Microsoft is taking this season of giving thing pretty seriously.
First there was Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. Then there was ParallelFX, an update to the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit and a toolset for programming Silverlight 1.1 — oops, we mean Silverlight 2.0 — in Visual Studio 2008.
The latest contribution is the ASP.NET 3.5 Extension CTP. This, as Scott Guthrie explains, includes a bunch of stuff. There’s better history support for ASP.NET AJAX, tools for speedier development of data-driven Web sites and support for Silverlight.
Two things in particular jump out.
One is the ASP.NET MVC, or Model View Controller. This is a much ballyhooed framework for dividing the components of a Web application into models (which maintain state), views (which display UI) and controllers (which handle end user interactions). As Guthrie puts it in his introduction to the MVC, “Maintaining a clean separation of concerns makes the testing of applications much easier, since the contract between different application components are more clearly defined and articulated.”
The other is ADO.NET Data Services, previously known as Astoria and intricately linked to the forthcoming ADO.NET Entity Framework. Astoria’s appeal is its ability to take relational data and make it a service that can be consumed by client applications in networks and across the Internet. More information about this release can be found in our story, ADO.NET Entity Framework Beta 3 ships; ups LINQ-to-SQL performance.
Further bulletins as events warrant.