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.
With .NET 4.5 the way you work with the Task class has changed in a subtle but important way.
Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Entity Framework 5 could potentially improve performance up to 67 percent. Developers using EF 4.0 should also see performance improvements just by upgrading to .NET Framework 4.5.
In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced that the first generation objects of their WF technology are being deprecated in the upcoming .NET 4.5 release. WF, which is a workflow engine leveraged by .NET developers as well as a handful of Microsoft server products, has multiple new capabilities in .NET 4.5 while officially putting application that leverage the old .NET 3.0 objects on notice.
Ido Flatow has been posting a series on the upcoming changes to WCF in .NET 4.5. Most of these changes revolve around making configuration files lighter and easier to work with in both stand-alone and IIS hosted modes.
Microsoft announced the final release of Entity Framework (EF) 4.2. While this update only contains one bug fix, it's interesting in the context of Microsoft's adoption of semantic versioning, and their attempt to separate EF from the .NET Framework.
The new functionality in .NET 4.5 with it the opportunity to revisit the out of band libraries such as Reactive Extensions. Bart De Smet talks about what’s in the Rx experimental branch.
In anticipation of the upcoming Mono 2.12 public beta, Miguel de Icaza has released the planned feature set including many of the .NET 4.5 APIs and C# 5’s Async support. There is also an improved garbage collector, support for the full table of Unicode surrogate characters, and a new backend for the C# compiler.
.NET 4.5 adds two new collection interfaces, IReadOnlyList and IReadOnlyDictionary. While these interfaces are quite humble on the surface, they expose the rather complex story of backwards compatibility, interoperability, and the role of covariance.