Monday, August 11, 2008

Microsoft Rolls Out SP1 for .NET and VS 2008

Microsoft provided some enhancements for developers by releasing two important service packs at the SP1 stage to manufacturers today.

One service pack is for Microsoft's .NET Framework 3.5, adding some improvements that will help users deploy Windows applications faster. The other improves on some of the development tools in Visual Studio 2008.

The release of these service packs also marks a high point for Microsoft by enabling the integration of the framework and development environment with Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Microsoft released that new relational database management system to manufacturers just last Wednesday.

SQL Server 2008 was the third element of Microsoft's product blitz, which also included Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, injecting new competition in the enterprise space.

The SP1 improvements in Visual Studio 2008 are mostly performance related. Microsoft added improved tools for working with AJAX applications and provided a better JavaScript environment in Visual Studio 2008. Microsoft also enhanced the designers in Visual Studio 2008 that work with Windows Presentation Foundation and the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

A new .NET Framework enhancement in the service pack is called the ".NET Framework Client Profile." With this improvement, Microsoft claims that it has reduced the .NET Framework's size by "86.5 percent," which allows users to download and install Windows apps faster.

Microsoft also says the .NET Framework SP1 speeds up start times for managed code and lets developers use a security feature in Windows Vista called "Address Space Layout Randomization."

Web application development gets a boost from the SP1's support for "ASP.NET Dynamic Data." This feature helps create rich Internet applications "without writing code," according to an announcement issued by the company.

There is also a boost for integrating data and Web services. The .NET Framework SP1 enhanced the ADO.NET Data Services and ADO.NET Entity Framework components, helping to speed the rollout of services by providing a modeling environment for developers.

The new SP1 for Visual Studio 2008 can be accessed here.

Those wanting SP1 for the .NET Framework 3.5 can access it here.

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