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A Preview of Version 2 of ASP.NET MVC

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Microsoft has released the first preview for their ASP.NET MVC v2. ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 1 can be installed side-by-side with MVC version 1. In VS 2008, it is registered as separate project types. Those experimenting with VS 2010 users will have to wait for VS Beta 2, which will include MVC v2.

One of the most important features of version 2 is the concept of “areas”. Each area is a separate project that represents a subset of a larger website. While tied into the larger site, this should greatly reduce build times and make it easier to manage project files, a notorious problem for large teams.

Version 2 adds support for a relatively new validation model. Instead of handling validation as a separate concept, it can be defined all the way down to the object model. Using DataAnnotation, properties can be tagged with rules such as “Required”, “Range”, “StringLength”, and “RegularExpression”. These rules are propagated all the way to the browser level.

In addition to DataAnnotation, introduced in .NET 3.5 SP 1, the MVC 2 will also support integration with other validation frameworks such as Castle Validator and EntLib Validation.

Default values for query string variables are now explicitly supported. They can be specified using the DefaultValueAttribute or directly in languages that support optional parameters such as VB and C# 4.

Templating has been improved significantly. Developers can now define custom EditorTemplates and DisplayTemplates either globally or for a specific controller. These templates are tied to specific data types and are automatically brought into play.

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