What's new in Visual J# .NET 2005

Welcome to the world of Visual J# .NET 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 (Whidbey). In today’s blog I would like to enumerate on what the customers can expect of Visual J# .NET 2005.

Visual J# .NET 2005 (Whidbey) is a significant step forward for J#. There have been additions all around - in the form of a new SKU, enhancements to the language, libraries, IDE and much more.

In Whidbey, J# has come up with a brand new SKU - Visual J# 2005 Express Edition. This is in response to feedback we received from the community in general and Academia and hobbyists in particular. J# Express is a simple, lightweight IDE designed for beginning programmers and non-professional developers interested in building Windows Forms, class libraries, and console-based applications. It includes many of the same productivity features found in Visual Studio, all streamlined to fit the needs of the non-professional Windows developer. The Beta version is available for download from http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/vjsharp/. Try it out and send us your feedback!

In terms of language additions, there are 6 key additions. We have introduced support for the following: (1) Valuetypes (2) Passing method parameters by reference (3) Type-safe enumerations (4) Custom attributes (5) Consuming .NET Generics (6) Support for Java-Beans style properties.

The java.util package has been upgraded to offer functionality equivalent to the JDK 1.2 level. Support has been introduced for inner exceptions, integrated J# Browser Controls and Supplemental UI Library fully into the product, and much more.

J# is now enabled to run in partially trusted scenarios. In releases prior to Whidbey Beta1, all applications or components written using J# had to be fully trusted in order to be able to run. From this release onwards, this restriction is relaxed for code that uses the J# libraries. Since J# now supports running in a partially trusted scenario, this enables several new scenarios:(1) Running VJ# apps from network (2) WinForms user controls written in J# and hosted in IE may now use the J# libraries (3) ClickOnce deployment, to name a few. However, code using libraries such as WFC still require full trust in order to run.

Unlike the prior release where the Supplemental UI Library was available only for the Academic community, Whidbey has this restriction relaxed. The SupUI Library is now available to our Enterprise customers too! In fact there are components added specifically based on feedback from our Enterprise customers.

From the IDE perspective, Whidbey would see the introduction of the "Object Test Bench". The Object Test Bench is intended to simplify the debugging and testing of classes and methods within a Visual Studio project. It achieves this by providing a graphical view of runtime objects and providing a GUI to interact and work with these objects. This view is created while the Development Environment is still in ‘Design Time’. So, users are able to debug applications without entering the ‘Debug Time’ or ‘Run Time’ modes of the environment and without writing any code to test it. This has been developed specifically based on feedback from Academia. There are several more enhancements in the IDE that are specifically geared towards increasing productivity.

I would continue discussing more about these features going ahead.

Have a good day!!