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Visual Studio Orcas Round-Up

InfoQ has assembled a summary of the features included in the March CTP of Visual Studio Orcas. The Orcas CTP, which is expected to be released as VS 2007, can be downloaded from MSDN.

According to Paul Andrew, this is the first time the .NET 3.5 Framework has been included in an Orcas CTP. This includes support for LINQ, AJAX, and several new classes in the Base Class Library such as BigInteger, HashSet and TimeZone2.

The list of VB features include

Paul Vick writes

Those of you who've been following along with the previous Orcas CTPs will have noticed the paucity of new VB features relative to some of the other VS languages. This has been largely due to the different implementation strategies of the languages--since the Visual Basic compiler is so closely tied to the IDE services, we needed to really plumb the features all the way through before we could consider them "complete." Anyway, many of these features are now on-line and available to be tried out.

A new way to develop occasionally connected offline applications ADO.NET Sync Services. According to the docs,

Synchronization Services lets you synchronize data from disparate sources over two-tier, N-tier, and service-based architectures. Instead of only replicating a database and its schema, the Synchronization Services application programming interface (API) provides a set of components to synchronize data between data services and a local store. Applications are increasingly used on mobile clients, such as portable computers and devices, that do not have a consistent or reliable network connection to a central server. It is important for these applications to work against a local copy of data on the client. Equally important is the need to synchronize the local copy of the data with a central server when a network connection is available. The Synchronization Services API is modeled after the ADO.NET data access APIs and gives you an intuitive way to synchronize data. It makes building applications for occasionally connected environments a logical extension of building applications where you can depend on a consistent network connection.

There are a collection of demo writeups for ADO.NET Sync Services on The Synchronizer.

Microsoft's XML Team has a lot of offerings in this CTP as well. These include an XSLT Debugger, " a set of extension methods allowing XPath / XSLT to be used over LINQ to XML trees, allow XSLT transformations to produce an LINQ to XML tree, and to validate an XElement tree against an XML Schema".

Moustafa Khalil Ahmed writes that Workflow Foundation now has a designer and debugger integrated into the VS Orcas IDE. There are also many enhancements to WF rules like operator overloading and extension methods. In the area of standards support, WF/WCF has included or enhanced support for REST/POX, RSS, Atom, WS-AtomicTransaction 1.1, WS-Coordination 1.1, WS-ReliableMessaging 1.1, WS-SecureConversation 1.3, and WS-Trust 1.3.

Windows Communication Foundation isn't as well situated, and Nicholas Allen says that WCF developers should wait for a later beta before trying it out.

Thom Robbins has also posted a long feature list. These include Faster Garbage Collection, Anonymous and Named Pipes IO Classes, Lightweight Reader/Writer Lock Classes and a New Addin hosting model for extensibility.

Tim Sneath says that

"Orcas" has a ton of new features for WPF development over the releases that we shipped as extensions for Visual Studio 2005. It's got true WYSIWYG support for XAML code edits, it's got the new Property Editor checked in (shared with Expression Blend), it has far better Intellisense support for XAML, and it's much better for layout.

With everything going on, VS Orcas is shaping up to be the most important Visual Studio version since .NET was first released.


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