Now that Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 has shipped, it's a good time to talk about the next version of ASP.NET and Visual Studio. More specifically, I am happy to share some good news on how Microsoft's next major platform release will affect ComponentArt's customers.
Scott Guthrie has a great post on ASP.NET AJAX in .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008. I encourage you to read the entire post, but here are some key points you should take away from it:
"ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 shipped as a separate download that you could install on top of ASP.NET 2.0. Starting with the .NET Framework 3.5 release, all of these features are built-in with ASP.NET, which means you no longer have to download and install a separate ASP.NET AJAX setup when building or deploying applications. When you create a new ASP.NET application or web-site in VS 2008 that targets the .NET 3.5 framework, VS will automatically add the appropriate AJAX registrations in your web.config file and the core ASP.NET AJAX server controls will show up in your toolbox."
"The V3.5 of System.Web.Extensions.dll is a fully compatible super-set of the 1.0 implementation (which means you don't need to change any code in order to use it)."
As expected, ASP.NET AJAX has become a native part of ASP.NET and Visual Studio. We are extremely excited about this because it puts our customers in a unique position when it comes to exploiting the new features as well as gaining forward compatibility of applications based on ComponentArt Web.UI.
If you examine the ASP.NET component space today, you will notice that other leading vendors are currently in the early stages of developing component sets based on the client-side component model introduced with ASP.NET AJAX. These products are entirely new, and don't provide backwards compatibility with the current component offerings by those vendors.
In contrast, ComponentArt's customers will be able to enjoy seamless upgrading to Visual Studio 2008 and ASP.NET 3.5. All of your code based on the public APIs of ComponentArt Web.UI v2006.2 or later will be fully functional and in sync with the overall architecture and philosophy of Microsoft's new framework.