All kinds of good stuff coming out of Microsoft these days. Among them is the final release of ASP.NET MVC 2 and the Release Candidate for Silverlight 4.
ASP.NET MVC 2
According to Scott Gu's blog over 1 million developers have downloaded and used ASP.NET MVC 1 since the final version was was introduced almost a year ago. That's a lot of downloads and a lot of work developing MVC applications.
Now MVC 2 is out the door and it contains a number of improvements. But don't worry, Gu says everything you've learned and coded to date using ASP.NET MVC 1 isn't wasted; the two version are compatible.
So what's new? We covered a number of changes from MVC 1 already, such as client side validation, areas, model validation providers and metadata providers. Additional enhancements include:
- Template Helpers
- API Improvements
- New Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2010
- Support for DataAnnotations Attributes
You can read the full list of changes as well as the changes that may break your existing applications.
ASP.NET MVC 2 is available for Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Developer 2008 Express (using ASP.NET 3.5) and the source code is shipped under the OSI-compliant open source license. You don't need to install MVC 2 separately for Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Web Developer 2010 as it's included and has an automatic upgrade wizard.
Gu has a blog series covering some of the new features in ASP.NET MVC 2. So far he's discussed Strongly Typed HTML Helpers and Enhanced Model Validation support across both client and server. But there are at least 6 more posts coming including a look at the improved Visual Studio tooling and a review of the new helper functions and API enhancements.
Keep in mind that ASP.NET MVC 2 isn't the end. Phil Haack says they have already started preliminary planning for MVC 3 and according to the roadmap, there is work happening around productivity, Ajax, performance and the architecture overall.
For now though, check out the new ASP.NET MVC website and get started.
Silverlight 4 Release Candidate
Microsoft has announced that the final version of Silverlight 4 will come in April. The ASP.NET and Silverlight Conference happening in Vegas from April 12-14th will be the place to get all the details. During the same time the Microsoft Visual Studio Conference & Expo is also taking place in Vegas and Visual Studio 2010 will be officially launched on April 12. (Note access to one gets you access to the other).
Until then though, you might want to download and try out the release candidate for Silverlight 4. At MIX10, Microsoft announced that Silverlight would be the primary development platform for the new Windows Phone 7, so you better get up to speed quickly.
What's new in the Silverlight 4 Release Candidate?
- Business Application Development: Rich Textbox enhancements, graphics and printing and networking enhancements
- Richer Experiences: Support for Google Chrome, Hardware acceleration for Deep Zoom and output protection for protected video path.
- Out of Browser Capabilities: XAP signing and verification, and custom window chrome for flexibility in application presentaition
Here's a video from MIX10 providing an hour long overview of Silverlight 4:
You can develop your Silverlight apps in either Visual Studio or Microsoft Expression Blend. Note that there is no end-user runtime for the Silverlight 4 RC, but you can get everything else you need to get started on the Silverlight website.