.NET: What's coming down the Pike

Today there a bunch of new bits to play with that have up until now been a collection of individual CTP's - yes it's the first beta of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1! This is more interesting than many betas as there a lot of new stuff in this Service Pack, not just bug fixes; including all of my most-anticipated new features:

  • ASP.NET Data Scaffolding Support (ASP.NET Dynamic Data) - this is not dissimilar to Ruby On Rails in that it gets you to a web site in front of a database very quickly (and with minimal, possibly no, code) - really cool
  • ADO.NET Entity Framework (and LINQ to Entities) - basically a very powerful, flexible ORM which, among other things, supports inheritance! Entities can be used in WCF, too. This is my favourite new feature :-)
  • ADO.NET Data Services (was called "Astoria"): This is basically REST-based data services (including a LINQ Client that queries them); when used with the Entity Framework (optional, but cool) you can very quickly publish a really simple to use yet powerful API directly to your data schema - so cool (my second favourite new feature!)

These three alone will save a ton of code... I can't wait!! To learn more and see all the other stuff included in this Service Pack coming your way soon, be sure to read this.