Cities can sleep – but Microsoft won’t let people sleep. They are back with a bang with their new .NET 4.0 and an improved IDE – Visual Studio 2010 that promises democratizing application life-cycle management (ALM) and enabling developers to build next generation LOB applications.
What you take away from this snapshot is an understanding of how .NET 4.0 will change the way LOB applications interact with human-interface, services and database – so let’s have a click of key features in this edition.
User Experience: WPF4 now supports Windows7 multi-touch, ribbon controls, taskbar extensibility features. Surface 2.0 (based on Windows Surface) will also ship-in with WPF4. Much of the plumbing work required for N-tier application development is already done by Microsoft – reduced efforts and associated costs are visible advantages.
Developer Experience: Migration of .NET 3.5 to .NET 4.0 does not require a mega-release - the wizard does it for you! VS 2010 editor is built in WPF, hence making it more appealing. DataGrid will also be a part of WPF4 – improving the quality of data-centric applications. What more, Workflow Foundation (WF) now allows composing of workflow styles and WCF claims to become simpler by avoiding complex implementation logic – how more simpler it could be!
Architect Experience: VS 2010 identifies existing code/assets and the architecture in an ‘Architecture Explorer’ – a explorer that shows dependencies between assets in Layer Diagram, and Interaction View. This renders the capability of creating a picture of existing code; understanding how components fit and work together. Validations like UI layer should not communicate with Data Layer can be easily tracked in the Architecture Explorer. StarUML/Visio will rarely be used to design diagrams such as Use Cases and Sequence/Activity diagrams.
Testing Experience: The conventional mechanism of executing all the test cases will change for sure. Execute the test impacted by code change, from the previous run, will be the new ‘mantra.’ Record your key/mouse actions for non-reproducible bugs and playback to track your code and generate detailed reports.
Language Improvements: Memory mapped files can be used to edit very large files and create shared memory for Inter-Process Communication (IPC). An arbitrary precision data-type, BigInteger, has been introduced to deliver a higher performant big integer implementation. Parallel Extensions include an improved ThreadPool scheduling algorithm for tasks. . DeflateStream and GZipStream no longer inflate already compressed data. This means that in most cases we’ll see much better compression ratios when using these streams on .NET 4.0.
ASP.NET Improvements: AjaxControlToolkit finally becomes a part of .NET 4.0. ScriptManager includes properties like EnableHistory, AddHistoryPoint, Navigate that enable the application developer to control browser history far beyond anything regular postbacks allowed. Microsoft goes few steps back and provides granular support in controlling properties of objects within containers: we can disable the parent and yet have the child controls enabled!
That said, .NET 4.0 and VS2010 promises are features that will improve our productivity and provide better user-experience to our clientele – at the cost of installing Vista! Yes, Vista is mandate operating system for .NET 4.0 platform.