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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Releases .NET Framework 4.8

Microsoft Releases .NET Framework 4.8

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Microsoft has released .NET Framework 4.8, the first significant .NET Framework release in two years.

The new release includes improvements in multiple product areas, including Windows Forms, WCF, WorkFlow, and WPF. It also includes changes in the Base Class Library (BCL) and in the Common Language Runtime (CLR). All product areas affected by this release received bug fixes addressing different security vulnerabilities.

The new framework release is part of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, and it is also available on Windows 7+ and Windows Server 2008 R2+.

The new release impacted Windows Forms significantly. Multiple accessibility enhancements focus on aiding the development of applications for visually impaired users by integrating component controls with Narrator. With the new enhancements, users are able to listen to tooltips when navigating with a keyboard, and also to be notified of changes that occur in a location other than the current working area. Other enhancements include multiple bug fixes related to using Windows Forms with themes, high CPU and memory usage, and overall control behavior.

WCF received a new service behavior that exposes a "?health" endpoint. The new endpoint allows monitoring of the external states of services and obtaining specific HTTP response codes in the event occurrences such as faulty listeners. The new behavior can also be extended by developers according to their specific needs, matching custom business rules and increasing the service health monitoring as necessary.

This release also significantly affected Workflow, WPF, and WCF. It introduced new hashing algorithms for generating checksums and in-memory cache keys to WorkFlow, and fixed existing accessibility problems. WPF received improvements related to automation control and exhibition on high DPI monitors, along with multiple fixes on accessibility, memory usage, and problems leading to crashing.

The BCL’s compression library upgraded to the latest zlib version (1.2.11), and the default content algorithm changed from EnvelopedCms to AES. The CLR has improved scalability of System.Thread.Timer and better overall profiling performance. Also, it is possible now to integrate .NET with with antimalware providers to scan assemblies loaded from byte arrays.

Instead of including new features Microsoft focused on fixing existing bugs, patching security vulnerabilities, and improving performance in all product areas affected, which was promptly noted by the .NET development community. In parallel, however, Microsoft also released .NET Core 3 Preview 4 and updates to the ASP.NET Core 3 and Entity Framework Core 3. The Core initiative represents Microsoft's efforts towards the open-source community.

Other product areas covered by the new framework release are: ASP.NET, ClickOnce, Networking, and SQL. More details on application compatibility can be found here. All API changes are documented here, and the complete release notes can be found here.

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