 types

7. NSA Suite ”B” and FIPs compliant cryptography

8. Lightweight Reader/Writer Lock Classes

9. Anonymous and Named Pipes IO Classes

10.   Integration with Event Tracing for Windows

11.   New Addin hosting model for extensibility

Deep integration of LINQ data-awareness into the programming languages and framework.

Workflow Enabled Services – Process and Messaging together

Web 2.0 Friendly and AJAX Enabled WCF Services

Visual Studio Developer Tools for WF, WCF and in Visual Studio “Orcas”

Using workflow to provide for durable and long-running services. New Tools, WF activities and new programming model classes have been added to simplify building workflow-enabled services using WF and WCF. This allows a .NET Framework developer to build business logic for a service using WF and expose messaging from that service using WCF. These improvements not only provide tools for this scenario but they reduce the amount of glue code that was previously required.

Ajax is a web development technique for making asynchronous exchanges of small amounts of data between browser and web service calls from the browser client script to the web server. A programming model is provided for building Ajax style web applications using WCF services. An HTTP programming model is also provided allowing for REST style web services.

Visual Studio”Orcas” has built in tools for web service authoring with WCF and for building workflow enabled software with WF. There are new project templates for WCF services, WF business logic, workflow enabled services, and AJAX services. The templates are conveniently set up to compile and run even before any custom code is added enabling .NET developers to get going quickly. There are also numerous other tools for developing with WF, WCF and WPF.

More WS-* Standards Support

RSS and ATOM Syndication API

Partial Trust Support for WCF Hosting

Implementation in WCF of the latest OASIS specifications Web Services Atomic Transaction (WS-AtomicTransaction) 1.1, WS-ReliableMessaging 1.1, WS-SecureCOnversation and Web Services Coordination (WS-Coordination) 1.1.

Applications built using WCF will be able to easily expose syndicated data which can be consumed by an RSS or ATOM reader.

Partial trust on the vlient is provided for ASMX parity focussing mainly on partially trusted WCF applications deployed through click-once. Support is provided for basic HTTP binding provided that the application runs in the Internet zone permissions and have granted the apropriate WebPermission. Secure communication is possible through transport security only. All other features are not available to partially trusted applications including hosting services, duplex communications, non-HTTP transports, WS-* protocols and any WF use.

Rules Data Improvements

Built-in WPF tools for Visual Studio “Orcas”

Additional WPF Features and Improved Performance

The rules engine in WF is improved to add support for C# 3.0 extension metods, and for operator overloading . Also the ”new” operator is added to compete the base set of expression types.

The Visual Studio designer for WPF was previously released as a CTP. It is not integrated into the development environment and is significantly improved.

WPF has smoother animations, faster startup and better overall performance. There are also new data types available for data binding with LINQ. Better integration support is now provided for with codename “WPF/E”.