Dan Maharry

ASP.NET 4.0, Part 0: Installing VS2010 | VS 2010 / .NET 4 Release Candidate

ASP.NET 4.0 Cometh

by Obiwan

It has been a quiet evolution but make no mistake, web development has changed over the past five years. The crusade for web standards has, to all intents and purposes, been won and the proliferation of AJAX usage plus the adoption of various JavaScript APIs such as jQuery, scriptaculous and prototype has meant that client-side programming has had a renaissance as a result. However, the cleaner mark-up needed to marry script for jQuery and the like to the controls on the page has not been easily generated with standard ASP.NET webform controls. Developers seeking greater control have thus been attracted away from webforms to lighter weight templating patterns such as MVC and MVP which provide it. (It's not the only reason that MVC and MVP have been tempting away developers but that's for the many Webforms vs. MVC vs. MVP discussions around the net to cover.)

Similarly, the sheer number of users on the internet has meant that concerns of performance, extensibility and scalability have come to the fore. Sites like MySpace and Microsoft.com use ASP.NET and IIS to serve millions of pages a day. It's not just the ability to serve pages faster than the blink of an eye that's required, it's the need for a site's data, caching, session, and membership infrastructure to scale up and work in web gardens and farms as well.

ASP.NET 4.0 is just around the corner with both it and Visual Studio 2010 due out on April 12. A release candidate build of both was released today and up until release, I'll be taking a look at the new features and improvements that ASP.NET 4.0 provides in its core and for webforms users. You'll see how it has been shaped by this quiet evolution and in particular:

  • The need for greater adherence to web standards
  • The need for webforms to be more in tune with the way that web developers build websites today
  • The need for webforms output to be more search engine friendly
  • The need to correct some (in hindsight) bad design decisions made before ASP.NET v1.0 was released
  • The need to rework existing features that weren't designed to work in a server farm or across multiple application domains on the same machine
  • The need to accommodate the reorganisation of .NET as a whole.

It's such a great time to be a web developer and ASP.NET 4.0 is a fantastic bit of kit. I’ll build up an index of this series here as posts are made. I hope you'll join me tomorrow, but in the meantime, happy coding!

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