Microsoft Floods us with updates supporting VS08 RTM.
I am going to try to sort out what these updates are and how they are grouped together so you know what to choose, these are not in order of when they where released, but rather in the grouping they are most commonly used. In addition, NONE of these have "Go Live" licenses yet, so don't try using them in production.
ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions
This is the one I just posted about, it is a glimpse of new, powerful functionality being added to ASP.NET 3.5 and ADO.NET next year (2008). It includes:
Silverlight 1.1 (soon to be 2.0, but not quite yet.)
- The Web Deployment Projects - December 2007 CTP is an add-in to Visual Studio 2008 which provides developers with advanced compilation and deployment options, while not strictly required, it does make deployment much easier. There is nothing in the License that says this cannot be used now, but then again, it does not specifically say you can use this in production either.
- Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5, December 2007 CTP gives you a managed programming model for data parallelism, task parallelism, and coordination on parallel hardware.
- If you are contemplating Parallel Development, you need to read this: The Manycore Shift White Paper it is Microsoft's plan for how they plan to support better development with the Many Core processors we are just starting to see, most likely a 16 Core Processor will be mainstream as early as next year!
- The Volta technology preview is a developer toolset that enables you to build multi-tier web applications by applying familiar techniques and patterns. Warning, this does create a HUGE volume of JS code which will most likely be streamlined and cached in a future release.
- This goes on top of Entity Framework and does all the Tier separation for you, it creates most things dynamically, not requiring recompiling ala Code Gen. This is a very interesting technology and is still very early in its development, while it still has some small limitations for VB development, it is certainly worth looking at now.
Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Training Kit
All these tools are going to be very helpful for developing the next wave of great applications. While it is fairly confusing as to which method to choose right now if you are architecting for future development, here is what we know:
ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions are a definite, EF and Data Services will most likely overshadow Linq to SQL and provide a much richer (i.e. easier to use) development experience.
Silverlight is going through major changes, until we get to 2.0 sometime early in 2008 we will not really know how Silverlight will settle, we just know it is here to stay and we should start gearing up for it's use in our applications.
Volta is something to look at in the long term, it is relatively early in its release and is not something else that has been renamed, it is new and will continue to grow. It is still so early in development that it is possible it may be canceled if there is not enough interest, but I doubt that will be the case (as happened with Acropolis). It is built on top of EF and Data Services so if you are looking at incorporating those two technologies (which IMO you should) then you will be able to leverage what you learn in EF and Data Services to use Volta.
Alex Daley says: "The vision of Volta is ultimately pretty big. It's to change the way people build Web apps. Volta takes the same level of abstraction required to deliver distributed applications as VB did for client applications."
This is a pretty bold statement and hopefully they can manage to see it go hand in hand with VB development in the future. This will require lots of changes and streamlining to be effective, but it does provide a great deal of the Magic that VB 3 to 6 once had exclusively for making Data Applications easy to create. [via SteelePrice.Net]
My personal highlight in this?:
EF and Data Services will most likely overshadow Linq to SQL and provide a much richer (i.e. easier to use) development experience.
So something that isn't even on retail CDs yet (is it) is already being overshadowed? This has just got to stop.