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InfoQ Homepage News .NET News Roundup: Microsoft Build, .NET 6, MAUI, Visual Studio 2019, Project Reunion

.NET News Roundup: Microsoft Build, .NET 6, MAUI, Visual Studio 2019, Project Reunion

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It's been a busy week for the .NET community with this year's edition of Microsoft Build. During the event, Microsoft released new previews for .NET 6 and its related frameworks, along with a new version of Visual Studio, TypeScript 4.3, and more. InfoQ examined these and a number of smaller stories in the .NET ecosystem from the week of May 24th, 2021.

This week's highlight was Build - an annual conference held by Microsoft, aimed at Windows and Azure developers. It was a virtual event, opened by a keynote presented by Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft. During the keynote, Nadella hinted about "the next generation of Windows":

Across all the opportunities I've highlighted today, Windows is implicit. It's never been more important. Windows 10 is used by more than 1.3 billion people to work, learn, connect, and play. And it all starts with Windows as a dev box. Windows brings together all of your developer and collaboration tools in one place. It lets you choose the hardware you want, works with Linux and Windows as one, and has a modern Terminal. And soon, we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators. I've been self-hosting it over the past several months, and I'm incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows.

The three-day event featured sessions focusing mainly on developing apps for existing apps (such as Teams and Outlook) and low-code, out-of-the-box tools integrations to ease development. You can check the complete session catalog for the event here.

The .NET development teams also released new previews for .NET 6 and its related frameworks. .NET 6 Preview 4 includes many bug fixes, new System.LINQ APIs, performance enhancements (including a complete re-write of FileStream), and enhanced date and time support with the new DateOnly and TimeOnly structs. The preview also features improvements related to Microsoft.Extensions.Logging (with a new LoggerMessageAttribute type that source-generates performant logging APIs), a writeable JSON DOM feature, and improvements to the RyuJIT compiler and for the single-file application publishing model. The platform matrix for the final .NET 6 release in November has also been significantly expanded. It now includes Android, iOS, Mac and Mac Catalyst (for x64 and Apple Silicon), and Windows Arm64 (specifically Windows Desktop).

The ASP.NET Core framework also received significant improvements in .NET 6 Preview 4. The new release includes minimal APIs for hosting and routing in web applications, which allows the creation of a fully functioning HTTP API with just a few lines of code. In the new preview, ASP.NET Core now also supports async streaming from controller actions and HTTP logging as a new built-in middleware that allows logging complete requests and responses (including the headers and entire body). The default launch profile was also changed from IIS Express to Kestrel for all new projects created in .NET 6 Preview 4, and the project templates for Angular and React were also updated to use an improved pattern for single-page apps. Another significant update is related to Blazor: Blazor WebAssembly now supports ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation.

The MAUI team also released a new preview for the upcoming UI framework. .NET MAUI Preview 4 includes a new BlazorWevView component, which allows you to host a Blazor web application in your .NET MAUI application and use native platform features and UI controls. Other improvements include a splash screen descriptor and direct raw assets importing.

Entity Framework Core 6 Preview 4 was also released during Build. The new preview - dubbed "Performance edition" - is now 70% faster on the industry-standard TechEmpower Fortunes benchmark, compared to 5.0 (according to Microsoft). Heap allocations have been reduced by 43%, and the release also includes the preview for the Microsoft.Data.Sqlite.Core provider for ADO.NET.

The Visual Studio team released new stable (v16.10) and preview (v16.11 Preview 1) versions for Visual Studio 2019 for Windows. The new stable release includes a feature-complete C++ compiler and STL for C++20 standard, updates to the Git Productivity tools, improvements related to F# support, modifications to the Performance Profiler page, and several productivity improvements. Visual Studio 2019 v16.11 Preview 1 includes the first release of the new Hot Reload experience - a feature that allows developers to edit code at runtime. It also includes .NET MAUI features, including single project improvements, the ability to target all supported platforms, and Blazor hybrid desktop support. Both releases support the new .NET 6 Preview 4.

Other important releases during the Build event include an updated preview of Project Reunion (v0.8 Preview), the first major version of Windows Package Manager (announced last year), Windows Terminal 1.9 Preview, and TypeScript 4.3. The Azure team released beta versions for Storage, Event Hubs, Service Bus, and Event Grid Functions extensions. .NET Framework also received a cumulative update for versions 3.5 and 4.8 with quality and reliability improvements.

The .NET Foundation announced two new projects: Project Reaqtor (in collaboration with Microsoft) and Pwned Passwords (incubated). Project Reaqtor provides a set of framework components that enable developers to build distributed event processing systems across cloud and devices. Pwned Passwords is the password search feature for Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), a free service that aggregates data breaches and helps people know if they've been impacted by malicious activity on the web.

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