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InfoQ Homepage News .NET News Roundup: .NET 6, MAUI, EF Core 6, Visual Studio 2022

.NET News Roundup: .NET 6, MAUI, EF Core 6, Visual Studio 2022

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It's been a busy week for the .NET community with the release of new previews for .NET 6 and its related frameworks (including MAUI), along with the first preview of Visual Studio 2022, new Azure SDK libraries, and more. InfoQ examined these and a number of smaller stories in the .NET ecosystem from the week of June 14th, 2021.

This week's highlight was the release of new previews for .NET 6 and its related frameworks. .NET 6 Preview 5 includes improvements to a new feature named SDK workloads, which - according to Richard Lander, program manager for the .NET team at Microsoft - is the foundation of the .NET unification vision. The new feature allows developers to add support for new application types (such as mobile and WebAssembly) without increasing the size of the SDK. The improvements to the new feature are the inclusion of two new verbs - list and update - providing a sense of the expected final experience with the general availability release in November. Other features in .NET 6 Preview 5 include NuGet package validation, more Roslyn analyzers, improvements in the Microsoft.Extensions APIs (focused on hosting and dependency injection), WebSocket compression, and much more. Also according to Lander, ".NET 6 Preview 5 is perhaps the biggest preview yet in terms of breadth and quantity of features." A comprehensive list of all features included in the new preview can be found in the official release post.

The ASP.NET Core framework also received significant improvements in .NET 6 Preview 5. One of the most important features of this release is the reduced Blazor WebAssembly download size with runtime relinking. Now developers can use the .NET WebAssembly tools (the same tools also used for .NET WebAssembly AOT compilation) to relink the runtime and remove unnecessary logic, dramatically reducing the size of the runtime. According to Microsoft, the size reduction is particularly relevant when using invariant globalization mode. Other features in the new release include .NET Hot Reload updates for dotnet watch, faster get and set for HTTP headers, and ASP.NET Core SPA templates updated to Angular 11 and React 17.

The MAUI team also released a new preview for the upcoming UI framework. .NET MAUI Preview 5 includes new documentation covering introductory and foundational aspects of .NET MAUI and new controls ported from the renderer architecture of Xamarin.Forms, including ActivityIndicator, CheckBox, Image, and Stepper. Another new feature in this release is the introduction of Shell, an application container that provides URI navigation and a quick way to implement flyout menus and tabs. .NET MAUI Preview 5 also includes animations and updates to the single project templates.

Entity Framework Core 6 Preview 5 was also released this week. The new preview includes the first iteration of compiled models, a feature that dramatically reduces startup time for your application. A detailed explanation of how compiled models work can be found in Microsoft's original blog post. If you want to learn more about EF Core 6, make sure to check InfoQ's interview with Jeremy Likness here.

The Visual Studio team released a new preview for Visual Studio 2019 (v16.11 Preview 2) and the first preview for Visual Studio 2022, both for Windows. Visual Studio 2019 16.11 Preview 2 includes stability and security fixes over the previous preview release. With Visual Studio 2022 Preview 1, the goal of the development team was to "test and tune the scalability of the new 64-bit platform." While most of the upgrades in this release are related to 64-bit support, new features and performance improvements are expected starting in Preview 2. It is also important to note that Visual Studio 2019 v16.11 will be the final version of Visual Studio 2019, and it will receive support through April 2029.

The Azure development team also released two new libraries: Azure Data Tables and Azure Monitor (beta). The Azure Data Tables library allows access to the Azure Table service, which is used to store NoSQL data in the cloud. Azure Monitor is a data collection service for cloud and on-premises environments that can be used for both logs and metrics. Both libraries are available with the latest release of Azure SDK, which also includes new versions for Azure cognitive Search (stable) and Azure Communication Services (preview). All latest Azure SDK releases can be found on the official releases page.

Other important releases this week include a cumulative update preview for the .NET Framework, containing quality and reliability improvements and patches for the Azure DevOps Server. PeachPie Compiler - a PHP language implementation built on top of .NET and Roslyn - also released a minor version update (v1.0.6) with support for PHP 8.1 syntax and a number of bug fixes.

Richard Lander, program manager at Microsoft, released a new post in his series of "conversations" - which are, in essence, discussions with multiple team members about a specific topic. The new conversations published this week focus on networking, and is a must-read for all .NET developers considering the latest (.NET 5) and upcoming (.NET 6) changes in the .NET networking libraries.

Ben Watson, principal developer on the Bing team, also released a fascinating (and comprehensive) post detailing the migration of Bing's workflow engine to .NET 5 - another must-read for developers migrating complex applications to .NET 5. According to Watson:

Bing runs one of the world's largest, most complex, highly performant, and reliable .NET applications. This post discusses the journey and the work required to upgrade to .NET 5, including the significant performance gains we achieved.



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