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Development Tools for .NET Framework 3.0 August CTP

by Jonathan Allen on Sep 11, 2006 |
On Sept 7, Microsoft released the "Microsoft Visual Studio Code Name 'Orcas' Community Technology Preview – Development Tools for .NET Framework 3.0". These tools are designed to add Visual Studio support for developers working on.NET Framework 3.0. Disregard the line about it being a release candidate, this is still a very early cut. And despite the installer saying that it is part of project Orcas, it has nothing to do with LINQ.

 Things that are in this release include:
  • XAML Intellisense support
  • Project templates for the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Project templates for the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
  • .NET Framework 3.0 SDK documentation integration
  • The August CTP of Microsoft's XAML Designer, Cider
Most of this release runs on all versions of Visual Studio, even the Express Edition SKUs which do not normally support add-ins. The exception is Cider, which currently only runs on a paid SKU. According to the Cider release notes, Microsoft is considering adding full support for the express editions in a later CTP.

New features for Cider include a split view which allows you to view the designer and XAML at the same time. This is especially import and the designer does not support manipulating controls the StackPanel, DockPanel, or Canvas containers.

One note worthy tool is missing from this package, the designer for Windows Workflow Foundation. This was actually released separately a few days earlier under the title "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation Release Candidate 5". Like the XAML designer, this isn't supported in the express editions of Visual Studio.

For more information on installing the various pieces that make up.NET 3.0, consult Paul Andrew's web log.

While the 3.0 Framework itself has already reached the release candidate stage, it appears the tools are still a long way off. So while you are waiting, you may want to try out some of the other XAML Designers currently available.     
Finally, a bit of trivial. According to the glossary on the Cider website, Hawaii is "The code name for a future, future release of Visual Studio (as in, the one after the one after VS 2005)". There is no word if it's just a name, or if Microsoft already has something in mind for the post-LINQ release.

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