Windows Identity Foundation, Microsoft's framework for integrating claims-based authentication into applications, is now part of the .NET Framework. It was created to simplify work with access control and authentication, and to allow for single sign-on across multiple applications.
.NET API subset for Windows Store Apps is considerable smaller than the full .NET Framework 4.5. Particularly, Reflection.Emit is not available and most members in the System.Type class have been moved to the System.Reflection.TypeInfo class.
As part of the recent Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 launch, Microsoft formally unveiled its new web services framework called the ASP.NET Web API. Included as part of the ASP.NET MVC 4 offering, the open-source ASP.NET Web API is designed to simplify the development and consumption of RESTful services.
Aaron Stebner's .NET Framework Cleanup Tool, which is often used as a last resort to remove problematic .NET installations, has been updated to support Windows 8 and .NET 4.5. The tool can be used to remove any version of the .NET Framework from an operating system.
In addition to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 being released to manufacturing, Microsoft has completed its tool suit - Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5.
EventSource and EventListener, introduced in .NET 4.5, provide a simple mechanism for applications to trace their events in Event Tracing for Windows (ETW). Combined with a analysis tool such as PerfView, this allows for better tracing of .NET apps.
Microsoft has decided to remove MEF for Windows 8 Metro and TPL Data Flow from the .NET 4.5 framework release. Instead they will be offered as NuGet packages so that improvements can be released outside of the full .NET release cycle.
The Base Class Library forms the core of the .NET development platform. No matter what profile or front-end technology you choose, the BCL classes are invariably found throughout your application. This time around we see improvements to streams, collections, and a much improved weak reference.
With the release of .NET 4.5 nearing, Microsoft has started to pull back the curtain on the next version of their development platform. While there has been a lot of fanfare around Metro and Windows 8, the improvements made to the core features of .NET, which have traditionally focused on web, service, and data development, may steal the show in the short term.
For those .NET developers who still choose to work directly with the DataReader series of classes, .NET 4.5 brings some new async and streaming support your way.
The .NET Framework has always had a weird relationship with the Zip file format. From the very beginning .NET actually did support Zip files, but in a way most people didn’t realize. After years of dealing with the convoluted ZipPackage class or turning to third-party libraries, Microsoft .NET is finally offering this basic capability again.
The Windows Runtime introduces greater support for asynchronous programming. The await and async keywords for C# and Visual Basic are part of this support.
Version 2 of Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF), a framework for extending .NET applications, is currently in Preview mode, and the final release will be part of .NET Framework 4.5. Expected enhancements in Version 2 include improvements to the RegistrationBuilder API, attribute-less registration, and better control over object lifetime.
The upcoming .NET Framework 4.5 being an in-place upgrade to .NET 4.0 has given rise to concerns on how this can introduce breaking changes as well as make multi-targeting difficult. In his article “.NET Versioning and Multi-Targeting..” Scott Hanselman addresses these concerns.
As both the WebSocket Protocol and the WebSocket API gain full-fledged support in the Windows 8 Consumer preview, ASP.NET developers can start taking advantage of the bidirectional capabilities by using System.Web.WebSockets library.